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Massachusetts Public Banking, the organization leading the effort to create a new public bank in Massachusetts is seeking research assistance for its efforts to identify both unmet credit needs for community development and minority economic development projects. The Massachusetts Public Bank mission is to support a range of economic development efforts with the overall goals of building wealth in historically disadvantaged populations, supporting the development of sustainable and resilient local economies, and building community infrastructure.

We are seeking to understand the barriers to meeting those credit needs for existing community banks, credit unions and community development financial institutions and how the Massachusetts Public Bank can assist in meeting those credit needs.

Phase One- six to eight weeks

Research would focus on understanding the legal and regulatory constraints and the financial constraints that exist for credit unions, small banks and for community development financial institutions in meeting the social credit needs of Massachusetts communities.

The intern would work with an advisory group that includes both academic experts in the field of community development finance and experienced practitioners. The advisory group will assist in facilitating access to others in the field as well as helping to develop a plan for research and reviewing the research paper.

Phase Two – balance of semester

We would then focus on how a well-capitalized public bank can partner with other kinds of financial institutions to meet community needs and overcome barriers to lending. The research paper developed in Phase I would help facilitate conversations with a broader range of community bankers and credit union leaders as Mass Public Banking refines the legislative concept and builds a broad base of support for an effective intervention in the credit marketplace.

The intern would participate in those meetings with other members of the advisory committee initially and would conduct later meetings by themselves. Feedback from those meetings would be reviewed by the advisory committee before the end of the semester.

Once students are selected, students will be required to submit an independent clinical application.  Please consult: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/clinical/clinics/independent-clinical-work-program/

(This opportunity is not eligible to students on F-1 visas)

Prof. Desan will serve as the faculty sponsor. desan@law.harvard.edu

Students should submit a resume and cover letter to Liz Solar at esolar@law.harvard.edu

Application Deadline: 9am Friday January 14, 2022. 

The independent clinical application deadline is January 21 (extensions may be granted upon request.)  Questions may be directed to Liz Solar.