Document Type

Book Review


Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work, 15 Yale Journal on Regulation 177 (1998)


As recently as a few months ago, I was full of anecdotes of my own
experience with welfare and welfare reform based on years of representing
low-income clients as a legal-services lawyer and clinical teacher. Since I read
Making Ends Meet,' however, I have a new set of anecdotes, referring to the
book several times a week. In discussions with students, I point out where
Edin and Lein's findings agree (or disagree) with the students' own
observations. I repeatedly ask colleagues if they have read the book. I
reappraise my clients' work situations in terms of Edin and Lein's findings.
My colleague Kathleen Sullivan and I decided to assign the book for our
Spring Community Legal Services clinic, in which students provide legal
services to low-income people in New Haven. In short, I have acted as though
Making Ends Meet is a very important book. At the risk of courting hyperbole,
Making Ends Meet may be the most important resource we have in trying to
figure which road to take in our ongoing journey toward welfare reform.

Date of Authorship for this Version



welfare, reform, low-income