Fordham Urban Law Journal, Fordham University
January 1, 2006
What is Poverty Law’? This essay examines the surge in property law courses in the 1960’s and 70’s and reflects on what the history suggests about poverty law in the law school curriculum today and in the future.
This Essay seeks to answer the question “’What is Poverty Law’?” It does this in two parts. First, it examines the surge in property law courses in the 1960’s and 70’s and ”the purpose these early courses were intended to serve.” In the second section the Essay asks and the author asks ”what the history suggests about poverty law in the law school curriculum today and in the future.”
More than forty years after lawyers first began their aggressive efforts to address economic inequality through law, poverty persists. Four decades of poverty law courses and poverty lawyers have not succeeded in eradicating it. The human rights paradigm, by expanding the dialogue to a more global context, and by embracing interdisciplinary approaches, promises to at least give law students a more nuanced understanding of the forces of economic inequality and at best, to give them additional tools and leverage to make gains against poverty domestically as well as internationally.
In ten or fifteen years, maybe sooner, law professors of the future may convene to discuss the question “What is the Role of Human Rights in the Curriculum?” or even more broadly, “What is Human Rights?” But in the meantime, today, “Human Rights” is the answer to Professor Quinn’s persistent question “What is Poverty Law?”
PUBLICATION DETAILSFormat: Commentary
Publication Type: Essay, Journal Article
Geographic coverage, US: NATIONAL
Topics: Legal Aid Movement | Social Change | History of Legal Aid | Public Interest Litigation | Systemic Litigation
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