welfare, poverty law, legal services


This Essay describes three areas in which advocates have developed new models of practice and new forms of advocacy. It examines ways that lawyers and clients are collaborating to create more effective advocacy for battered women, low-income entrepreneurs and nonprofit community-based organizations that serve the poor. It describes how, why and where the new practices operate and analyzes the roots of the new approaches, showing that they can be traced to changes in lawyering theory and new visions of the lawyer-client relationship. The Essay assesses whether these models can be sustained and generalized, concluding that although the new approaches are modest in scope, local in operation and tentative in aspirations, they show that creative lawyering for poor people is still possible. The innovative spirit they demonstrate reflects the ongoing search by lawyers and clients to find ways for the American legal profession to ameliorate inequality. The Essay closes by suggesting ways we might be able to encourage the proliferation of similar locally based practices.



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