May 29, 2007
Poverty Related Headlines of Note
"Parsimonious Reading of Title VII" - J. Ginsburg
Supreme Court Limits Discrimination Suits, by David Stout, NYTimes, May 29, 2007 provides analysis and the Opinion is here.
Designs for Attacking Poverty
Donald G. McNeil Jr., "Design that Solves Problems for the World's Poor," NYTimes, May 29, 2007, includes photos of some of the relatively inexpensive products that could improve the welfare of many of the global poor.
Socio-Economic Recruitment in Higher Education
Sara Rimer, "Elite Colleges Open New Door to Low-Income Youths," NYTimes, May 27, 2007, in addition to the story includes a good amount of material on Amherst's efforts in this regard as well as a text of the speech by ousted Harvard President, Lawrence Summers. [Summers is famous among other reasons for writing in a memo, while chief economist at the World Bank, "I've always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted."] For more related sources, see earlier blog entry about early admissions policies.
May 25, 2007
Intellectual Property and EU's Promise to the Poor
The Financial Times, on May 24, 2007, published a leter (signed by a number of academics, including a colleague Josh Sarnoff) that calls attention to the impact of intellectual property regimes on poverty. The letter, EU in danger of breaking its Promise to the Poor, concludes:
"If the EU really wants to keep its promise to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development, it should refrain from asking its poorer trade partners to adopt intellectual property standards that may retard rather than foster their social and economic improvement."
Of course, an area of IP/Poverty convergence that is getting a lot of attention now is China's IP policies. Bush for example at a press conference in a couple of sentences, also yesterday, pushed a US policy regarding China that includes both tighter IP protection and a push for China to become a country of spenders rather than a country of savers. (Perhaps we should start saving instead...)
May 22, 2007
Poverty Law Workshop at AU WCL June 1
American University Washington College of Law is hosting a poverty law workshop with twelve people presenting papers and comments from 4 leading Poverty law scholars on June 1, 2007. Since I am one of the co-organizers, if you have any questions, please email me. The papers being presented are in the flyer and the Senior Scholars are Susan Bennett (AU WCL), Angela Harris (Boalt Hall), Peter Edelman (Georgetown), and Louise Trubek (Wisconsin).
May 16, 2007
Public Service/Public Interest Lawyers and Debt
The newest Association of American Law Schools cover President's Message, "Preserving the Route to Public Service Careers," highlights the growing debt burden of law school students and the impact that has on career choice and will soon have on the ability of non-profits/public service employers to fill open positions. The report notes that many law schools have under-funded programs that reflect, according to Howard Law School Dean (and former Baltimore Mayor) Kurt Schmoke, "more will than wallet." It also urged support for federal debt relief for public interest lawyers, in line with some aspects of the D.C. loan repayment assistance program (LRAP).
For a webcast of a Georgetown roundtable on the topic, click here.
I will admit this topic is personal, one of the reasons I transfered law schools was to put myself in a better position to do public interest work, included within that concern was a desire to go to a school with a better loan repayment program. LRAP programs and Low Income Protection Programs (LIPP) vary from school to school, and the question I have been asking myself is if I know students who are going to practice poverty related law, to what extent am I morally required to tell them to seek out the schools with the better LRAP programs and consider transfering to the school that accepts them and has the best such program? The other question that comes up with this and equal justice foundation type summer grants is the question of to what extent is this merely a subsidy for the middle class? I don't have good answers.
Below are some Articles and Books
related to LRAP, from more recent to older texts.
- Christa McGill, Law Between the Global and the Local: Educational Debt and Law Student Failure to Enter Public Service Careers: Bringing Empirical Data to Bear, 31 Law & Soc. Inquiry 677 (2006).
- ABA. 2003. Lifting the Burden: Law Student Debt as a Barrier to Public Service:The Final Report of the ABA Commission on Loan Repayment and Forgiveness.
- Equal Justice Works, From Paper Chase to Money Chase: Law School Debt Diverts Road to Public Service (2002).
- Philip G. Schrag, Repay As You Earn: The Flawed Government Program to Help Students Have Public Service Careers (2002).
- Claudia MacLachlan, Doing Well vs. Doing Good: Students Increasingly Tempted to Forgo Public Service for Law Firm Salaries, Legal Times, Sept. 4, 2000.
- Richard C.E. Beck, Loan Repayment Assistance Programs for Public-Interest Lawyers: Why Does Everyone Think They Are Taxable?, 40 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 251 (1996).
- Lewis A. Kornhauser & Richard L. Revesz, Legal Education and Entry into the Legal Profession: The Role of Race, Gender, and Educational Debt, 70 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 829 (1995).
- David L. Chambers, The Burdens of Educational Loans: The Impacts of Debt on Job Choice and Standards of Living for Students at Nine American Law Schools, 42 J. Legal Educ. 187 (1992).
