Legal Services to the Poor and Disadvantaged in the 1980s: The Issue for Research

By: Alan W. Houseman. Published in December 1982.

Link to PDF

Questions posed:

Should legal services attempt to provide aggressive and independent advocacy to poor people, including the full scope of representation accorded to those who can afford an attorney? Or, should legal services provide limited individual casework for those morally deserving… on a few types of acceptable legal problems…? Should legal services principally be a judicare program or a staff attorney program? Should the LSC fund a national and state support system, including national and state support centers, the national clearinghouse, national training and technical assistance, or should these be the responsibility of the private sector?

Social science research will have little, if any, effect on the resolution of these policy issues. Instead, resolution of these short-term issues will be dependent upon the ability of legal services to prevail in the political arean and on whether practical and philosophical arguments ultimately persuade decision makers about the need to maintain an aggressive, independent program.

The paper has a great synopsis of LSC research done up to 1982.

Categories: General/Unspecified Clients, Legal Aid Attorneys, Researchers and Academics

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