This Symposium focuses on a renewed focus on community lawyering. Finding new ways to work with and engage poor communities is among the most important pieces of any new agenda for poverty law. By focusing on the goal of building community institutions and organizations, poverty lawyers can help poor communities in a number of vital ways. First, they can help communities create structures for the provision of services that government has failed to provide. Thus, poverty lawyers can provide much needed legal representation in the establishment of community-based housing, health care, day care and other programs that meet vital needs. Second, lawyers can assist in community economic development projects that help to bring jobs and resources into impoverished areas. Third, poverty lawyers can help nascent and established grass roots organizations to achieve specific goals of community members, such as the prevention of environmental degradation, the preservation of neighborhood character through resistance to gentrification, the improvement of local schools, and a host of other goals that are frequently shared by residents of poor neighborhoods. This work contains the potential not only to achieve the identified specific goal, but also to strengthen and build community organizations so that they can move on to the next goal more easily.
Lawyering for Poor Communities in the Twenty-First Century,
25 Fordham Urb. L.J. 673
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol25/iss4/1