THE INTERORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS OF LEGAL ACTIVITY
The analysis presented in Chapter 7 suggests that several organizational features of legal services programs constrain poverty lawyers who wish to pursue social reform. This chapter examines a second set of potential constraints--relationships between legal services programs and organizations in their environment. Legal services programs interact frequently and continuously with a variety of individuals, groups, and organizations, such as other government agencies, funding sources, boards of directors, judges, opposing lawyers, bar associations, political officials, clients, and client organizations. As the case studies of SLS and MCLS presented in Chapters 4 and 5 indicate, these groups often have more than a passing interest in the cases brought and legal strategies employed by poverty lawyers. To what extent do differing relationships between legal services programs and organizations in their environment explain varying activity mixes? Does Metro City Legal Services rely more for critical resources on external organizations encouraging legal activism? Do the programs that primarily engage in service to individual clients rely more on external organizations that prefer it over law reform? The interorganizational perspective suggests that they should.
Interviews for this study sought to discover lawyers' views on which organizations in their environment they depended upon for