Classroom Component

The classroom component of the clinic features a variety of guest speakers and focuses on understanding how banks can be used as a tool of community revitalization and a catalyst for local economic growth. Recent speakers have included state and federal regulators, city and community leaders, policy experts, and noted academics. Attention is paid to both the particular community development needs of New Haven and to the role of community development finance in a broader context.

In spring 2008, class topics included banking law, financial services, immigrant access to financial services, discrimination in lending, predatory lending, subprime lending, social entrepreneurship, microfinance, socially responsible business, and philanthropy. Students explored private sector, public sector, and hybrid approaches to development issues.

Classes often include guest speakers with expertise relating to the work of the clinic. The clinic is fortunate to have had several prominent banking and community development experts share their time and insights.

Visiting speakers have included:

John DeStefano - Mayor of New Haven
Ron Grzywinski – President and Founder of Shore Bank
Cliff Kellogg - President & CEO of City First Bank
Eugene Ludwig – Former Comptroller of the Currency
Lisa Richter - ShoreBank Advisory Services
George Surgeon - Executive Vice President and CFO of Shore Bank

The clinic also takes field trips to gather firsthand knowledge on crucial subjects. The entire clinic made a trip to Durham, North Carolina, to learn about the groundbreaking work of Self-Help Credit Union. Students have also traveled to visit banking regulators in Washington and Hartford.

The class is assisted by Visiting Lecturer Cantwell F. Muckenfuss ‘71, a leading banking regulatory attorney and partner at Gibson Dunn who travels to New Haven weekly to help oversee the clinic and its work. Professor Bob Solomon works with Chuck to oversee the clinic.