Nearly all law schools include a commitment to access to justice as part of their mission statements or among their stated values. UC Berkeley Law School has gone one step further in the area of consumer law. The law school has launched a new Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice. Funded by a spring 2018, $3.5 million gift from a Berkeley Law alumna, the center seeks to “ensure safe, equal, and fair access to the marketplace . . . [and to] create a society where economic security and opportunity are available to all.”
The Center already has jumped into action. On April 16, the first day of the Center’s official existence, the Center filed an amicus brief in Manriquez v. DeVos, a case seeking to compel the U.S. Department of Education to honor its promise to forgive the debt of tens of thousands of students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges.
In late June, the Center convened two groups of practitioners whose work focuses on protecting the rights of low-income consumers, including government enforcement attorneys, consumer advocates, and direct legal service providers. The partnerships will help keep enforcement agencies informed about the most pressing forms of fraud and abuse facing consumers and will provide a forum to share ideas and materials.
Finally, the Center has created four new consumer law courses, Consumer Litigation: The Course of a Case, The Law of Student Loans, “Carsumer” Protection Law, and Consumer Bankruptcy Law. For more information about these very interesting courses, see the Center’s first 90-Day Report.