Earnest’s mission is to make higher education accessible and affordable for everyone. We empower students with financial support and supercharge their ability to pay down their debt so they can get on the right financial track fast.
We build tools that help people feel in control of their financial future, including:
- Private student loans - low rates, people-first service, and flexible payments.
- Student loan refinancing - break free from high interest rates or monthly payments.
- Scholarships - access to thousands of scholars to help students pay less.
The Senior Director and Associate General Counsel position will report to the Head of Legal.
As the Senior Director and Associate General Counsel, you will:
This position has primary responsibility for regulatory and privacy matters at Earnest and provides legal advice and support to senior compliance and business partners on projects in support of various business initiatives.
Regulatory and Privacy Support Provide legal advice and counsel, and other legal services, in support of Earnest’s business objectives, in a manner consistent with federal and state consumer lending laws and regulations (including ECOA, TILA, FCRA, UDAAP, SCRA/MLA, TCPA, NACHA, Regulation E, GLBA, CAN-SPAM, CCPA, and state consumer lending and privacy laws) as well as with internal policies and procedures.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Provide clear, timely, and actionable legal counsel and advice to senior compliance and business partners that advance business goals while addressing and mitigating regulatory risks.
- Perform legal review of product flows, marketing collateral, consumer-facing policies, notices, disclosures, consumer-facing correspondence, and other documents and materials.
- Facilitate, from a legal perspective, large-scale regulatory projects.
- Generally, work with compliance and business partners to ensure a controlled and compliant environment through the remediation of root-cause issues identified in audits, litigation, compliance testing and monitoring, complaint handling, threatened litigation, and government inquiries or regulatory examinations.
- Perform legal research and prepare legal memoranda, legal opinions, and other tools and resources.
- Stay apprised of laws, regulations, guidance, and case law concerning Earnest’s consumer lending business. In particular, items related to consumer lending, privacy and true lender issues.
- Other projects as directed by the Head of Legal.
Business Development and Partnership Support
- This position will provide legal support for the Earnest Business Acquisition and Business Development Team.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Provide legal support to business partners in identifying business opportunities, surfacing and working through legal issues, due diligence, contractual support, etc.
- Will require facilitation with internal and external business partners, parent company legal, outside counsel, regulators and other functions
Provide legal counsel on Product Development progress
- Work collaboratively and creatively with senior compliance and business stakeholders during product development to identify and address regulatory risks associated with company initiatives and ensure Earnest’s products are implemented in a manner consistent with federal and state consumer lending laws and regulations (including ECOA, TILA , FCRA, UDAAP, SCRA/MLA, TCPA, NACHA, Regulation E, GLBA, CAN-SPAM, CCPA, and state consumer lending laws) as well as with internal policies and procedures.
- Draft, review, and maintain consumer-facing documents and marketing collateral for Earnest product offerings (e.g., web-based application flow, client dashboard, credit agreements, policies, notices, disclosures).
- Research legal issues triggered by proposed product features (or proposed underwriting criteria) and communicate the legal analysis and recommendation to the appropriate teams in a clear, timely, and actionable manner.
- Liaison with outside counsel on appropriate regulatory matters as requested by Earnest Head of Legal.
- Prepare legal summaries, memoranda, and other resources as appropriate.
Provide legal support to Customer Support, Marketing and Partnerships teams
- Review various types of marketing collateral and draft accompanying consumer disclosures for prescreened offers, sweepstakes, scholarship offerings, SEO-driven content, partner integrations, blog posts and other funnel improvement effort.
- Review and approve various customer communications, scripts, notices, and “help center” resources
- Support the development of legal safeguards for the Compliance team (e.g. draft template disclosures, provide guidance for marketing playbook, and other resource documents.
- Research legal issues concerning novel initiatives and communicate the legal analysis and recommendation to the appropriate teams in a clear, timely and actionable manner
Enterprise Privacy Oversight
- Provide legal support for privacy and data security matters
- Track and support implementation of new state or federal privacy legislation
- Compliance team support
- Review proposed policies and procedures for compliance with laws and regulations.
- Provide legal counsel and support to Earnest’s compliance team during government inquiries or regulatory examinations.
- Partner compliance and business partners on remediation of root-cause issues identified in audits, litigation, compliance testing and monitoring, complaint handling, threatened litigation, and government inquiries or regulatory examinations
Coordinate the implementation of new regulatory requirements
- Work collaboratively with compliance teams to identify legal impacts of new or amended laws and regulations on both the state and federal level. Specific emphasis on privacy and bank partnership/true lender.
