Since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created just over a year ago, law firms have found a new and lucrative source of revenue. They and numerous financial services firms are profiting from all the new rules and regulations that have emerged around mortgage lending, debt collection, and credit card issuance.

Ballard Spahr is one law firm that has capitalized handily, by forming a team of attorneys who focus on assisting clients in this arena. CFPB-related work has increased revenues by 50 percent within the firm's Consumer Financial Services Group, led by Alan S. Kaplinsky. He stated: "Things have exploded, and we've seen just the tip of the iceberg."

In Mr. Kaplinsky's view, the CFPB is a "three-headed monster," consisting of a regulatory, supervisory, and enforcement head. Ballard Spahr's CFPB team helps more than 100 clients, including payday lenders, private student lenders, and other nonbanks that are new to this sort of regulation, meet the "monster" head on.

"Many of these companies are not prepared for what's about to hit them," said Mr. Kaplinsky. "The CFPB is not cognizant about what kind of burden they might be placing on a company. It looks like they're going on a fishing expedition, they go through so many papers ... eventually they will decide they don't see anything wrong or they will identify one or two practices [that they take action on]."