August 27, 2007
Forgiving College Debt through Service
Professor Elizabeth Warren, Professor Sandy Baum, and Ganesh Sitaraman, a Harvard 3L, advocate in a new article for a program they call "Service Pays" to allow students to work off student college debt through public service. The short article is: Service Pays: Creating Opportunities by Linking College with Public Service, 1 Harv. L. & Pol'y R. 127 (2007). The proposal opts for a universal (it would be available to all regardless of economic background), rather than targeted, approach and is aimed primarily at encouraging public service with secondary effects on poor students. The Harvard press release is here.
Colonias in Texas
The New York Times has an interesting article on Colonias in Texas of interest: Erik Eckholm, "Inside a Jumble of Poverty, Texans Build a Future" (Aug. 27, 2007). The NYTimes also has a very good slide show of colonia-life with commentary, available here.
Colonias have gotten attention in at least two law review articles (Delgado wrote partly in response to Larson):
- Jane E. Larson, Free Markets Deep in the Heart of Texas, 84 Geo. L.J. 179 (1995).
- Richard Delgado, Rodrigo’s Twelfth Chronicle: The Problem of the Shanty, 85 Geo. L.J. 667 (1997).
As a personal note, I think there could be a very interesting law review article done looking at whether access to colonias does or does not lead towards upward mobility for residents and whether residents end up selling ownership in colonia housing, and eventually moving into non-colonia housing.
August 24, 2007
Tribal Economic Development
The State of Native Nations: Conditions Under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination (Amazon's link here), a collaboratively written book by scholars affiliated with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development has just been published by Oxford University Press (curiously bearing a 2008 copyright date). A virtual book tour with synopsis and table of contents is available here.
This book is important for those with an interest in Indian (Native American) poverty because the Harvard Project is the leading research center working on tribal economic development and because this book, by virtual of its collaborative nature, reflects the thinking of a number of leading scholars on this topic.
According to the Harvard Project's self-description on their website: "At the heart of the Harvard Project is the systematic, comparative study of social and economic development on American Indian reservations. What works, where and why? Among the key research findings:
Sovereignty Matters. When Native nations make their own decisions about what development approaches to take, they consistently out-perform external decision makers—on matters as diverse as governmental form, natural resource management, economic development, health care, and social service provision.
Institutions Matter. For development to take hold, assertions of sovereignty must be backed by capable institutions of governance. Nations do this as they adopt stable decision rules, establish fair and independent mechanisms for dispute resolution, and separate politics from day-to-day business and program management.
Culture Matters. Successful economies stand on the shoulders of legitimate, culturally grounded institutions of self-government. Indigenous societies are diverse; each nation must equip itself with a governing structure, economic system, policies, and procedures that fit its own contemporary culture.
Leadership Matters. Nation building requires leaders who introduce new knowledge and experiences, challenge assumptions, and propose change. Such leaders, whether elected, community, or spiritual, convince people that things can be different and inspire them to take action.
Another recent tribal economic development article of note is a recent one by Gavin Clarkson (Univ. of Michigan School of Information), Tribal Bondage: Statutory Shackles and Regulatory Restraints on Tribal Economic Development.
Call for Papers -- Food Law & Policy
The following was emailed to a poverty prof listserv and seems worth posting here as well.
The JOURNAL OF FOOD LAW & POLICY at the University Of Arkansas School Of Law is seeking submissions for its Spring 2008 issue. The Journal publishes articles which address a wide range of cutting edge legal topics including food safety, food security and food insecurity, nutrition, obesity, international trade, farm policy, labeling, and traceability. The Journal of Food Law & Policy is the only student-edited journal in the country focusing specifically on the area of food law.
