NAPABA Career Center

Policy Counsel

Spotlight Preferred
Center for Responsible Lending
Oakland, California, United States (on-site)
14 days ago


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.

CRL is an affiliate of Self-Help, a community development lender founded in 1980 that has provided more than $9 billion dollars in financing to help 164,000 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 Oakland, CA. 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. 

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to CRL’s culture of collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and its mission to eliminate the racial wealth gap and provide opportunities for wealth building and economic security for underserved communities.

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; play a proactive role in identifying and assisting in development strategy to advance legislative and regulatory agendas.
  • 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.
  • May prepare amicus briefs and other documents and help represent CRL in litigation matters as needed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Perform other duties as may be deemed necessary.

Credentials, Experience and Skills:

  • JD. or commensurate degree or experience and a minimum of 2 years related experience.
  • Direct experience in government or in nongovernmental organizations working to influence policy.
  • Experience in civil rights, housing/mortgage lending, predatory lending, consumer law, or banking law, desired, but not required.
  • Experience and skill at building and maintaining relationships with external partners and cultivating collaboration.
  • Preference for working in organizations that place priority on teamwork and collaboration.
  • Strong writing, editing and oral communication skills. Able to execute communications assignments with limited oversight and provide feedback to peers.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, low-income families, communities of color, and experience in racial justice analysis and understanding of how federal/state/local policies contributed to and sustained racial wealth disparities.
  • Passion for CRL’s mission; interest and commitment to social justice work.
  • Preference for working in organizations that place priority on teamwork and collaboration.
  • Sensitivity to issues of low-wealth borrowers and communities and families and communities of color and a desire to work in a racially and socially diverse organization.
  • 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.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure, handle multiple priorities, tasks, demands and time- sensitive pressurized situations.
  • Intermediate level of proficiency with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • An ability to travel up to 20% of time, including out-of-state travel, once public health conditions allow, is preferred.


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


A resume and cover letter must be uploaded with the application for this position.

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.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 65703533
  • Workplace Type: On-Site
  • Location:
    Oakland, California, United States
  • Company Name For Job: Center for Responsible Lending
  • Position Title: Policy Counsel
  • Job Function: Attorney
  • Job Type: Full-Time

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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