CRREA Project Is Recruiting for Law Student Interns

Download our Recruitment Flyer 

CRREA Project is seeking interns for the Spring 2021 semester.  Will you help us get the word out?

CRREA Project has relied on law student interns since the day we launched this site.  Law students draft our regulatory advocacy materials, they conduct research that informs our reports on CFPB, and they gather input and feedback about CRREA Project materials by interviewing and engaging with all types of experts and stakeholders.  The contributions made by law students to CRREA Project cannot be overstated.

Internship Experience

We do our best to make the experience enjoyable and valuable for our students.   We endeavor to offer students flexibility to work on what they are passionate about.  We can tailor the experience to what a student needs most given their stage in law school and their career path.  Whether a student needs to leave this internship with a writing sample, a few professional contacts, or more subject matter expertise in a particular area, we work with students on their professional development goals.

The internship is fully remote, and the work schedule is determined by the student’s availability.  We have worked successfully with students in a range of time zones.

Qualifications and Preference Criteria

CRREA Project is seeking law student candidates with: (1) demonstrated interest or experience in public policy and government and (2) experience with plain language writing for a mass audience. 

We prefer to work with students who can obtain academic credit or a stipend through their law school for this experience, and who are generally available for 10+ hours per week.

How to Apply

Students should send a cover letter and resume to and  Applicants are encouraged to apply by November 6.

Questions or Suggestions

Contact Us with any questions, and also let us know if you have any suggestions about law schools we can contact who may have particular interest in supporting their students to intern with CRREA Project.

Thanks for your help!

Diane and Kate


Taking Stock at CRREA Project

Whether you have just found us, or you have been with us since the beginning, we invite you to take stock with us of all of our regulatory advocacy materials.  Let us know how we can improve, and what you think we should do next!

With the release of the Regulatory Advocacy Quick Guide, our one page mapping tool for regulatory advocacy, we wanted to stop a minute and take stock of our first three months at CRREA Project and to share our upcoming plans.

Regulatory Advocacy Materials

Under Regulatory Advocacy Materials, we now have up:

Taken together, these materials walk you through how to engage in everything from commenting on a rule to developing a multi-pronged regulatory advocacy strategy focusing on the issues core to you and your community.  They are also, as far as we know, unique in their focus on practical tips geared to busy people.  Both Decoding the Unified Agenda: A Guide for Advocates and Decoding the Unified Agenda: A Guide for Advocates are focused on helping you translate what you know into the language of regulators.

We’ve also got a few short videos (40 seconds to just over two minutes) up on a You Tube channel of Diane earnestly explaining our core philosophy at CRREA Project.  Simply by telling our stories, conveying to regulators what we already know, we have great untapped power to change the rules that do so much to shape the possibilities in our lives and in our communities.  Some of you may have seen them on Twitter or watched them in a training.    

We expect we’ll have a longer guide on effective commenting up in the next few weeks, and there are other materials in the pipeline.  With any of these materials, we encourage you to use them, share them, and let us know how we can improve.  Our goal is to help you do more effective advocacy on behalf of racial and economic justice; we can only do that if you let us know what works and what doesn’t.  If you have been a fan of our work, consider signing up for our newsletter, using the application on our blog.

We’ve done a few trainings so far and are looking forward to our three-session extravaganza at the NCLC Consumer Rights and Litigation conference this November.  With NCLC, we are hosting a session on why and how to do regulatory advocacy, a Q&A on regulatory advocacy with former CFPB officials, and a strategy summit on economic justice regulatory advocacy.

CFPB Specific Materials

The website also has CFPB specific materials, including a  list of every regulatory action the CFPB has taken since the beginning of COVID, updated through September 15, and our rating as to whether the regulatory action was consumer-protective or advanced fair lending.  We’re in the middle of a  blog series now that is exploring the question of what the Dodd-Frank Act said about centering the voices of marginalized communities at the CFPB, what the CFPB did, and what more we can do to make sure the voices of marginalized communities are centered at the CFPB.  If we want racial justice, we have to listen to what marginalized communities have to say, and we have to act on that information. 

The need to listen to and act on the experiences and views of marginalized communities was apparent in the wake of the subprime foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession when the Dodd-Frank Act was passed.  The disparate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities, as well as Native American and immigrant communities, in terms of health, mortality, and financial well-being, has only made the need for the CFPB to center the voices of marginalized communities more evident and more pressing.

Kate and I are very grateful that we’ve been able to work so closely with Sarah Brandon, Travis Doyle, and Nikka Pascador.  Each of them has offered amazing contributions and helped us re-imagine this work.  We also couldn’t have done it without all the people who’ve been so generous with their time in reviewing materials and encouraging us.  Thank you.  We’re looking forward to seeing what the coming months bring.


