Lauren E. WillisProfessor of Law
William M. Rains Fellow
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.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Quest for Consumer Comprehension (Book Chapter)
- Customer Confusion & Consequences Audits: 21st Centure Remedies for 21st Century Unfairness, Deception & Abuse, 80 Law & Contemp. Prob. (forthcoming 2017).
- Performance-Based Consumer Law, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. ( 2015)
- Why Not Privacy By Default?, 29 Berkeley Tech. L. J. 61 (2014)
- When Nudges Fail: Slippery Defaults, 80 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1155 (2013)
- The Financial Education Fallacy, 101 American Econ. Rev. 429 (2011)
- Will the Mortgage Market Correct? How Households and Communities Would Fare If Risk Were Priced Well, 41 Conn. L. Rev. 1177 (2009)
- Against Financial Literacy Education, 94 Iowa L. Rev. 197 (2008)
- Decision making and the Limits of Disclosure: The Problem of Predatory Lending: Price, 65 Maryland L. Rev. 707 (2006)
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.
- What Your Bank Owes You: Clarity, Los Angeles Times (Jan. 14, 2015)
- Secret ‘Added Sugars’ Threaten Your Health: Will Disclosure Help?, COGNOSCENTI (May 6, 2014)
- What Do Hand-Washing and Financial Illiteracy Have in Common? Listen to Professor Willis on Freakonomics Radio (Jan. 19, 2012)
- A Price Tag Like Any Other, Huffington Post (Feb. 22, 2012)
- Question of the Week: Is Teaching Personal Finance Education in Schools a Waste of Time?, Guardian Sunday Observer, U.K. (Mar. 29, 2009)
- Bailout Should Also Help Renters, San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 23, 2009)
- Eminent Domain, Post-Bailout, Daily Journal (Oct. 8, 2008)
- Sorting Through the Mortgage Muddle, Chicago Tribune (Aug. 26, 2007)
- The Fleecing of Black Borrowers, Washington Post (Oct. 8, 2006)