Despite draconian cuts and restrictions in Federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation, the conversations conducted and papers written as part of the 1997 Arthur Liman Colloquium paradoxically highlight the continuing vitality of poverty lawyering. The paradox can be explained by the participation of committed law students and new lawyers who, while lamenting the difficulties of the Legal Services Corporation, see opportunities for productive lawyering. Practicing poverty law requires living in a set of contradictions. Ruth Buchanan describes these contradictions: the issue of disempowerment at the level both of institutions and individuals, the need to understand the law's double role as a tool for change and reproduction of hierarchies, and the possibility of change and understanding of limits. She points out that each generation of poverty lawyers must deal with these contradictions in the context of its own time.

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