Protecting Postsecondary Student Consumers: A Webinar Series

Protecting Postsecondary Student Consumers: A Webinar Series

Date and Time

  • Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 10, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.



5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Failing U, the landmark report published by the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), evaluated to what extent each state's laws protect our veterans and other student consumers from unfair and predatory practices by for-profit postsecondary institutions.  

Following up on that effort, CAI, the Center for Public Interest Law, and the Veterans Legal Clinic invite policymakers, prosecutors, and consumer advocates to participate in a series of free webinars presented by leading experts who will share information and strategies to protect college student consumers from unfair practices and predatory institutions.   

Next Webinar:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 9-10:00am PST / 12-1:00pm EST
Protecting Students from Innovations in Predatory Lending

This webinar will explore the topic of predatory lending. The speakers will discuss what predatory lending looks like, emerging approaches in predatory lending, and what laws, policies, and practices are being undertaken to combat predatory lending and protect students.


  • Winston Birkman-Breen, Student Loan Advocate & Director of Consumer Advocacy @Department of Financial Services, New York
  • Seth Frotman, Executive Director, @Student Borrow Protection Center
  • Joe Villaseñor, Professor of Practice, @University of San Diego School of Law

Click here to Register Now!

MCLE: The University of San Diego School of Law is a State Bar of California-approved MCLE provider and this event has been approved for 1 hour of general MCLE credit.

Speaker Bios:

Winston Birkman-Breen

Winston Berkman-Breen joined the Department of Financial Services in 2019 as Director of Consumer Advocacy. In this role, he proposes and advances consumer protection policies and advises on consumer matters across the business units. He is also the Department’s Student Advocate, and works with Student Protection Unit staff and advocates across the country to respond to student loan borrower needs and to address emerging education finance issues. Prior to joining DFS, Winston worked in legal services, with a focus on affirmative and defensive litigation related to debt collection, student loans, and foreclosure. He was a Justice Catalyst Fellow and Staff Attorney with the Consumer Protection Unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group, and was a Fellow with the Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. He earned a J.D. and a Master of Public Administration from New York University and a B.A. from Tufts University.

Seth Frotman

Seth Frotman is the nation’s leading expert on the intersection between higher education finance, consumer protection, and public policy. Seth previously served as Assistant Director and Student Loan Ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he led a government-wide effort to develop consumer-driven policy reforms and protect millions of Americans with student debt.

Seth joined the CFPB as part of the Treasury Implementation Team as Senior Advisor to Holly Petraeus, Assistant Director for Servicemember Affairs. He has also worked on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA). Prior to his work on federal policy, Seth served as counsel for the New Jersey State Senate, where he worked on state-level consumer protection legislation.

Seth’s work on behalf of student loan borrowers has appeared in national print publications and broadcast media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and The Washington Post. Seth received his JD from Indiana University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Joe Villaseñor

Professor Villaseñor joined USD as an adjunct professor in 2018 and was promoted to professor of practice in 2020. He was most recently the lead attorney for the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc., Consumer Protection Division, Office of the Public Attorney. Professor Villaseñor has represented nearly 1,000 consumers in matters of debt collection abuse and harassment claims, auto fraud, student loan law, FCRA, identity theft and consumer finance litigation. He also acts as a consultant on consumer protection and general civil litigation cases, providing attorneys around the country with strategy and advice in this area.

Prior to the Legal Aid Society, Professor Villaseñor owned his own law firm, the Law Office of Joe J. Villaseñor. He also worked as a contract attorney for Hulett Harper Stewart, LLP and the Law Office of Paul D. Turner, and was a staff attorney at USD School of Law in the Civil Clinic.

Professor Villaseñor was awarded the exclusive National Consumer Law Center Rising Star Award in 2019, a nationwide distinction that honors only four consumer protection attorneys each year. His commitment to pro bono service has been recognized by the State Bar of California with the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Service and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego with the Outstanding Service Award, both presented in 2011. He has been nominated by the San Diego Daily Transcript for Top Young Attorney, Top Corporate Litigation Attorney and Top Influential Attorney honors. While in school at USD, Professor Villaseñor was awarded the Pro Bono Services Award in 2009 and Warren Family Endowment Scholarship from 2007-2008. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

To view past webinars please visit our website.  For more information, please email



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