About the Project on Predatory Student Lending

Representing Students Against the For-Profit College Industry

The Project on Predatory Student Lending represents students against the predatory for-profit college industry. The Project was formed in 2012 to combat the massive fraud that was being perpetrated against students and taxpayers by for-profit colleges, and government policies that enable the predatory industry to continue to cheat borrowers and taxpayers.

We represent thousands of former students across the country and litigate landmark cases to protect borrower rights. We have cases against for-profit college companies, and against the Department of Education for enabling and supporting this predatory industry. Many of the Project’s clients are people of color, veterans, and immigrants. Most are the first in their family to attend college. The Project’s work supports its broader goals of economic justice and racial equality.

The Project is part of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (LSC), a community law office and clinical teaching site of the law school. Clinical students join the Project’s staff to litigate cases on behalf of clients, in partnership with community-based organizations and advocacy organizations.

About the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School

The mission of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (LSC) is to educate law students and provide high quality legal services in the areas most needed by our community. In addition to the Project on Predatory Student Lending, the Center provides legal services in the areas of family law and domestic violence, housing law, veterans law, public benefits, tax law, and estate planning.

Get Help

If you attended a for-profit college and need legal help with student debt problems, contact us by leaving a message on our hotline, 617-390-2669, or filling out our online intake form.

Our Team

Toby Merrill

Toby Merrill

Director

Toby Merrill

Director

Toby founded the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2012 as a Skadden Fellow. In addition to representing borrowers with debt from for-profit colleges in a variety of actions, she has twice represented legal aid providers and their clients in the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking sessions, by which the Department promulgates new student loan regulations, and was a member of the advisory council on Private Occupational Schools to the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure. She was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Janet C. Hall of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. She received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and holds a B.A. from Yale. She is a clinical instructor and lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Eileen Connor

Eileen Connor

Director of Litigation

Eileen Connor

Director of Litigation

Eileen Connor joined the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2016. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Attorney in the Special Litigation Unit of the New York Legal Assistance Group, where she was counsel on multiple consumer class-action lawsuits concerning student loan debt, and a founder of NYLAG’s For-Profit School Project. Prior to joining NYLAG, she was a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Constitutional and Public Interest Law at Gibbons P.C., and a staff attorney at the Habeas Corpus Resource Center in San Francisco. Eileen has twice represented legal aid providers and their clients in the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking sessions, by which the Department promulgates new student loan regulations. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Martha Craig Daughtrey of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and B.A. from Brown University. She is a clinical instructor and lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Winston Berkman

Winston Berkman

Attorney and Fellow

Winston Berkman

Attorney and Fellow

Winston Berkman joined the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2017. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. Prior to law school, Winston worked with New York City homeowners recovering from Hurricane Sandy, staffed an affordable housing campaign in Somerville, Massachusetts, and was a paralegal. Winston also holds a Master of Public Administration from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Tufts University.

Tamar Hoffman

Tamar Hoffman

Paralegal Advocate

Tamar Hoffman

Paralegal Advocate

Tamar Hoffman joined the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2017. Previously, Tamar worked at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia as a housing unit paralegal through the Haverford House fellowship program. She holds a B.A. from Haverford College.

Jessica Jimenez

Jessica Jimenez

Paralegal Advocate

Jessica Jimenez

Paralegal Advocate

Jessica A. Jiménez joined the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2016. Previously, she was an Attorney Development Coordinator at Ropes & Gray LLP, where she provided Spanish translation for pro bono asylum clients, organized feedback collection efforts for over 1000 associates, and led team efforts to coordinate system improvements. Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, she was a Compromise Paralegal at Weitz & Luxenburg, P.C. in New York. She is a Board Member of the Cambridge Women’s Center and holds a B.A. from Boston University.

DeanneLoonin

Deanne Loonin

Attorney

Deanne Loonin

Attorney

Deanne Loonin joined the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2016. Previously, Deanne founded and directed the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. She is the primary author of the first five editions of NCLC’s Student Loan Law treatise and numerous policy papers and reports. She created and maintains the Student Loan Borrower Assistance website. Deanne has advocated for low-income student loan borrowers before Congress, many states, and federal administrative agencies, including U.S. Department of Education negotiated rulemaking sessions, and in other forums. Prior to joining NCLC, Deanne was an attorney at Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles. She holds a J.D. from Berkeley and a B.A. from Harvard.

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Josh Rovenger

Attorney

Josh Rovenger

Attorney

Josh Rovenger joined the Legal Services Center as an attorney for the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2018. He previously was an associate at Covington & Burling LLP and at Ropes & Gray LLP. While at Covington, Josh completed a six-month pro bono rotation at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C.. Prior to entering private practice, Josh clerked for Chief Judge Jeffrey Howard of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Michael Ponsor of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Josh received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as executive director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. He holds a B.A. summa cum laude from The George Washington University.

Victoria Roytenberg

Victoria Roytenberg

Attorney

Victoria Reytenberg

Attorney

Victoria Roytenberg joined the Project on Predatory Student Lending in 2016. Previously, Victoria was a public defender at the Committee for Public Counsel Services, where she represented indigent clients who were charged with criminal offenses. Victoria received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law, where she was a staff member of the CUNY Law Review, a student clinician in the Adult Defender Clinic, and defended students facing long-term exclusion from New York City public schools through the Suspension Representation Project. Prior to law school, Victoria worked as a paralegal at The Legal Aid Society in the Juvenile Rights Practice, and as a legal assistant at the Central American Solidarity Association of Maryland. She holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Lindsey Withem

Lindsey Withem

Project Manager

Lindsey Withem

Project Manager

Lindsey Withem joined the Legal Services Center in 2017 as the Project Manager for the Project on Predatory Student Lending. Prior to working at the Legal Services Center, Lindsey worked as a Compliance Officer at the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology. While working at MIT, she developed best practices to ensure compliance with federal, state, and institutional financial aid regulations. Earlier in her career, she held multiple positions in higher education accreditation in Washington D.C. Lindsey holds a B.A. in Art History from James Madison University.

Policy Positions

11/22/2017

Comments to the U.S. Department of Education on Interim Final Rule Delaying Borrower Defense Rule

11/22/2017

Comments to the U.S. Department of Education on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Delaying Borrower Defense Rule

08/01/2016

Comments to U.S. Department of Education on Proposed Borrower Defense Rule on Behalf of Legal Aid Providers

Join Our Team

The Project on Predatory Student Lending looks for talented professionals to join our team of passionate advocates. We also seek outstanding candidates for summer internships and fellowships.