In addition to the traditional scholarly articles that we publish, the Journal is also interested in including a limited number of shorter, more focused articles and book reviews. Submissions to the Journal may be sent electronically via email or through ExpressO or mailed to Journal at the address below. The deadline for Spring 2008 submissions is February 1, 2008. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Jennifer Fiser, Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Food Law & Policy
Law Programs Center
1 University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas School of Law
Fayetteville, AR 72701
August 23, 2007
Very Useful Conference Listing Blog
Though some readers may have already seen this (it is getting linked to on a number or sites and my school's librarian forwarded all faculty the link), I thought I should highlight a very useful conference listing website/blog: Legal Scholarship Blog, available at http://legalscholarship.wordpress.com/. The blog posts a running list of conference announcements on the home page and also has information both on law teaching for prospective faculty/ teaching candidates, and on law review submissions and legal scholarship generally.
For example, the Legal Scholarship Blog included listings for three conferences connected to poverty:
- "Credentialed for What? Exploring business and law education for public education" at Cumberland School of Law and Samford Business School.
- "The High Road Runs Through the City: Advocating for Economic Justice at the Local Level" at Cornell's ILR School
- The 2007 National Lawyers Guild Convention
August 17, 2007
Conference Announcement: The Role of Law Schools in Fostering Commitment to Pro Bono Publico
From October 5 to 6, 2007, the Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University of America will host a national conference titled “The Role of Law Schools in Fostering Commitment to Pro Bono Publico.” This two-day conference will include a survey of the ways in which law schools currently are meeting their obligation under ABA Accreditation Standard 302(b)(2) to “provide substantial opportunities” for student participation in pro bono activities. More important, however, the conference will provide a forum to investigate effective and innovative ways in which law schools can expand pro bono opportunities for students. It will examine the creation of partnerships with alumni and other legal professionals to make free and low-cost legal services more available to those who cannot afford such services. The conference will also explore ways to enhance the environment within law schools to foster in graduates a lifetime commitment to community service, including the provision of pro bono legal services.
Who should attend? We believe the question of what law schools can do better to foster a commitment to pro bono is of interest to all segments of the legal community and can be answered only through a sustained dialogue among academia, the bench and the bar. Therefore, we hope faculty, staff and administrators of law schools will attend and engage with interested members of the bench and bar to begin this process. For more information, contact Professor J.P. “Sandy” Ogilvy at 202-319-6195 or at email@example.com. Updates and housing information are available on the conference Web site http://law.cua.edu/Conference/fosteringacommitment_probonopublico.
Registration information and list of speakers is available here:
August 15, 2007
Nov. 2, 2007: "The Low-Wage Worker: Legal Rights—Legal Realities" Minnesota Law Review
On Nov. 2, 2007, Minnesota Law Review will be hosting its annual symposium, which this year is entitled: The Low-Wage Worker: Legal Rights—Legal Realities. The registration page, as well as a list of participants, is available here.
As a somewhat related aside, I am now reading Charles Fishman's The Wal-Mart Effect (2006) and recommend it for those who want to read something about Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart's troubles with employees/suppliers that is a fast, enjoyable read. The author's website, with excerpts and links to reviews, is here. A blog review with some interesting facts from the book is available here. You can also read Sam Walton's Autobiography (I have skimmed it but like Fishman's book better--though Walton does include great photos from showing the rise of Wal-Mart)... Finally, I believe Conn. L. Rev. did a symposium on Wal-Mart but they are redoing their website so I cannot link to it right now.
August 10, 2007
Poverty Law Movies
I was emailed with the request that I solicit movie suggestions for use in poverty related courses. I will post all suggestions I receive here (note, I sometimes don't check "comments" as often as I should, but eventually I promise comments will get approved).
- Al Norte (story of hardships during immigration, shown in many Spanish language classes)
- Wall Street (greed is good)
- All for the Taking (effects of urban renewal in Philadelphia)
- ... more as suggestions come in ...
- UPDATE: Two lists with some great suggestions were forwarded to me: Click Here, and Here.
- UPDATE 2: Suggestions From Sara Faherty:
- Ending Welfare as We Know It
written and Directed by Roger Weisberg, Public Policy Productions. Ending Welfare As We Know It follows
six welfare mothers over the course of a year as they struggle to comply with
new work requirements, find reliable child care and transportation, battle drug
addiction and depression, confront domestic violence, and try to make ends meet
in the new era of welfare reform.
