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Consumer Litigation

fair debt collection practices act

Fight for the rights of low-income consumers against dishonest merchants, shady lenders, imprudent assignees, and indifferent credit reporting agencies.

The Consumer Litigation Clinic represents consumers in federal, state, and local courts against lenders, debt collectors, and merchants. These entities frequently sue for debt that isn't owed, enforce judgements secured improperly, engage in deceptive collection practices, and sell credit or goods by fraud and misrepresentation.

Recently, the Consumer Litigation Clinic collaborated with other consumer advocates on an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit), which then reversed the District Court's dismissal of Arias v. Guttman, Mintz, Baker & Sonnenfeldt. The Clinic students' analysis helped reveal the routine nature of the debt collector’s unfair and deceptive practices in seeking to enforce judgements against exempt income—a big win for consumers all over New York state. Learn more about the Consumer Litigation Clinic.

Clinic students also join volunteer lawyers from throughout New York City to advise and assist unrepresented consumer defendants at CLARO (Consumer Legal Assistance and Referral Office) and provide limited representation through the Volunteer Lawyer for the Day program in the NYC Civil Court.

Working under the direct supervision of Marcella Silverman, a former Supervising Attorney of The Legal Aid Society, you’ll take primary responsibility for all aspects of cases, which include interviewing and counseling clients; drafting pleadings, motions and briefs; appearing in court to try cases and argue motions and appeals; and negotiating with opposing counsel.