This year marks the 10th anniversary of the war on poverty, which is an important time to reflect on the role that law schools and lawyers have played, and can continue to play, in efforts to reduce inequality and expand opportunity. In the war on poverty, law schools and lawyers were central actors in coordinated strategy to end poverty by establishing constitutional protections and substantive rights for the poor. Within a decade of its inception, however, the substantive antipoverty movement gave way to a procedural access to justice agenda. Political battles over resources for legal services were at the heart of this shift, reflecting larger trends of decentralization (from federal to state) and privatization (from the government to the market). As a result, legal antipoverty efforts today are much more local, varied and diffuse than during the war on poverty.
This symposium will examine lessons from the past fifty years, consider merging anti-poverty efforts, explore shifts in the funding landscape and identify strategies to reinvigorate the role of law schools and lawyers in a new antipoverty agenda.
MCLE credit will be available.
Agenda, speakers, and registration online here.