At no time during the initial intake of prospective clients may anyone other than a student-attorney or attorney in the Clinic provide legal advice or opinions regarding a taxpayer's possible course of action. As a general matter, even a student attorney handling intake should limit his or her conversation to gathering the basic information needed to complete the intake form.
Only after a case is accepted and all relevant facts are gathered should advice be given, and then only by the student attorney assigned the case or his or her supervisor.
A limited exception to this rule is provided for student attorneys handling intake. They may provide advice to taxpayers with respect to time sensitive matters such as pending levies and expiring statutory notices. They can advise taxpayers to call the IRS directly if time is of the essence, while responding to the intake questionnaire and waiting for acceptance of their case.
For example, in situations involving an expiring statutory notice, it is appropriate to talk the taxpayer through how to petition the Tax Court. In addition, they can (and should) normally inform clients to file delinquent tax returns. If any student attorney handling intake is uncertain whether to furnish advice or information to a taxpayer, the student attorney should consult with Mr. Timm or Ms. Rich.