- Provide legal guidance to Earnest teams during the implementation of new regulatory requirements.
- Legal team efficiency
- Promote team efficiency by setting up processes and SLAs for internal and cross-functional collaborations
- Maintain Earnest’s historical repository of legal work product
- Collaborate with the broader combined Earnest/Navient legal department to develop best practices and utilize subject matter expert counsel as appropriate.Special legal projects as assigned by the Earnest Head of Legal
- Juris Doctor or LL.M. degree; Licensed and in good standing with any state bar. Strong educational background
- Strong foundational legal experience with at least 10+ years in a law firm, corporate legal department, or similar legal position
- Significant experience and knowledge of consumer lending laws and privacy laws is required and experience in student lending is highly preferred
- Strong legal and business acumen and ability to work effectively and multitask successfully in a fast-paced and complex business environment
- Self-starter with excellent attention to detail, thrives in a fast-paced, energetic and entrepreneurial environment, and has excellent problem solving, interpersonal, teamwork, writing, negotiation, and client communication skills
- Experience with FinTech bank partnerships and True Lender issues is preferred
- Proven Merger and Acquisition track record is preferred
- Strong knowledge of federal and state consumer lending and privacy laws and regulations (including ECOA, TILA, FCRA, UDAAP, SCRA/MLA, TCPA, NACHA, Regulation E, GLBA, CAN-SPAM, CCPA, and state consumer lending laws).
- Ability to handle a significant volume of work, timely complete complex legal analysis and balance multiple, simultaneously-assigned tasks.
- Ability to quickly grasp and understand complex business practices, products and services, and operations, and adeptly interpret and explain the law and legal requirements in light of operations and business realities, and use that knowledge of the business to help assess risk and identify and propose risk mitigation options.
- Ability to understand and then clearly communicate verbally and in writing complex legal and business concepts to others, including employees and managers in compliance, legal and operations.
- Ability to make professional legal and business presentations in writing, through emails and reports, or orally, including complex legal, business, and technical matters to an audience of high technical skills, management, and operational experience.
- Must have experience and proficiency with Microsoft Standard Office Suite and Google Suite.
- Adaptability to changing demands
- Flexibility to work beyond regularly scheduled business hours; travel may be required locally or to other business locations, or to manage legal matters
- Strong legal/financial/business acumen and ability to work effectively and multitask successfully in a fast-paced and complex business environment.
- Ability to effectively supervise outside attorneys when directed by the Head of Legal or senior attorneys
Earnies are committed to helping students live their best lives, free from the stress of student debt. If you’re as passionate as we are about our mission, read more below, and let’s build something great together!
What makes an “Earnie” culture:
- Drivers – Drivers are satisfied by making things happen, not coming along for the ride. They feel a strong sense of ownership for their projects and teams and demand high standards from themselves and others.
- Humility – Humble team players check their egos and consider the team’s needs above their own. They are self-aware of their strengths and opportunities for improvement.
- Growth Mindset – People with a growth mindset approach challenges and failures as learning opportunities. They seek feedback to improve, give feedback to others, and genuinely want to perform well.
Earnest believes in enabling our employees to live their best lives. We offer a variety of perks and competitive benefits that include:
- Health, Dental, & Vision benefits plus savings plans
- Work anywhere in the U.S.
- Mac computers + work from home stipend to set up your home office
- Monthly internet and phone reimbursement
- Employee Stock Purchase Plan
- 401(k) plan to help you save for retirement plus a company match
- Robust tuition reimbursement program
- $1,000 travel perk on each Earnie-versary to anywhere in the world
- Competitive days of annual PTO
- Annual “my day”
- Pet insurance!
- Competitive parental leave
- Plenty of Earnest swag, optional in person team gatherings, picnics, celebrations, and plenty of fun virtual events
At Earnest, we are committed to building an environment where our employees feel included, valued, and heard. Our belief is that a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging enables us to move forward with our mission. We are dedicated to adding new perspectives to the team and encourage anyone to apply if your experience is close to what we are looking for.
Earnest provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. Qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered for the position in a manner consistent with the Fair Chance Ordinance.
A little about our pay philosophy: We take pride in ensuring we are compensating our employees fairly and equitably. We are showcasing a range and actual starting pay may be based on several factors including but not limited to, market rate, the qualified pool of candidates, internal compensation, candidate location, and budgetary constraints. This number does not necessarily reflect your total compensation, but is a range for your base salary.