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March 27, 2007

Poverty Law Conferences Online

I am going to begin collecting Poverty law conferences and talks that are available online. 

Law and Inequality's 2007 Symposium from Feb. 16, 2007 is available online and includes RealPlayer streaming video of panels on (a) Race and Class with John Powell and Myron Orfield, (b) Poverty and Natural Disasters with Jim Chen and Dan Farber, (c) Disability and Employment with Stephen Befort and Peter Blanck, (d) Genetic Discrimination with Mark Rothstein, and (e) International Human Rights Standards with Oren Gross, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, and Dinah Shelton. 


March 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2007

Early Action / Early Decision Programs

While not strictly "law," school policies with regard to maintaining "early action" or "early decision" admissions regimes can have a significant impact on less well off students and their ability to best chart their course in higher education. 

In Jan. 2007, Yale announced that it was keeping its early action program, despite both Harvard and Princeton having decided to abandon early action, and ever since then Yale's alumni relations apparatus has been busy apologizing for that decision.  In an interview with the Alumni magazine, Yale's president rejected Harvard President's description of early action "advantaging the advantaged," insisting that "we don't believe that eliminating early admissions would change the socioeconomic diversity of the class." 

To be honest, I would not have found this worth blogging about till Yale sent a recent email, not two months after announcing it was keeping early action, that included the teaser, "Yale Committed to Assisting Student Economic Diversity."  The link associated with the teaser was to a press release on the partnership with College Summit, a group that seems like a good non-profit, but it seemed nevertheless a somewhat ironic teaser and a classic case of political doublespeak.  My own experience was that students who applied regular decision, while having lesser odds of getting in, had greater ability to argue for changes in their need based aid and so I was advised to apply regular decision for that benefit (advice I ignored). 

A current Harvard Law 3L, Martin Kurzweil co-authored with William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin a highly honored book, "Equity and Education." Equity_and_education Their research would not support Yale's program it seems.  As they write, "These programs do not support the equity objectives that concern us in this study ... institutional benefits seem far from compelling, especially when one counts the equity costs and takes a system-wide perspective." (174-175) 

Joining_the_elite More on early admissions programs can be found in Christopher Avery, Andrew Fairbanks & Richard Zeckhauser's The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite (2003), or through an earlier summary paper they posted here


March 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 21, 2007

N.Y. Times Housing Comparison and Overcrowded Housing Images

UPDATE: The L.A. Times has a March 26, 2007 related slide show on trailer park living by Latino workers. 

The N.Y. Times Sunday Real Estate Magazine, "Key," from March 18 contains a brief description and related photo essay of 8 people living in a single-wide trailer in Vermont.  The N.Y. Times did not overlook its core demographic and does include a comparison slide show of what you can get for $1 million as well as an article on publicly subsidized housing in Santa Barbara for those making under $177K

With the additional March 18th article on Generation X and Y buying housing with the help of their parents -- including advice on how to structure family loans -- these articles can be a good way to bring in media discussion, or at least to gather images for powerpoints. 

Side note: three other N.Y. Times articles, two fairly dated but still relevant, deserve mention. 
(1) Andrew Rice, The Suburban Solution, N.Y. Times Magazine, March 5, 2006 (Thanks Susan Bennett for bringing this to my attention) (discussing inclusionary housing policies). 
(2) Jason DeParle, Slamming the Door, N.Y. Times Magazine, October 20, 1996 (describing America's declining commitment to housing the poor).   
(3) J. Skelly Wright, The Courts Have Failed the Poor, New York Times Magazine, March 9, 1969 (by the author of Javins, enough said). 

Note: if you are teaching from these, it might be worth getting copies from the Historical N.Y. Times database because the images for at least (1) and (3) are pretty good. 


