The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has awarded its 2024 Hobbs Fellowship to Andrew Schreder, a second-year student at Michigan Law. NCLC awards the fellowship annually to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to consumer advocacy and the pursuit of a public interest career.

“Andrew impressed us with his passion for and dedication to consumer justice and public interest work,” said Richard Dubois, executive director of NCLC. “We look forward to welcoming him to NCLC this summer.”

NCLC legal interns are assigned to teams of four-to-five attorneys that focus on litigation, non-mortgage lending (credit cards, auto student loans, and various forms of predatory loan products), mortgage lending, bankruptcy, access to utilities, and racial justice and equal economic opportunities issues. Assignments range from researching and drafting litigation memos and briefs to working on NCLC’s manuals, investigative reports, training materials, policy analyses, and articles.

“I’m excited to work directly with advocates who are experts in their field,” said Schreder. “I spent my 1L summer at the Michigan Poverty Law Program working to support a similar approach to advocacy for consumers in Michigan, and the chance to do it again with a national focus was really appealing.”

Protecting consumers

At Michigan Law, Schreder is president of the Consumer Advocacy and Financial Regulation Organization (CAFRO), and he co-led the creation of a pro-bono project with the Washtenaw County Economic Justice Unit that works to protect consumers from predatory practices through litigation and advocacy.

“I came to law school wanting to change careers and find a public interest role, but I was unsure about what type of law I would like to practice and how to (if at all) blend a prior career in the investment industry with that goal,” said Schreder, who previously worked for a real estate capital firm, a venture fund, and a medical benefits trust.

“I was fortunate to find a community in CAFRO that led me to consumer finance law. In this area of law, some of the lessons and concepts from my prior career still apply, but from the perspective of making systems more just—and on behalf of clients where my help could make a real difference in their lives.”

Selected from law students across the US

Just one Hobbs Fellowship is awarded each year from a nationwide pool of law student applicants. Emily Bretz, ’11, the Law School’s public interest director, said she can’t imagine anyone is more deserving.

“Andrew is committed to protecting vulnerable communities and will be doing critical work this summer, fighting for consumer protection and economic fairness. He is an amazing example of the important work being done by public interest students at Michigan Law.”

Since 1969, the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center has worked for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and other disadvantaged people in the United States through its expertise in policy analysis and advocacy, publications, litigation, expert witness services, and training.

Schreder noted that the work aligns well with his passions.

“I’ve found the universe of issues I want to work on, but I know there are a lot of ways to do that over the arc of a career. NCLC is at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of consumers, and I feel really fortunate to have a chance to spend a few months in that environment as a law student.”