Community Education: Creating a New Vision of Legal Services Practice

Clinical Law Review, Vol. 4, pp. 433-484, 1998

UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 9-25

52 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2009  

Ingrid V. Eagly

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Date Written: September 29, 2009

Abstract

Poverty law scholars have increasingly encouraged legal services practitioners to move away from conventional litigation-based practice and instead to envision their role as helping clients to recognize their potential to help themselves. According to these new perspectives, poverty lawyers should spend more time listening to client concerns, helping clients to become problem-solvers, finding spaces for community voices, and encouraging the formation of grassroots organizations. In contrast to these scholarly visions of lawyering, however, federally-funded Legal Services programs where most poverty lawyers practice remain entrenched in a practice that emphasizes high-volume litigation as a strategy for fighting poverty. This Article traces the development of the Legal Services Corporation and discusses some of the regulatory and institutional impediments to moving beyond the traditional litigation model. Next, it describes a community legal education program at a Chicago legal services program. The Article concludes by arguing that community education is an important, and overlooked, strategy for working with marginalized groups that can bring everyday poverty practice more in line with emerging models of client-centered community lawyering.

Keywords: community education, community lawyering, Legal Services Corporation, clinical legal education

Suggested Citation

Eagly, Ingrid V., Community Education: Creating a New Vision of Legal Services Practice (September 29, 2009). Clinical Law Review, Vol. 4, pp. 433-484, 1998; UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 9-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1480427

Ingrid V. Eagly (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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