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Can Law Schools Teach Students to Do Good? Legal Education and the Future of Legal Services for the Poor, 3 CUNY Law Review 259 (2000)


Is it possible for law schools to teach students to do good? Should they try? Do law schools have a role to play in addressing the crisis in legal services for the poor? If so, what role?

Our society is one in which the great majority of citizens of modest means cannot afford the services of a lawyer in resolving their legal problems. A decade ago a national survey found that approximately eighty percent of the legal problems of the poor were handled without legal assistance. Surely, recent reductions and restrictions in government-funded legal services can only have made the situation worse. Only a small handful of law school graduates seek and accept legal services jobs upon graduation. Very few of the graduates who enter private practice provide significant pro bono legal services to the poor or substantial financial support for legal services programs.

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