January 23, 2008
Harvard Law Review article on Poverty and Civil Rights issues
The Harvard Law Review just published:
Here is the abstract:
The effective delivery of scarce legal goods to disadvantaged clients requires more than the provision of equal access, case-by-case representation, and zealous advocacy. Scarcity requires that effective legal change be measured not by the outcomes of individual cases, but rather by the progress of social change: specifically, by the degree to which individual clients are able to collaborate in local and national alliances to enlarge civil rights and to alleviate poverty. This Essay argues that, by incorporating the theory of "covering" into their work, legal practitioners in civil rights and poor people's movements can facilitate such collective action. This Essay also makes the general claim that forming links between theory and practice should be a principal goal of clinical and nonclinical legal education.
If you are interested in starting/participating in an online discussion of this article, one good way to do so is to contribute a short piece to the Harvard Law Review Forum. Submission info is here, having done this on an Indian law topic, here, I found this form of short submission well worth it, particularly as a junior faculty member.
Journal Special Issue: Poverty Law and Law Schools - What's Working, How and Why?
The Winter 2007 issue of the Management Information Exchange
Journal includes articles and features from today's leaders and top consultants
in the legal services and legal education communities. This issue's Special
Feature is entitled "Poverty Law and
The Special Feature Issue includes the following articles:
By Jeanne Charn and Jeff Selbin
- Don’t Call Me “Professor:” A Legal Aid Lawyer’s Unlikely Journey into Academia 32
By Gary F. Smith, Executive Director, Legal
Services of North California
- The ABA Blueprints Project: Improving Access to Justice
By William E. Hornsby, Jr., Staff Counsel, ABA
- Law Students, Technology and Legal Aid: New Models and New Opportunities 37
By Ronald W. Staudt, Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Law School Pro Bono Graduation Requirement — Providing a Piece of the Puzzle
By Calvin Pang, Associate Professor of Law, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i at M’noa
- Take Action to Expand Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Programs
By Heather Wells Jarvis, Program Manager for Law School Advocacy,
Equal Justice Works
Unfortunately, I was only able to find this first article online or through an online database that my library has, so if you are interested in the other articles, you may need to contact your librarian and get a copy of the issue.
January 16, 2008
Candidates Obama, Edwards, and Clinton on Poverty
There is a new center for the study of poverty at Stanford, The Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, and their first issue of Pathways: a magazine on poverty, inequality, and social policy edited by David Grusky and Chris Wimer is out. The issue (available here) contains the following articles:
Letter from the Editors by David Grusky and Chris Wimer
Poorer by Comparison by Timothy M. Smeeding
The U.S. has much poverty, far more than comparable countries, like the U.K. Why?
Striking it Richer by Emmanuel Saez
A new analysis of tax data reveals an unprecedented rise at the top of the income distribution. Are capitalists or professionals the big winners?
A NEW WAR ON POVERTY?
It is time for a new war on poverty? The presidential candidates and top commentators weigh in.
Building One America by John Edwards
Pragmatic Solutions for Reducing Poverty and Inequality by Hillary Clinton
Tackling Poverty and Inequality in America by Barack Obama
How to Wage the New War on Poverty: Advising and Grading the Candidates by Rebecca Blank
Poverty and Marriage, Inequality and Brains by Charles Murray
The Pragmatic Case for Reducing Income Inequality by Robert Frank
RESEARCH IN BRIEF
New research developments
The gender gap in educational outcomes, debt reform and financial risk, and the surprising decline in residential segregation.
Escaping Poverty: Can Housing Vouchers Help? by Stefanie DeLuca and James E. Rosenbaum
Should poverty policy be built around housing vouchers? Making sense of the evidence.
January 15, 2008
Prof. Larson, I hope you are right: Legacy Admits and the Constitution's Nobility Clauses
Adam Liptak has just written an interesting N.Y. Times article on legacy admits, "A Hereditary Perk the Founding Fathers Failed to Anticipate," Jan. 15, 2008. In the article, Liptak presents the standard defense of legacy admissions practices but ends by presenting Prof. Carlton F.W. Larson's nobility clause constitutional argument against such practices. His paper is "Titles of Nobility, Hereditary Privilege, and the Unconstitutionality of Legacy Preferences in Public School Admissions," and the abstract is below:
This Article argues that legacy preferences in public university admissions violate the Constitution's prohibition on titles of nobility. Examining considerable evidence from the late eighteenth century, the Article argues that the Nobility Clauses were not limited to the prohibition of certain distinctive titles, such as "duke" or "earl," but had a substantive content that included a prohibition on all hereditary privileges with respect to state institutions. The Article places special emphasis on the dispute surrounding the formation of the Society of the Cincinnati, a hereditary organization formed by officers of the Continental Army. This Society was repeatedly denounced by prominent Americans as a violation of the Articles of Confederation's prohibition on titles of nobility. This interpretation of the Nobility Clauses as a prohibition on hereditary privilege was echoed during the ratification of the Constitution and the post-ratification period.
This Article also sets forth a framework for building a modern jurisprudence under the Nobility Clauses and concludes that legacy preferences are blatantly inconsistent with the Constitution's prohibition on hereditary privilege. Indeed, the closest analogues to such preferences in American law are the notorious "grandfather clauses" of the Jim Crow South, under which access to the ballot was predicated upon the status of one's ancestors. The Article considers a variety of counterarguments supporting the practice of legacy preferences and concludes that none of them are sufficient to surmount the Nobility Clauses' prohibition of hereditary privilege.
