A. To be eligible for NACA membership, an attorney must not presently be performing services for any client on a matter in which the client’s interests are adverse to the interests of a consumer or consumers, must not have performed such services within at least the last six months before applying to become a NACA member, and must have no intention of performing such services in the future.
B. Representation of, ownership of, or affiliation with businesses or other parties whose interests outside that representation are sometimes adverse to consumers does not necessarily make an attorney ineligible for NACA membership. However, representation of certain types of for-profit businesses, including but not limited to the following, may be considered adverse to consumers regardless of the matter(s) in which the applicant or member represents them:
- financial institutions such as credit card companies, payday lenders, auto title lenders, mortgage lenders, and banks;
- credit reporting agencies, credit repair agencies, and debt settlement companies;
- debt collectors;
- mortgage brokers, realtors, residential landlords, timeshare sellers, and home improvement contractors;
- car dealers, repair shops, and repossession companies;
- rent-to-own companies; and
- insurance companies, agents, and brokers.
This list is not exclusive but is intended to capture the range of businesses that our clients regularly litigate against and are victimized by due to deceptive, predatory, and/or similar behavior.
NACA will determine based on all available information whether an applicant's or member’s representation of a business or other party is adverse to consumers such that membership in NACA is inappropriate.
C. When an applicant or member is part of a firm or organization in which other lawyers or advocates do not meet the criteria for NACA membership, NACA will determine on a case-by-case basis whether the applicant is eligible for membership based upon consideration of factors including but not limited to the extent of the firm or organization’s anti-consumer representation and the extent of separation between the applicant or member and the firm or organization’s anti-consumer representation.
D. Non-lawyer members:
- Law students are eligible for NACA membership and are eligible to participate in the open NACA listservs.
- Non-lawyer consumer advocates (e.g., grassroots organizers, outreach coordinators, policymakers, policy advocates, pro-consumer lobbyists, nonprofit leaders, and foundation program managers) and non-lawyers who are long-term employees of NACA legal aid member organizations (e.g. paralegals) are eligible for NACA membership on a case-by-case basis based upon consideration of factors including but not limited to the extent of the applicant’s and the employer firm or organization’s past, present, and intended future advocacy for consumers.
E. Legal services organizations are eligible for organizational membership if every practicing lawyer or advocate within the organization satisfies NACA’s criteria for individual membership.
F. Withholding requested information or failing to answer application questions truthfully may result in denial of an application for NACA membership.