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October 3, 2007

Student Paper Topics of Use to Organizations working on Poverty related matters

The American Constitution Society has created a new resource for students and faculty, the ACS ResearchLink, one goal of which is to provide paper topic ideas to students that would be helpful to the public interest organizations or professors who could benefit from such student research.  If you go to the search page, here, students can search for paper topics by keyword or by area of law. 

Two examples demonstrate the type of paper topics available through ResearchLink.

  • The   Mississippi Center for Justice has posted a suggestion of research on "What state/federal reforms can protect consumers from usurious payday lending schemes? What legal or policy framework could support banking systems to benefit the poor?"
    And they explain:

    • Without access to banks, the poor use an alternative system: payday lenders and check cashing stores. These institutions charge extraordinarily high fees compared to traditional banks - the typical two-week loan has an annual percentage rate of 468% on a $400 loan. The poor pay a penalty, reducing already lean assets. Low-income Mississippi communities end up with a predatory banking system, kept in place by a legal system hidden in the background. What state/federal reforms can protect consumers? What legal or policy framework of incentives, rules and processes could support developing banking systems to benefit the poor?
  •   Legal Services of Northern California would appreciate research on "Can we create permanently affordable housing, one bequest at a time?"
    • And they explain: Can we create permanently affordable housing, one bequest at a time? Millions of senior citizens own homes with high market values – and a certain portion may be excited by the idea of leaving them to a community land trust that could ensure their permanent occupancy by low-income families. In providing legal assistance to thousands of seniors, Legal Hotline could promote that idea generally while offering customized advice to clients interested in it but wanting to protect themselves, including myriad possibilities of using equity for their needs as they age. Initial research would explore the feasibility of a project. 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

October 3, 2007 | Permalink

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