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From the Annals of Faculty-Student Collaborations

Alum's student paper gets published with a little help from his professor.

Harrison Baker ’20 

Back in 2019, when Harrison H. Baker was a 3L at BC Law, he wrote a paper for Professor Patricia McCoy’s Seminar on Consumer Financial Protection. Three years later a new development illuminates the staying power of faculty-student collaborations.

Baker’s paper was an empirical analysis of the leadership of Kathleen Kraninger, then in her first year as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“The paper was thoroughly impressive, especially because Harrison created a new dataset to analyze features of the CFPB’s enforcement actions,” Professor McCoy said recently. “This is the only empirical analysis to date of the agency’s enforcement record under former Director Kraninger and is important because her record diverged dramatically from that of her predecessor [Richard Cordray].

Professor Patricia McCoy

Professor McCoy urged Baker to publish the paper, but they agreed he should hold off until he had a more complete dataset to analyze. Kraninger left CFPB in 2021 during the Biden transition. “The paper evolved to encompass that additional year of data,” Baker explained. “The methodology of analysis itself remained unchanged.”

Baker, who worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers before law school and joined Clifford Chance as an associate after graduation, wrote a new edition of the paper in January/February 2021. With Professor McCoy’s help navigating the process, he began submitting the article to publications in March. By May 2021, Widener Law Review accepted the article, “Enforcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: An Empirical Analysis of Director Kraninger’s Leadership,” for publication this past January.

“Our shared interest in the CFPB was the genesis of writing this article,” Baker said, in appreciation for Professor McCoy’s continued support after graduation.

“It was worth waiting for Director Kraninger to finish her tenure so Harrison could have complete data on her term,” Professor McCoy said. “I am incredibly proud that Harrison is at Clifford Chance and, as you can imagine, it’s been a pleasure to stay in touch since he graduated.”