Legal Services for the Poor: A Comparative and Contemporary Analysis of Interorganizational Politics

By Mark Kessler | Go to book overview

The two chapters that follow provide an in-depth view of the operations of two programs varying significantly in size and activity. Chapter 4 describes the operations of Suburban Legal Services, a medium-sized program that primarily engages in service activity. This program is examined in detail to illustrate the variety of possible constraints on lawyers who wish to engage in social reform activity.

Chapter 5 examines Metro City Legal Services, one of the two largest programs studied. Attorneys in Metro City are the most proactive in mobilizing issues, and engage in more social reform activity than lawyers in the other four agencies. The in-depth look at this program illustrates the conditions under which poverty lawyers are relatively free of constraints in pursuing social reform. The case studies taken together describe the two basic models of legal services delivery found among the five programs studied. Subsequent to the two case studies, the remaining chapters assess the influence on activity across the five programs of personal, organizational, and interorganizational variables.


NOTES
1
.In Appendix A of this work, I discuss the criteria used in selecting these sites and the methods employed in this study. Throughout the book, pseudonyms are used to refer to the programs because I felt it necessary to promise respondents that program names and locations would not be revealed. Shortly before I began the field work, the Reagan administration announced its intention to eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation. In such a political atmosphere, it seemed prudent to promise anonymity. I believe I would have been denied access to at least one program had I not given such assurances. Also, the quality and candor of lawyers' responses may have been affected had they believed that opponents of legal services could identify them or their program.
2.
Legal Services Corporation Act, U.S. Code, title 42, sections 2809, 2971e, 2996-2996l (1974), Section 2996f (7).
3.
Section 2996e (c) (2) (1974).
4.
Section 2996f (a) (6a, 6b, 6c) (1974).
5.
Section 2996f (b) (1974).
6.
Section 2996i (c) (1974).
7.
However, many supporters of the Legal Services Corporation feared that the board appointed by the Reagan administration would pass regulations restricting the activities of local programs. See Stuart Taylor Jr., "Legal Aid Executive Quits, Citing Differences with Reagan's Board," NewYork Times

-43-

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Legal Services for the Poor: A Comparative and Contemporary Analysis of Interorganizational Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figure and Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Toward a Theory of Legal Activity 17
  • Notes 29
  • 3 - The Operating Environment of Legal Services Programs 33
  • Notes 43
  • 4 - Suburban Legal Services: Constraints on Poverty Lawyers 45
  • Notes 62
  • 5 - Metro City Legal Services: Freedom to Pursue Law Reform 63
  • Notes 85
  • 6 - The Lawyers 87
  • Notes 104
  • 7 - The Organizational Context 107
  • Notes 122
  • 8 - The Interorganizational Politics of Legal Activity 125
  • Notes 138
  • 9 - Legal Services and Equal Justice 141
  • Notes 149
  • Appendix a Methodology 151
  • Notes 157
  • Appendix B Research Instruments 159
  • Bibliography 171
  • Index 179
  • About the Author 185
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