Document Type

Book Review


Book Review: Cases and Materials on Law and Poverty (with William Resnick), 70 Columbia Law Review 1305 (1970)


The emergence of poverty as a social issue has exposed the parochialism of legal education and the emphasis in law school training on the interests of the holders of private wealth. There has been a resulting demand for the incorporation of the issues embraced by "law and poverty" into the curriculum. But how is this to be achieved? How are these issues to be related to the existing curriculum? Which definitions of poverty, which views of the roots of poverty, and which prescriptions for the necessary changes are to be presented?

The significance of this first, formal, bound, West-published treatment of poverty for study in the law school is in the manner in which it answers these questions. The issues of "law and poverty" are sufficiently far-ranging and resonant, with implications in most subject matter areas, to provide the law school an opportunity to transcend its trade-school origins. Accordingly, it is appropriate to consider the book as a response to the challenges and criticisms of legal education which arise from the recognition of poverty, to situate the book within this basically political controversy, and to point up the implications of the contents and organization of the book for the development of legal education.

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