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Research Report

Making the Case: Legal Services for the Poor

  • Patrick J. Kiger
  • David S. Udell
  • Kimani Paul-Emile
Published: January 1, 1999

The first installment of the Center’s Access to Justice Series, Making the Case has the ambitious mission of describing the compelling work of our nation’s Legal Services Corporation.

Written through the lens of Maryland’s Legal Aid Bureau, Making the Case provides a 360-degree examination of many of the inspiring and infuriating aspects of how our nation does, and does not, provide civil legal assistance to its weakest members. It tells a story of history, from the charitable work of lawyers in the late 19th century to the 1974 birth of the Legal Services Corporation to the often besieged institution that exists today. It tells a political story, profiling attacks by foes of legal services, including the highly controversial restrictions Congress imposed on the Legal Services Corporation.

And most importantly, the Access to Justice Series provides readers with personal stories of individuals and communities, often the poorest among us, whose lives are made better by the work of dedicated legal professionals across the nation.