The original article by @andylocal in the @nytimes when we first filed our challenge:

They Need Legal Advice on Debts. Should It Have to Come From Lawyers? — from
A nonprofit has filed a lawsuit in New York, hoping to clear the way for volunteers to help people defend themselves against debt collection suits.

Thalia Juarez for The New York Times.


The Rev. John Udo-Okon, a Pentecostal minister in the Bronx, has a lot of congregants who are sued by debt collectors and don’t know what to do.

Like most of the millions of Americans sued over consumer debt each year, Pastor Udo-Okon’s congregants typically cannot retain a lawyer. When they fail to respond to the suit, they lose the case by default.

Also relevant/see:

Law Firms Branch Out Beyond Lawyers in Bid to Beat Out Rival Advisers — from
Facing competitive pressure from consulting firms and others, old law firms try to pick up new tricks

“Clients increasingly were coming to us with a problem that they needed to solve and they really didn’t much care how we solved it,” Mr. Portnoy said. “Very often they were looking for something that was beyond the traditional tool kit.”