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
.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.
Legal Services Corporation Act, U.S. Code, title 42, sections 2809,
2971e, 2996-2996l (1974), Section 2996f (7).
Section 2996e (c) (2) (1974).
Section 2996f (a) (6a, 6b, 6c) (1974).
Section 2996f (b) (1974).
Section 2996i (c) (1974).
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