The National Student Legal Defense Network (“Student Defense”) is a non-profit organization focusing on consumer protection in higher education. Through litigation and advocacy, we protect students from predatory lending and other abusive practices by for-profit colleges and other institutions. Since we launched four years ago, Student Defense has developed a track record of success in court, winning tangible relief for student loan borrowers. Simultaneously, we developed and promoted a policy agenda that has led to substantial debt relief for hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers and seeks to promote equity and consumer protections across higher education.
Our goal is to create structural change by selecting cases and causes such as curbing fraud and misrepresentations to students, combating reverse redlining practices that target students of color, and obtaining relief for defrauded student loan borrowers. We are looking for a counsel with the ability and passion to litigate cases that will advance these interests to join our team.
To apply: please send an email with a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
Student Defense is seeking an attorney to serve as Counsel, with a specific focus on litigation and advocacy related to predatory student lending and other abusive practices harming students.
Working on all aspects of class-action and impact litigation on behalf of student loan borrowers, including case development, discovery, depositions, motion practice, trials and appeals;
Contributing to legal and policy research with partners in our Postsecondary Equity & Economics Research (PEER) Project;
Maintaining close working relationships with coalition partners;
Coordinating federal and state advocacy work on student lending issues;
Representing Student Defense at public events, conferences, and coalition meetings as needed;
Representing clients in litigation involving the Administrative Procedure Act, bankruptcy, fair credit reporting issues, FOIA, and other areas of consumer law.
The ideal candidate will have:
A law degree and admission to a state bar, with ability to waive into the D.C. Bar, if not already admitted; 2-7 years of legal work with a preference for litigation experience; Strong research, analytical, oral and written communication skills;
Sound judgment and creativity in developing legal theories; Strong organizational and interpersonal skills and the ability to work independently in a small, start-up environment;
A commitment to Student Defense’s mission, purpose, and values;
Additional desired qualifications: Knowledge of and experience with consumer protection law, Administrative Procedure Act claims, and student lending issues.
Salary is highly competitive and commensurate with experience. Student Defense offers excellent benefits, including health-care benefits, and a pre-tax retirement match.
Location: Washington, D.C. area.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Student Defense strongly encourages candidates of color and candidates from underrepresented communities to apply. We are an Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under law.
The National Student Legal Defense Network (Student Defense) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that works, through litigation and advocacy, to advance students’ rights to educational opportunity and to ensure that higher education provides a launching point for economic mobility.
Student Defense was created in 2017 by former U.S. Department of Education officials who were deeply concerned that federal higher education policies were moving in the wrong direction, especially on the critical issues of student debt and consumer protection. Our focus spans the entire student lifecycle, from recruitment to educational quality to completion to student loan repayment.
We are especially concerned with the lack of accountability in this process. As widely reported, predatory colleges disproportionately target and harm low-income families, communities of color, veterans, and women (especially single mothers). Through litigation and advocacy, we plan to do everything within our power to protect students that have been defrauded by predatory colleges, loan servicers, and others. We believe in enhanced oversight, by state agencies, the federal government, and higher educ...ation accreditors. And, where necessary, we will hold these entities accountable for their lack of transparency, oversight failures, and rollbacks of policies designed to protect student and student loan borrowers.