Most people understand that attorneys’ ethical rules prohibit us from advising another lawyer’s client because it can so easily interfere with the attorney-client relationship. More difficult to explain, though, is why I cannot help individuals who pursue legal action in courts of law on their own. Hopefully, this will clear things up a bit.
These folks pursuing redress on their own are called pro se (prounounced “pro-SAY”) litigants, and their lack of counsel has no bearing on the validity or magnitude of their claim. Indeed, there are thousands of individuals who simply cannot afford a lawyer or do not qualify for assistance from Legal Aid organizations or other services. Absent a lawyer, no attorney-client relationship exists, so I can’t interfere with it.