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Emily Honsa Hicks


Emily Honsa Hicks is a Senior Financial Regulatory Attorney with over a decade of legal experience largely centered in consumer financial services regulation, electronic signature compliance, and other risk management needs, including federal and state compliance, construction and review of robust compliance management systems, review of electronic transaction systems, secured and unsecured lending, and blockchain and cryptocurrency/virtual currency. Emily regularly provides thought leadership surrounding cutting-edge legal developments, and the breadth of her experience both inside organizations and advising as external counsel allows her to understand her clients' operational challenges as few in private practice can.

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Emily worked in private practice at law firms specializing at financial services but also gained valuable industry working "in house" for financial institutions As underwriting counsel for a real property title insurance underwriter, Emily assisted title insurance agents in their resolution of complex real estate legal issues; at a national bank, she focused on performing consumer regulatory audits, supporting multiple lines of business to ensure regulatory, bankruptcy, and foreclosure compliance, and handling compliance review of escalated regulatory complaints and complaint reporting, trending, and analysis. Her uniquely practical perspective allows her to tailor advice for the operational reality her clients face.

At prior firms, she specialized in consumer financial service regulation on both federal and state levels, as well as secured and unsecured lending (including origination, servicing and default).  Her experience informs her practice, and she is proficient in interpreting supervisory guidance and actions to hone compliant policies and procedures. She also has significant experience drafting and reviewing existing and proposed risks and controls for various financial institutions, and has served as a court mediator, specializing in secured loan default.

Emily is a graduate of Hiram College and holds an Executive Certificate in Negotiation and a Certificate in Strategies for Conflict Management from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. She earned her J.D. at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (now Cleveland State University College of Law), where she received the Steven J. Werber Collegial Integrity Award and the Joseph M. Perry, Jr Award for Parliamentary Advocacy among other recognitions. While attending law school, she interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Washington, D.C., handling immigration and criminal matters at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and administrative labor law and criminal matters at NCIS. 

Emily is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the State of Ohio, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Emily  values community service and enjoys pro bono legal work. She has been recognized on the 2022 and 2023 Capital Pro Bono Honor Rolls. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and various artistic and creative pursuits.

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaOhio
  • J.D., Cleveland State University
  • B.A., Hiram College
  • Executive Certificate in Negotiation, University of Notre Dame




  • Panelist, "Ethics All Over the Place: The Ethics of Multijurisdictional Practice,” The Conference on Consumer Finance Law’s Spring Consumer Financial Services Conference on May 30-31, 2024 at Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Panelist, "Hot Topics in Payments,” The Conference on Consumer Finance Law’s 2023 Fall Consumer Financial Services Conference on November 2-3, 2023 at SMU Dedman School of Law