- Luize E. Zubrow, Is Loan Forgiveness Divine? Another View, 59 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 451 (1991).
- Robert V. Stover, Making it and Breaking It: The Fate of Public Interest Commitment During Law School (Howard S. Erlanger ed., 1989).
- David L. Chambers, Educational Debts and the Worsening Position of Small-Firm, Government, and Legal-Services Lawyers, 39 J. Legal Educ. 709, 709 (1989).
May 14, 2007
Jamestown 400th Anniversary
This past week Jamestown, VA has had a series of events to commemorate the 400th anniversay of the founding of Jamestown, including the well covered visit by the Queen of England. What did not recieve attention was how Indians are doing in the U.S. from an economic standpoint, and with that in mind (and because I teach Indian law), this seemed like a good moment to post some resources related to Indian poverty and economic development:
- President Nixon, Special Message on Indian Affairs, 1970
- "The first Americans - the Indians - are the most deprived and most isolated minority group in our nation. On virtually very scale of measurement employment, income, education, health - the condition of the Indian people ranks at the bottom."
- Indian Housing Fact Sheet, National American Indian Housing Council
Overcrowded and Substandard Conditions
- In tribal areas, 14.7% of homes are overcrowded, compared to 5.7% of homes of the general U.S. population. (Census Bureau, 2000)
- Lack of Plumbing: On Native American lands, 11.7% of residents lack complete plumbing facilities, compared to 1.2% of the general U.S. population. (Census Bureau, 2000)
- Lack of Telephone Service: 16.9%, compared to 2.4%. (Census Bureau, 2000)
- Lack of Kitchen Facilities: 11%, compared to 1% (Government Accounting Office, 2005)
- Lack of Utility Gas: 72%, compared to 49% (Government Accounting Office, 2005)
- Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
- Clarkson, Gavin, "Tribal Bondage: Statutory Shackles and Regulatory Restraints on Tribal Economic Development"
Michigan Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-006 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=931486
- Ezra Rosser, This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land: Markets and Institutions for Economic Development on Native American Land, 47 Ariz. L. Rev. 245 (2005).
Hopefully at some point non-Indians will recognize the obligations that come from how the U.S. was acquired. -E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
May 3, 2007
Call for Papers: Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy
Journal of African-American Law and Policy’s 2007 Symposium
The Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy’s 2007 Symposium“Setting the Agenda: Examining the Critical Legal Issues Facing African-Americans and Minority Communities in the 2008 Election”
CALL FOR PAPERS
As the 2008 election draws near, what are the critical legal
issues facing minority communities across the
On November 9, 2007, the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy (BJALP) will host a symposium focusing on critical legal issues facing minority communities in light of the upcoming 2008 election. Those wishing to participate in the symposium are invited to submit proposals for papers exploring a critical legal issue facing African-Americans and minority communities in the upcoming election. We are interested in papers in a diverse array of fields including, but not limited to, voting rights, health care, fair housing, environmental justice, family law, education, and the criminal justice system. Similarly, we are interested in fielding multiple perspectives on these issues and would welcome proposals from academics, policymakers, practitioners, activists, and community members. Papers selected for the symposium will be published in the Spring 2008 edition of the Berkeley Journal of African- American Law and Policy.
Given the current legal, social, and political atmosphere, this is an opportune time to examine those issues that are most salient to minority communities and to begin setting an agenda aimed at effective change and reform. We invite you to be a part of the discussion.
The symposium will be held at the
Authors will be notified of the results of our selection process by June 20, 2007. As selected papers will be published in the Spring 2008 edition of the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy, we will require authors to submit drafts of their completed papers for editing no later than November 2007.
Please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com with any questions. We look forward to reading your proposals.
May 2, 2007
The Governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, last week took a "Food Stamp Challenge" and urged all Oregonians to do the same -- to live off the state's weekly food stamp budget of $21 per week of food. This was part of his Hunger Awareness week according to an official press release. The story has been covered by The New York Times (which also showed exactly what he purchased), the Associated Press, CBS News, etc... As one blogger noted when they dropped out of the challenge, it is hard to live on $3/day.
Additional Useful Resources on Food Stamps:
- Diane Whitmore, "What are Food Stamps Worth?" Princeton Working Paper #468 (July 2002)
- Characteristics of Food Stamp Households (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Food Stamp Program 2006)
- GAO Report: Payment Errors and Trafficking have Declined despite Increased Program Participation (Jan. 2007)
- Food Stamp Benefits and Child Poverty in the 1990s (Economic Research Services USDA)
- The photo is one I took on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I took the photo because the backboard shows the connection -- at least in my mind -- between E.B.T. (Electronic Benefits Transfer) and Native reservations such as Pine Ridge where per capita incomes remain well below national averages. Given this posting on food stamps, it seemed an appropriate photo.
For more on Indian economic development, see here.
- E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org