By profiling families living in Wisconsin, Florida, and New Jersey, states that implemented their own reforms before the passage of the federal bill, the program offers the public a preview of welfare reform as it unfolds throughout the rest of the country. Each of the states featured has reduced its welfare caseload by imposing strict new rules, which include work requirements, time limits, and special provisions for teen mothers. Some states offer job training, education, childcare subsidies, life skills classes, and more. But which measures are most effective? More importantly, what has become of the people who have left the welfare rolls? 90 minutes.
- Produced, written and Directed by Roger Weisberg, Public Policy Productions. Ending Welfare As We Know It follows six welfare mothers over the course of a year as they struggle to comply with new work requirements, find reliable child care and transportation, battle drug addiction and depression, confront domestic violence, and try to make ends meet in the new era of welfare reform.
- I am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School
- Directed by the innovative, award-winning team of Alan and Susan Raymond ("An American Family"), I AM A PROMISE paints an unflinching verité portrait of the children of Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia, an inner-city neighborhood where 90% of the students live below the poverty line. As seen through the viewpoint of devoted principal Deanna Burney, the film shows Stanton as underfunded, understaffed, and filled with children struggling to overcome their difficulties. For these at-risk kids, the only hope for their future survives only in the success of their education.
- Ending Welfare as We Know It
Conference Announcement: High Road Runs Through the City: Advocating for Economic Justice at the Local Level
High Road Runs Through the City: Advocating for Economic Justice at the Local Level
Sept. 27-28 2007 Buffalo, NY
Sponsored by the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and Baldy Center on Law and Social Policy and Cornell University ILR
Recently local government has been the focus of many efforts to address growing concerns about economic inequality. For example, many US cities have enacted local living wage ordinances in an effort to promote more equitable economic development. However, local initiatives for economic justice frequently raise questions about local governance and the relationship between democratic decisionmaking and economic policymaking. Many cities have failed to enforce their living wage ordinances; many local economic policies are made outside of democratic processes; local governments are often constrained by “subsidy wars” encouraging a race to the bottom; and local politics is often dominated by narrow interests. This conference brings together scholars in a variety of disciplines with activists and policymakers to explore the possibilities and challenges for developing progressive economic policies in local government.
Panelists will include Peter Enrich, Northeastern University School of Law; Susan Jones, George Washington University School of Law; J. Phillip Thompson, III, MIT Urban Politics; Annette Bernhardt, NYU Brennan Center for Justice; Jen Kern, ACORN Living Wage Resource Center; Greg LeRoy, Good Jobs First, Stewart Acuff, AFL-CIO; Stephanie Luce, University of Massachusetts Labor Studies; Joel Rogers, University of Wisconsin. Panel topics will include Shadow Governments and Privatization; New Frontiers for the Living Wage; Subsidy Reform; Building Lasting Institutions from Progressive Coalitions; Green Cities; and Global Connections. Journalist Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy, will give a keynote address.
For more information, visit http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/wied/highroadrunsthroughthecity/ or contact Martha McCluskey, Professor of Law and William J. Magavern Fellow, State University of New York at Buffalo, firstname.lastname@example.org
August 5, 2007
Low-Income Workers and the Federal Tax System
The articles from American University Law Review's Janet R. Spragen's Memorial Symposium on Low-Income Workers and the Federal Tax System are available online. I have only read Dennis Ventry's article and recommend it, but the other articles look like they also should be of interest to those interested in Poverty topics.
In Memory of Professor Janet R. Spragens
Nancy J. Altman
Professor Janet Spragens: In Memory of a Friend, In Celebration of an Idea
Nancy S. Abramowitz
Thinking About Conflicting Gravitational Pulls LITCS: The Academy and the IRS
Nancy S. Abramowitz
Social Security and the Low-Income Worker
Nancy J. Altman
Welfare By Any Other Name: Tax Transfers and the EITC
Dennis J. Ventry, Jr.