The article also references a NBER working paper by Jonathan Meer and Harvey Rosen, "Altruism and the Child-Cycle of Alumni Giving" (2007), the abstract is below:
This paper uses a unique data set to assess whether donors' contributions to a nonprofit institution are affected by the perception that the institution might confer a reciprocal benefit. We study alumni contributions to an anonymous research university. Inter alia, the data include information on the ages of the alumni's children, whether they applied for admission to the university, and if so, whether they were accepted. The premise of our analysis is simple: If alumni believe that donations will increase the likelihood of admission for their children and if this belief helps motivate their giving, then the pattern of giving should vary systematically with the ages of their children, whether the children ultimately apply to university, and the outcome of the admissions process. We refer to this pattern as the child-cycle of alumni giving. If the child-cycle is operative, one would observe that, ceteris paribus, the presence of children increases the propensity to give, that giving drops off after the admissions decision is made, and that the decline is greater when the child is rejected by the university. Further, under the joint hypothesis that alumni can reasonably predict the likelihood that their children will someday apply to the university and that reciprocity in the form of a higher probability of admission is expected, we expect that alumni with children in their early teens who eventually apply will give more than alumni whose teenagers do not. The evidence is strongly consistent with the child-cycle pattern. Thus, while altruism drives some giving, the hope for a reciprocal benefit plays a role as well. Using our results, we compute rough estimates of the proportion of giving due to selfish motives.
Financial Aid for the Upper Class - Harvard expands its support to reach the rich
Sara Rimer and Alan Finder report that Harvard will be substantially expanding its financial aid to those whose parents make between $120-180K/year. The article, "Harvard's Aid to Reach High in Middle Class," N.Y. Times (Dec. 11, 2007), in its title equates the top 20, and even top 5 percent of Americans with the middle class. (According to the U.S. Census Bureau the top 20% of households had incomes above $97K/year and the top 5% of households had incomes $174K/year that would still qualify for Harvard's "middle class" aid; data available here). Details of the Harvard plan also available from the Harvard Gazette (official news release) and the Harvard Crimson (student paper).
UPDATE: Though not about financial aid, Herbert A. Allen's "Gold in the Ivory Tower," N.Y. Times (Dec. 21, 2007), references Harvard's recent aid announcement and advocates for a revenue sharing scheme between the super-rich schools like Harvard and other academic institutions, based in part on the missions of the best schools, and is worth checking out.
January 12, 2008
SCHIP Brief Yale Law Journal Pocketpart Article
The Yale Law Journal Pocketpart just published an interesting brief student article on SCHIP:
Manav Bhatnagar, Overcoming Deference to Administrative Regulation: Expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), 117 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 155 (2008), http://thepocketpart.org/2008/01/10/bhatnagar.html.
January 10, 2008
Particularly for Students: Yale Rebellious Lawyering Conference (Feb. 22-24, 2008)
Yale Law School's Rebellious Lawyering Conference is a good opportunity for progressively minded students to network and go to panels on a range of issues. Registration is now available online here. Schedule Here. Keynote address by Bill Quigley (Loyola New Orleans School of Law; to see his arrest after protesting the closing of a housing project in New Orleans, see this youtube clip).
January 4, 2008
Conference Announcement: The Fair Housing Act After 40 Years, IUPUI April 3-4, 2008
Indiana Law Review Symposium April 3-4, 2008
The Fair Housing Act After 40 Years: Continuing the Mission to Eliminate Housing Discrimination and Segregation
Keynote speaker: Theodore M. Shaw, Esq., Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Dates of Event: Keynote Address on the evening of Thursday, April 3, 2008, and all day Friday, April 4, 2008
Location: Wynne Courtroom, Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York Street, Indianapolis, IN
For additional information regarding this event please contact: Elizabeth Ellis, Symposium Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2, 2008
Instructions on subscribing to this blog
There are a number of ways to subscribe to blogs, but since I have gotten a number of questions on this, one way is to enter your email address in the space to the right of the blog page under feedburner, or go to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PovertyLawProfBlog.
N.Y. Times Articles of Interest from the past weeks
This is just a list of poverty related articles of interest from this past few weeks:
- Jared Diamond, "What's Your Consumption Factor?" NY Times Jan. 2, 2008 [discussing consumption in developed countries versus the rest of the world]
- Jonathan D. Glater, "Harvard's Aid to Middle Class Pressures Rivals," NY Times Dec. 29, 2007 [related to earlier blog post on Harvard's announcement]
- David Jay Johnson, "Professor Cites Bible in Faulting Tax Policies," NY Times Dec. 25, 2007 [discussing the relationship of a religious duty to care for the poor with tax policy that is the focus of law professor Susan Pace Hamill's work]
- David Leonhardt, "Age of Riches: Two Candidates, Two Fortunes, Two Distinct Views of Wealth," NY Times Dec. 23, 2007 [comparing Romney and Edwards according to how they became wealthy and their takes on their own wealth]
- Steven Greenhouse, "Tomato Pickers' Wages Fight Faces Obstacles," NY Times Dec. 24, 2007 [describing the heavy-handed tactics of Burger King in resisting a $.01/pound wage increase for pickers]
- Ian Urbana, "In Kentucky's Teeth, Toll of Poverty and Neglect," NY Times Dec. 24, 2007 [discussing need for dental care in KY]