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1908 Policy Counsel - Washington, DC

The Organization:

The Organization:

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 $7 billion dollars in financing to help 146,000 low-wealth borrowers buy homes, build businesses and strengthen community resources.

Position Description:

The Center for Responsible Lending is seeking a Policy Counsel to join our team in Washington, DC.  The Policy Counsel will focus on policy analysis of consumer lending issues such as mortgages, student loans, small dollar loans, auto loans, debt collection practices, and overdraft practices. The Policy Counsel will craft 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 briefing allies, building coalitions with new partners, and direct outreach to regulators and legislators or their staff. The position may also include some research on lender’s 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. 

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 legislative and policy developments.
  • Study proposed legislation and regulations to determine the possible effect on consumers, particularly people of color and low-income people.
  • Provide significant technical assistance in drafting 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.
  • Represent CRL at meetings and conferences.
  • 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.
  • May testify at public hearings to enlist support for CRL’s interests.
  • Perform other duties as may be deemed necessary.


Minimum Qualifications:

•      J.D. or Masters in Public Policy or commensurate degree.

•      At least two (2-5) years of experience.

•      Direct experience in government or in nongovernmental organizations working to influence policy.

•      Experience and skill at building relationships with external partners and cultivating collaboration.

•      Strong writing and oral communication skills.

•      Demonstrated commitment to public interest law.

•      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 projects and work independently.

•      Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint.

•      Ability to travel as needed.


Desired Qualifications:

Experience in civil rights, housing/mortgage lending, predatory lending, consumer law, or banking law.


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 10 pounds.


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


To apply, send resume and cover letter, describing why you are a fit for this position, to Please include the position title as the subject.  Application must be received by February 28, 2019 to ensure consideration.  Applications received after this date may or may not be considered, depending on the applicant pool.  The position will remain posted until filled.

Self-Help is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, class, age, gender, religion, disability that can be accommodated, marital status, ancestry, nationality, family status or sexual orientation.