March 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2007

Poverty Law Readings and Textbooks

For those teaching Poverty Law or a related class, there are a number of possible textbooks or readers, but I suspect that most teach primarily from a course packet.  The number one student complaint on my evaluations last semester involved the readings I assigned, therefore, it seems like a good idea to collect sample syllabus or ideas about good readings into different lists so that we can make informed decisions about what to assign. 
The textbooks--of differing degrees of relevance and fit with a Poverty Law course--that I have found are: Nice and Trubek's Poverty Law (West, 1997 and 1999 Supplement).  This is the most on point textbook; however, the clear limitation with this textbook is how dated it is... Trubek's website does suggest an update is forthcoming.   

Jordan_harris_economic_justice For those opting to use something other than the Nice & Trubeck textbook, Jordan and Harris's Economic Justice (Foundation, 2005) contains many good readings and could be an alternative textbooks, as can be their subset of readings contain in their "When Markets Fail" series that take up some of the Economic Justice issues in smaller bites (for example "Gender and Economics," "Race and Economics," and "Alternative Perspectives on Economics").   

Power_privilege_and_law Other options include Mahoney, Calmore & Wildman's Social Justice (West, 2003) or moving to a race-based approach to poverty law, many of the subordination or critical race textbooks begin to be more attractive.  A good, though dated, textbook from that perspective is Bender & Braveman's Power, Privilege and Law: A Civil Rights Reader (West, 1995). 

If you know of other reading options, I will add to the list (both my own and a topical list on this blog).  - E.R.

March 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2007

Submission Season - Poverty Law Journals Online

For those of you submitting Poverty Law related Articles this semester, I have put together a list of those journals explicitly covering poverty and social justice. 

There are a number of online Poverty Law journals with content accessible from the web.

Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy
Fordham Urban Law Journal

N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change
Clearinghouse Review (Requires Subscription)
Howard Scroll: Social Justice Law Review

Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice (University of Minnesota)
Journal of Public Interest Law (Loyola University New Orleans)
Seattle Journal for Social Justice
ABA Urban Law Journal

If you know of other resources, do forward them.  - E.R.

March 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2007

No Child Left Behind - Republican Rebellion against Bush's testing/accountability regime

A March 15, 2007 Washington Post article reports that 50+ Republican members of Congress are introducing legislation to allow states to opt out of the testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act

For a president who wrote: "Bipartisan education reform will be the cornerstone of my Administration," this is undoubtably a threat both to Bush's goals regarding education and to his domestic legacy.  (Emphasis added, see 

For more on NCLB and the enforcement of NCLB on States: see, Evan Stephenson, Evading the No Child Left Behind Act: State Strategies and Federal Complicity, 2006 BYU Educ. & L. J. 157 (2006) and Amy M. Reichbach, The Power Behind the Promise: Enforcing no Child Left Behind to Improve Education, 45 B.C. L. Rev 667 (2004).

- E.R.

March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Upcoming Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy Conference

Our Eyes Are Watching:
The Impact of Natural Disasters on Impoverished Communities

Wednesday, March 28
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Georgetown University Law Center, Hart Auditorium
600 New Jersey Ave., NW

Speakers Include:
Benigno E. Aguirre, Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware
Peter Edelman, Georgetown University Law Center
Andre Griekspoor, World Health Organization
Emma Coleman Jordan, Georgetown University Law Center
Bob Moore, New Orleans Workers Resource Center
Anita Sinh, Advancement Project

Schedule will be announced shortly
R.S.V.P. requested (not required) to
Sponsored by the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy
Please feel free to forward this message

- E.R.

March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Welcome to Poverty Law Prof Blog.  Our hope is that this blog will be of practical use for those interested in poverty law and that it will also be a mechanism to share intellectual work and ideas.  Please feel free to contact either one of us with suggestions and we welcome any material that you think would be of interest to others interested in poverty law.  This is not meant to be a political blog, but we hope that the blog helps enable greater sharing of research, conferences, and relevant media stories etc. with those who share our interests.  - E.R.

March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack