Poverty Law: United States
Scott L. Cummings
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
September 7, 2013
International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2d Ed., Forthcoming
NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 31/2012
UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2242275
“Poverty law” refers to policy and lawyering strategies to contest inequality. The rise of the federal welfare state shaped the contours of poverty law in the first half of the twentieth century. This combined with the rights revolution at mid-century to mobilize legal services lawyers and courts in the War on Poverty, which was the zenith of the antipoverty movement. The welfare state’s subsequent decline and federal court retrenchment has channeled the antipoverty movement in new directions forged by decentralization, privatization, and globalization.
This encyclopedia entry traces poverty law's history and more recent response to these trends by moving downward (from federal to local), outward (from state to market), and beyond (from domestic to global).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: access to justice, antipoverty, civil Gideon, globalization, inequality, legal aid, legal services, poverty, poverty law, poverty lawyers, pro bono, rights revolution, war on poverty, welfare reform, welfare stateAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 1, 2013 ; Last revised: August 24, 2014
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