Joanna Adler

  • Hosted by Public Counsel
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Issue area Consumer Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Joanna combats predatory and abusive debt collection practices targeted at low-income student borrowers through direct representation, litigation, educational outreach, and policy advocacy.

Americans owe over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. One out of every four student borrowers are either currently in default on their loans, or struggling to make repayments. Low-income student borrowers bear the majority of the student debt burden and are more likely to default on their loans. Without legal assistance, low-income students who sought an education to create better lives for themselves and their families will be trapped in the cycle of poverty for generations to come.

Fellowship Highlights

During the Fellowship period, Joanna has:

  • Provided direct services to over 100 low-income student borrowers
  • Pursued impact litigation on behalf of 300 former students of a defunct for-profit school that resulted in a favorable settlement and injunctive relief
  • Helped create four animated videos designed to educate self-represented defendants in debt collection lawsuits

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Joanna plans to continue and expand the work of her project as a staff attorney at Public Counsel.

Meet Other Fellows Like Joanna

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Andrew Neuhauser

Host: Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.

Sponsor: Ohio Access to Justice Foundation

Erica Pun

Host: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Sponsor: Pfizer Inc.

Michael Deemer

Host: Ohio State Legal Services Association

Sponsor: Ohio Access to Justice Foundation

Amy Marshall Mix

Host: National Consumer Law Center

Sponsor: Anonymous