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Fall 2020 Clinic

Predatory Lending and Consumer Protection Clinic

Enrollment in this clinic will fulfill the HLS JD pro bono requirement.

Required Class Component: Predatory Lending and Consumer Protection Clinical Seminar (2 fall classroom credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in this clinic will automatically enroll you in the required course.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: August 14, 2020.

LLM Students: LLM students may apply to this clinic by submitting an application.

Placement Site: WilmerHale Legal Services Center (Jamaica Plain).

The Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic combats abuses of consumers by the financial services industry and sellers or financiers of consumer goods, and reversing the negative consequences that can result from those abuses. The Clinic’s practice is divided into two parts; a robust general consumer protection practice focused on debt collection, bankruptcy, car financing, utility and credit card debt,  and mortgage servicing;  and The Project on Predatory Student Lending, which represents students in cases attacking predatory lending by for-profit colleges, including class action litigation. APA litigation and other complex and federal litigation, as well as policy advocacy.

Our practice is primarily litigation and involves consumer, bankruptcy, administrative, and tort law.

The Clinic:

  • commences litigation in federal and state court against predatory for-profit colleges, regulators and high cost lenders, abusive debt collectors, car dealers and others who prey upon our clients.
  • defends consumers against unlawful debt collection practices in state court.
  • represent consumers seeking a fresh start through petitions for bankruptcy.

We enforce the rights of our clients using the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, consumer protection laws of other states, federal and state debt collection laws, the Administrative Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Higher Education Act,  the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and federal and state credit repair organization laws.

Students in the Clinic gain extensive experience with a variety of practical legal skills, including: interviewing clients, analyzing financial documents, drafting complaints, participating in discovery,  case strategizing, designing and prosecuting high-impact federal and state class action litigation, administrative law and procedure, negotiation, and occasionally, federal and state policy advocacy.

Students will work either in the general consumer practice or the Project on Predatory Student Lending, and may express a preference between the two practice areas by contacting the instructors before the semester begins. We will assign students to their preferred practice area subject to clinic needs.

For more information on the Predatory Lending / Consumer Protection Clinic’s general practice, please contact Roger Bertling, (617) 390-2572. For more information on the Project on Predatory Student Lending, contact Toby Merrill, (617) 390-2576.