Senior Litigation Counsel

  • Center for Responsible Lending
  • Durham, NC, USA
  • Aug 31, 2021
Full time Legal Other

Job Description

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization working to ensure a fair, inclusive financial marketplace that creates opportunities for all. Through research, legal analysis, policy development, and state and national advocacy engagement, CRL fights for economic equity for underserved communities—particularly Black and brown communities and low-to-middle income families. CRL’s staff reflect a collective commitment to eliminating systemic injustice in America’s financial services.

CRL provides a strong voice on both the state and national levels for these families to expand family wealth and financial stability through sustainable homeownership, affordable higher education, and support for small businesses, and protect their financial stability by preventing abusive products that trap families in debt and strip away their income, by ending payday lending and other predatory high-cost lending, exorbitant bank fees, and abusive debt collection practices.

Role Overview:

The Senior Litigation Counsel will manage litigation on behalf of CRL in partnerships with litigators at other organizations and external counsel, making recommendations about strategic litigation participation, conducting legal research and drafting/reviewing briefs, pleadings, motions, discovery and other legal documents.  The Sr Litigation Counsel will work closely with CRL staff who can serve as subject matter experts on litigation for outside counsel.

This will include research and writing on legal issues and major policy reports, comment letters, regulatory proposal, and testimony, speeches or articles.  Additionally, this individual will brief allies, build coalitions with new partners, and direct outreach to regulators and legislators or their staff.

CRL provides a strong voice on both the state and national levels for these families to expand family wealth and financial stability through sustainable homeownership, affordable higher education, and support for small businesses, and protect their financial stability by preventing abusive products that trap families in debt and strip away their income, by ending payday lending and other predatory high-cost lending, exorbitant bank fees, and abusive debt collection practices.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Develop strategy for CRL litigation in connection with consumer policy issues, with a focus on federal agency actions. Also support strategy of partnering with state Attorneys Generals.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with outside partners on litigation matters, and manage outside counsel budgets and fees, obtain required authority from management for decisions related to general litigation, and provide regular status updates to leadership.
  • Address inquiries from ally organizations with litigation units and law firms on legal and business issues.
  • Monitor and manage various types of claims and litigation.
  • Coordinate activities, internally and externally, including strategy for litigated and investigative matters, internal communications, discovery initiatives and related disclosures.
  • Manage litigation proceedings, including pre-litigation dispute resolution, management of active litigation.
  • Manage discovery and other litigation requests and procedures, review pleadings and other court documents.
  • Work cross-functionally with CRL staff to serve as issue experts in litigation matters and to assist in the litigation work. Ensure compliance with litigation obligations and objectives.
  • Develop expertise on issues that are priorities for CRL and participate in issue work groups to develop and execute strategies to achieve CRL’s policy goals. May serve as issue group leader.
  • Monitor legislative and policy developments; assist in developing and identifying strategy to advance legislative and regulatory agendas.
  • Study proposed legislation and regulations to determine the possible effect on consumers, particularly people of color and low-income people.
  • 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 and editing support of peer’s policy materials.
  • Assist in review and advising on coalition sign-on letters.
  • Will frequently work with issue teams to advance CRL’s legislative and regulatory agendas at the state and federal level.
  • Build and maintain key/critical relationships with senior level staff at other organizations, trade groups and companies with an interest in lending policy; in concert with other teams and issue groups, take a leadership role in gaining ally support of CRL positions and defend or defeat legislative and regulatory proposals. Viewed by internal and external partners as a subject-matter expert on assigned issues.
  • Perform outreach to senior level legislative staff and legislators, regulators, enforcement officials, and allies to advocate for CRL’s policy positions or other action.
  • Represent CRL at meetings and conferences.
  • Represent CRL in the media to advance our policy agenda, identify media opportunities, draft informational materials, and participate in news conferences to state CRL’s views.
  • Talk with lenders to deepen understanding of financial practices and advocate for improved practices.
  • Testify at public hearings to enlist support for CRL’s interests, when needed, and assist in overseeing responses to information requests and inquiries from third parties.
  • Collaborate with other CRL team members to network with attorneys and law firms.
  • Represent the Company at mediations and arbitrations, and when necessary, at trial.
  • Perform other duties as may be deemed necessary

Credentials, Experience and Skills:

  • JD degree and admitted to bar.
  • At least 6 years’ experience as an attorney. Experience with administrative law and/or developing and litigating civil rights, predatory lending, or consumer cases preferred.
  • Experience working in government or in non-governmental organizations working to influence policy a plus.
  • Federal agency or APA litigation experience desirable.
  • Strong commitment to our mission – creating economic opportunity for traditionally underserved communities.
  • Preference for working in organizations that place priority on teamwork and collaboration
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, low-income families, communities of color, past experience in racial justice analysis and understanding of how federal/state/local policies contributed to and sustained racial wealth disparities.
  • Ability to provide practical advice in a timely manner, able to discern and analyze the impact of multiple issues on a given situation, ability to work in several areas of the law and balance multiple priorities, and ability to provide sound business and legal judgment.
  • Strong writing, oral communication and analytical skills including excellent persuasive writing ability.
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and with a diverse group of people and settings.
  • Self-starter, able to initiate and juggle multiple and complex projects and work independently.
  • Ability to efficiently and proactively manage outside counsel
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint.
  • Ability to travel and willingness to work beyond normal work hours, as needed.

Compensation: 

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

About Self-Help Credit Union:

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. Self-Help Federal Credit Union was chartered in 2008 to build a network of branches that serve working families and underserved communities. With 19 branches in California, 6 branches in Washington, 10 branches in Illinois, and 2 branches in Wisconsin, over $1.6 billion in assets, and serving more than 99,000 members, Self-Help Federal is one of the fastest-growing low-income designated credit unions in the country. It is part of the national Self-Help family of non-profit organizations whose collective mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all. For 41 years, the Center for Community Self-Help and its affiliates have provided almost $10 billion in financing to help over 192,000 low-wealth borrowers buy homes, start and build businesses, and strengthen community resources. For more information, go to www.self-helpfcu.org and www.self-help.org. 

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.

**This position is available in our Durham, NC and Washington, DC locations.