Policy Counsel

  • Center for Responsible Lending
  • 302 West Main Street, Durham, NC, USA
  • Nov 19, 2020
Full time Legal

Job Description

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that promotes responsible lending practices and access to fair terms of credit for low-wealth families. CRL was created in 2002 to protect homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate predatory lending and other abusive financial practices. Our work has helped lead to major changes in lending practices, saving families over $2 billion annually. CRL has over 40 employees and offices in Durham, NC; Oakland, CA; and in Washington, DC.

CRL is an affiliate of Self-Help, a community development lender founded in 1980 that has provided over $8.5 billion dollars in financing to help 159,000 low-wealth borrowers buy homes, build businesses and strengthen community resources.


Role Overview:

The Center for Responsible Lending is seeking a Policy Counsel to join our team in Durham, NC. The Policy Counsel will focus on policy analysis of consumer lending issues at the state level such as small dollar loans, student loans, mortgages, debt collection practices, and other related issues. The Policy Counsel will craft state policy approaches that advance the Center’s mission of promoting responsible lending.

Responsibilities include research and writing on legal issues and major policy reports, comment letters, regulatory proposals, and testimony, speeches or articles. Responsibilities also frequently include providing support to state-based allies, building state coalitions with new and existing partners, and direct outreach to state regulators and legislators or their staff. The position may also include some research on lender financial practices in order to develop a deeper organizational understanding of financial services issues. This person will share responsibility with a team of policy counsels and other policy staff for general legal work and outreach on our issues in the states.


Based upon experience, the role may be filled at a more senior level.


Essential Responsibilities:

  • Develop expertise on CRL priority issues, and participate in issue work groups to develop and execute strategies to achieve CRL’s policy goals.
  • Monitor state legislative and policy developments.
  • Study proposed state legislation and regulations to determine the possible effect on consumers, particularly people of color and low-income people.
  • Provide significant technical assistance in drafting state legislation or regulatory proposals; engage in legal research and assist in developing policy recommendations.
  • Write or review regulatory comment letters, testimony, speeches, articles, and policy briefs. Contribute content or editing support on research papers.
  • Review and advise on coalition sign on letters.
  • Build relationships with other organizations, trade groups and companies with an interest in lending policy in the states.
  • Perform outreach to state legislators or legislative staff, regulators, and allies to advocate for CRL’s policy positions or other action.
  • Represent CRL at meetings and conferences and testify at public hearings, as needed, to enlist support for CRL’s interest.
  • Help identify media opportunities, draft informational materials, and participate in news conferences to state CRL’s views. Speak to media to represent CRL’s point of view on policy issues.


Credentials, Experience and Skills:

  • D. or Masters in Public Policy or commensurate degree.
  • A minimum of 2 years related experience. Direct experience in government or in nongovernmental organizations working to influence policy.
  • Experience and skill at building and maintaining relationships with external partners and cultivating collaboration.
  • Strong commitment to our mission—creating economic opportunity for traditionally underserved communities.
  • Preference for working in organizations that place priority on teamwork and collaboration.
  • Strong writing and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and with a diverse group of people and settings.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure, handle multiple priorities, tasks, demands and time- sensitive pressurized situations.
  • Excellent verbal, writing, and editing skills.
  • A self-starter and fast learner, able to successfully multi-task and function well with minimal direction.
  • An ability to travel up to 25-30% of time, including out-of-state travel, once public health conditions allow, is preferred.
  • Interest and commitment to social justice work.
  • Intermediate level of proficiency with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


 Physical Requirements:


Frequently requires use of manual dexterity and repetitive motions, primarily with the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.  Must be able to occasionally lift and exert force of up to 40 pounds.




Competitive nonprofit compensation, based on experience, plus a generous benefits package.




Visit our Careers Page to apply for this position.  This position will remain posted until filled.


Self-Help is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, religion, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression (including transgender status), age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status, class or family status.