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

By Mark Kessler | Go to book overview

tial reform issues. Further, community groups supply crucial political support, shielding the program from opposition from other external political actors. Thus, program policies and the nature of the local environment not only provide Metro City Legal Services lawyers with the freedom to pursue law reform, but in many ways they encourage it and enhance its sophistication.

The three chapters that follow seek to identify those factors which account for activity differences among the five programs studied. To begin, the next chapter assesses the influence of lawyers' personal characteristics on activity.


NOTES
1.
On the decline of low-income advocacy groups, see Marilyn Gittell, Limits to Citizen Participation: The Decline of Community Organizations (Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1980).
2.
For more detail on the sample, see Appendix B of this work.
3.
This information is taken from the union contract I received from a program administrator.
4.
See Robert G. Meadow and Carrie Menkel-Meadow, "The Origins of Political Commitment: Background Factors and Ideology Among Legal Services Attorneys," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, Toronto, Canada, June 3, 1982; and Carol Ruth Silver, "The Imminent Failure of Legal Services for the Poor: Why and How to Limit Caseloads," Journal of Urban Law 46 ( 1969): pp. 217-248.
5.
A new director, appointed several months before I began my field research, had stopped this practice.
6.
The relations between neighborhood and central office lawyers in Metro City are similar to those described by Carlin in San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation in the late 1960s. See Jerome E. Carlin , "Store Front Lawyers in San Francisco," Trans-Action 6 ( April 1970): pp. 64-74.
7.
One community organization leader commented on the reason for this request as follows: "When we've taken actions such as sit-ins, street blockings, and such, we've always managed to get one of the lawyers to come out and look official. Not that they really do anything, but when you have someone there that says I'm a lawyer it helps with the law."
8.
On differences between representing organizations on an ongoing basis and representing individuals, see Marc Galanter, "Why the 'Haves' Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change," Law and Society Review 9 (Fall 1974): pp. 95-160.

-85-

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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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