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SEC to Host Law School Summit Highlighting Need for Investor Access to Legal Counsel


Washington D.C., Feb. 2, 2024 —

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the date of its 2024 Investor Advocacy Clinic Summit, where law students and their professors will engage with SEC staff and invited guests about issues addressed and lessons learned while providing free legal services to underrepresented investors.

The event, hosted by the SEC's Office of the Ombuds, will be held at SEC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and livestreamed at on Friday, March 1, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

For the first time, the list of Summit invitees includes law schools without investor advocacy clinics, many of which are located in areas of the U.S. where free legal services for investors are scarce.

“Investors who cannot afford private counsel are significantly disadvantaged in arbitration or litigation with their financial professionals,” said SEC Ombuds Stacy Puente. “The clinics help level that playing field, advocating for the personal interests of these investors.”

The program will address the impact of the students’ legal work on their clients, their law schools, their communities, and on the students themselves. Students will also participate in panel discussions with SEC staff about investor outreach, and the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in their clinic work. The Summit’s co-hosts, the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), will have staff available at the event to discuss the SEC’s investor resources and career paths at the agency.

“Through its outreach efforts and, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides tools and information to help investors make better informed investment decisions and avoid fraud,” said Lori Schock, OIEA Director. “Investor advocacy clinics and law students can play a vital role in helping us promote these important resources.”

“OMWI is eager to engage with law students from across the country and spark transformative conversations aimed to broaden their work as student attorneys through a diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility lens,” said Allison Wise, Acting Director of OMWI.

The Summit will feature remarks from the SEC Chair, SEC Commissioners, Division Directors, the Investor Advocate, and the Director of FINRA Dispute Resolution Services. Keynote remarks will be delivered by Nicole Iannarone, Chair of FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee and Professor of the Drexel University Kline School of Law.

Participating law school clinics include Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Cornell University Law School, Fordham University School of Law, Howard University School of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, St. John’s University School of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

For more information about the Summit or to RSVP, please contact


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