Litigation Project Guidelines

Because of NCLC's limited resources, we are not able to receive and review complaints sent by consumers. Individuals seeking representation must seek local counsel. For assistance finding a lawyer, click here.

NCLC's litigation activities are restricted to consumer law matters only, focusing on areas where low-income consumers do not have access to high- quality legal representation or in cases where low-income consumers may benefit from NCLC's specialized expertise, particularly in the areas of consumer sales and services, credit, bankruptcy, preservation of home ownership, and the provision of services to low-income utility users and potential users. NCLC does not join in representation in personal injury, mass tort or consumer product liability cases.

NCLC will screen matters referred by counsel on a case-by-case basis. Factors that can influence case selection may include the importance of the legal issue to lower income or elderly consumers; the special expertise of NCLC as it relates to the legal issue; the relief available; the possibility that a successful outcome will lead to a greater availability of outside counsel in future cases; the availability of staff resources; the potential impact on industry standards, patterns of practice, systemic issues, and applicable legal standards and principles; the novelty of the issues presented; whether the private bar already is providing adequate representation with regards to the issues presented; the likelihood of success on the merits; the availability of qualified co-counsel; the possibility of conflicts of interest; and the cost of the litigation.

In general, the income of all clients represented by NCLC must not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level or meet the eligibility standards for the publicly funded provision of civil legal services. Alternatively, NCLC also may represent anyone who is sixty (60) years of age or older. NCLC has a special interest in the representation of non-English speaking and/or undocumented clients as well as in the support of victims of domestic violence. NCLC does not consider the ability of the client to pay attorneys fees in case selection and will not require its clients to pay attorneys fees from their own income or assets other than from an award in the cases in which they receive representation from NCLC.