Consumer Law Clinic

The Consumer Law Clinic provides comprehensive advocacy to consumers through policy analysis, community education and outreach, and direct representation of consumers.

The Consumer Law Clinic teaches students the skills of lawyering while exploring a community-based approach to consumer law. Students will have the opportunity to analyze regulations and legislation and produce white papers, public comment, and other materials. To increase community impact and address the growing needs of consumers, students will develop self-help materials and conduct community education and outreach to help protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. Finally, students will investigate potential consumer protection claims and may provide direct representation in state and federal court. Direct representation may also include drafting amicus briefs in consumer cases and filing complaints with regulatory agencies.

Highlighted Project: Advocating for Student Borrowers

With the assistance of Professor Dalié Jiménez, UCI Law's Consumer Law Clinic is partnering with the Student Borrower Protection Center to offer students the opportunity to work on a range of cutting-edge and timely projects that will affect the future trajectory of student debt nationwide. Legal aid lawyers Josh Rovenger and Sophie Laing, who are experts in student loan and consumer law, will lead the project. Click here to view a short introductory video featuring Prof. Jiménez, Sophie Laing and Josh Rovenger to learn more.

As advocates for student loan borrowers exploited by predatory lending practices and a broken student loan system, students will work on the regulatory process related to President Biden's second attempt to cancel student debt. This may include drafting white papers and memoranda on proposed regulations, and strategizing with national advocates during the negotiated rulemaking process.

Because cancellation is only one piece of the puzzle, students will also investigate potential consumer protection claims, analyze and advocate on proposed legislation, regulations, and sub-regulatory actions, strategize on litigation, and undertake efforts to inform student borrowers of their rights. This work will likely relate to other recent changes in the student loan system, including the U.S. Department of Education’s “Fresh Start” initiative for defaulted student loan borrowers, state actions to curb punitive debt collection tactics, and the Income-Driven Repayment Account Adjustment. It may also include developing strategies to address problematic credit reporting for student loan borrowers.

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