Diane and Kate

Why Do Regulatory Advocacy?  

For legal services attorneys and others

If you’re a legal services attorney, as I was for many years, you’ve got more pressing client needs than you can meet.  Your days are full, and there is always another client waiting.  You probably got into the job because you felt a calling, although some days it can be hard to see if you are making a difference.  Injustice abounds, and your tools can feel limited.  This can be true for all kinds of grassroots organizers, social service providers, and advocates—the world is crying out for change and our time and energy is limited.

And, right now, that cry for change and those pressing client needs are more pressing than ever.  COVID-19 has laid bare in the most stark and chilling terms the life-destroying impact that generations of racism, racial inequality, and poverty have had.  African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are all dying at vastly disproportional rates.  We’ve seen violent suppression by the state of legitimate calls to address centuries of oppression.  There is a renewed urgency to our collective work for racial and economic justice.

So, why?  Why do regulatory advocacy?  Rules take forever to get written, and, at the federal level, we are facing an administration bent on removing regulatory protections.  The President’s tweets, if not the agencies’ agendas, indicate implacable hostility to fair housing and fair lending, at least as those terms have been commonly understood. 

Here’s why.  Regulatory advocacy allows us to tap into power.  The work of implementing and maintaining legislative victories happens in the regulatory agencies.  Regulatory agencies set the rules for who can live in public housing, the terms on which hungry children and their families can get food stamps or public assistance, and who can apply for asylum and how.  To take the specific core building blocks of economic justice and access to credit, one agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau controls  the rules about how credit reporting is done, what happens when you can’t pay your mortgage or payday loan, and the terms on which that mortgage or payday loan are made, including whether and how a lender can discriminate against you.  Regulatory advocacy, quite simply, lets us help set the framework in which all the rest of our work and advocacy for justice and equity takes place.

Regulatory advocacy also leverages what we know and do well.   Regulatory agencies are required by law to ask us—all of us—what we think the impacts of their proposed regulations will be and what better approaches to solving the problem exist.  Anyone who works representing legal-services clients will know intimately the impact of laws and regulations on their clients and client communities.  And that detailed, specific, concrete knowledge is exactly what regulators most often struggle to get and are required to consider—if we give it to them.

And here’s why, too.  Remember how I earlier mentioned the racial disparities in death rates from COVID-19?  We only know that because a lot of people did a lot of regulatory advocacy.  Early on, in the pandemic, demographic data collection was spotty.  It wasn’t until June 4 that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services required reporting of demographic data along with COVID-19 test results.  Advocates pressed the government at the county, state, and federal level to collect and release demographic data.  And they were successful.  Having those numbers out there in the public has changed the narrative and enabled further advocacy to address systemic imbalances.

There are always avenues for regulatory advocacy and always a need for regulatory advocacy. If we don’t do the regulatory advocacy, other people will, and the stories they tell will not be the ones we would tell, and the results they get will not reflect the actual lived experiences of our communities. 

In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out on this website a range of documents to try to help support your work in regulatory advocacy.  We hope you’ll subscribe to receive our work and let us know what works for you and what doesn’t.



Introducing the Consumer Rights Regulatory Engagement and Advocacy Project

Hi!  We’re so glad you found your way here.

Diane Thompson, a former CFPB Deputy Assistant Director for Regulations and a longtime legal services attorney in East St. Louis, Illinois, created this project to fill a gap she saw.  Advocates for communities of color and for low-income communities often focus their advocacy on achieving legislative victories, but the work of implementing and maintaining those victories is carried out at regulatory agencies, where advocates tend to have less engagement.  At the same time, regulatory agencies are mandated by law to be responsive to the public and to take into account the impact on the public of their rules.  What would it take to make agencies live up to this mandate? 

We believe that it is possible for advocates to have a greater impact on regulatory agencies than they do currently, with the right support.  Our goal is to help provide that support, so advocates can engage with regulatory agencies more effectively without detracting from their other mission-critical work.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out short documents to help support regulatory advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities.  We have documents in the pipeline on the Unified Agenda (the federal government-wide listing of upcoming regulatory actions), a one-page check-list on how to comment, working with cost-benefit analysis, and the Congressional Review Act.  We’ve tried to make these documents generic, while bringing to bear our CFPB-specific experience.  We’ve asked other advocates and former regulators to review these documents and incorporated their feedback, in an effort to ensure the materials are both accurate and practical.  We think there is great untapped power in regulatory advocacy for justice and equity, and we hope these documents will help advocates do their essential work better and more easily.

If you subscribe, we’ll send you our blogs and materials as they come out.  And please, let us know what works and what doesn’t.  If there’s something specific you want to see, let us know.  We’re excited to have this chance to work together for change.


–The CRREA Project Team (Diane, Kate, Nikka, and Travis)