Massachusetts Public Banking Fall 2022 Independent Clinical

Massachusetts Public Banking, the organization leading the coalition campaign to create a public bank for the state, is seeking assistance in researching state-chartered banks which will be critical partners in meeting unmet credit needs for community development and particularly for minority economic development projects in rural, suburban and urban communities across the state. We are seeking to understand the barriers to meeting these credit needs for existing community banks; how the Massachusetts Public Bank can assist in meeting those credit needs through participation loans with local banks; and how community banks can be helped to understand this as a fruitful partnership.

We also seek to understand the investment decisions by the Massachusetts Municipal Depository Trust (MMDT), a private investment institution where the state and its municipalities currently deposit the majority of their funds.  Preliminary research shows that MMDT does not invest in the state.

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 environmentally sustainable community infrastructure. More information: www.masspublicbanking.org

PHASE ONE- SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS

Research would focus on understanding the legal, regulatory, political and financial constraints that exist for local banks in meeting the credit needs in their local communities, including for resilient infrastructure and local businesses/farms.  Research would include also an analysis of the number of community banks in the state and their locations.

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

Research would then focus on how a well-capitalized public bank can partner with local 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 in order to overcome initial opposition to the bills filed with the Legislature by the MA Bankers Association.

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.

Interested students should submit a resume and cover letter to Liz Solar at esolar@law.harvard.edu. By 5pm on Thursday, August 11, 2022.  Applications will be forwarded to the Massachusetts Public Banking.

Once students are selected and in order to earn clinical credits, 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

The independent clinical application deadline is August 26, 2022.    Questions may be directed to Liz Solar at esolar@law.harvard.edu.