For over a century, many have struggled to turn the Constitution's prime goal "to establish Justice" into reality for Americans who cannot afford lawyers through civil legal aid. This book explains how and why.
• Provides a unique resource for law students enrolled in courses on poverty law, professional responsibility, access to justice, and legal history, as well as for professors teaching these subjects
• Enables readers to see how changes in the larger society have brought new challenges to legal aid institutions—or old challenges in new guises
• Presents a comprehensive, informed overview of civil legal aid written from the perspective of a former professor of law, director of the War on Poverty's legal services program, and appellate judge
• Explores the unusual partnership between a governmental program funding civil legal aid lawyers and an outside professional organization dominated by wealthy corporate lawyers, the American Bar Association (ABA), and how the ABA used its political influence and advocacy to protect lawyers serving the poor when they faced opposition in Congress or the White House
• Documents the remarkable impact of legal services lawyers during the War on Poverty era, including the more than 60 cases they won in the United States Supreme Court in just a 7-year span
• Describes how those supporting legal services in some states managed to develop new innovative sources of funding, such as interest earned on lawyers' trust accounts, when federal revenues for civil legal aid dropped during the 1980s and 1990s
• Provides a revealing case study for those interested in the War on Poverty or other social programs helping the poor