Lauren E. Willis

Professor of Law

BA, with High Honors in General Scholarship, Wesleyan University
JD, with Distinction, Stanford Law School, Order of the Coif


Lauren E. Willis specializes in consumer law and policy, including consumer finance, privacy, contracting, education, disclosure, and litigation. Her scholarly work concentrates on the intersection of consumer psychology, market structure, and law. She is a leading critic of consumer financial education and of the use of “nudges” in consumer policymaking.  Her most recent article, Performance-Based Consumer Law (forthcoming, University of Chicago Law Review), develops a fresh approach to the regulation of consumer transactions, one that moves beyond ineffectual mandated disclosures to requiring firms to demonstrate that their customers understand the transactions in which they have engaged, or that, nonetheless, the transactions are suitable for these customers. Her approach unites the interests of firms with the interests of consumers so as to redirect the innovative energies of the private sector to better pursue consumer autonomy and welfare.


Willis teaches contracts, civil procedure, consumer law, disclosure as a regulatory device, and problems and reforms in the home mortgage market. She joined the Loyola faculty in 2004 and has held appointments as the Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Visiting Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School. She was honored by Loyola’s graduating day class with the 2008 Excellence in Teaching award.


After graduating from Wesleyan University (B.A., High Honors in General Scholarship) and Stanford Law School (J.D., Order of the Coif), Willis clerked for the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States and for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Before coming to academia, Willis was a litigator in the Housing Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and worked with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on predatory mortgage lending litigation.

Selected Scholarship

In the News

Willis has been interviewed by print, radio, television and internet media in the United States and abroad.  She occasionally writes op-eds.  This is a selection of her appearances in the news.

Public Service

Willis currently serves on the Advisory Committee to the American Law Institute’s Project on the Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Walter Cronkite Project's FoolProof Consumer Education Program, and Citizen Works' Fair Contracts Project.  As the need arises, she also provides formal comments to a variety of domestic, foreign, and international regulatory bodies and co-authors amicus briefs relating to consumer law issues.  She has lectured on consumer law and policy in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, and her work has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Italian.