33 Clearinghouse Rev. 440 (1999-2000)
Cultural Changes and Community Economic Development Initiatives in Legal Services: What Happened in Two Programs

handle is hein.journals/clear33 and id is 448 raw text is: Cultural Changes and Community
Economic Development Initiatives in Legal
Services: What Happened in Two Programs
by William C. Kennedy, Gary E Smith, and R. Mona Tawatao

William C. Kennedy is managing
attorney of the Sacramento
office of Legal Services of
Northern California (LSNC),
515 12th St., Sacramento, CA
95814; 916. 551.2132. Gary F.
Smith is director of litigation,
LSNC, 517 12th St.,
Sacramento, CA 95814;
916.551.2111. R. Mona
Tawatao, former managing
attorney at San Fernando Valley
Neighborhood Legal Services, is
now regional counsel at LSNC,
515 12th St., Sacramento, CA
95814; 916.551.2184.

The [legal aid] lawyer will eventu-
ally go or be taken away; he does
not have to stay, and the govern-
ment which gave him can take
him back just as it does welfare.
He can be another hook on
which poor people depend, or he
can help the poor build some-
thing which rests upon them-
selves-something which cannot
be taken away and which will not
leave until all of them can leave.1
The new legal aid lawyer's
role should be defined by the
broadest reaches of advocacy,
just as is the role of the corpora-
tion lawyer and the labor lawyer
and the real estate board lawyer.
Central to the new legal aid
lawyer's role is the task of help-
ing to articulate and promote the
hopes, the dreams, and the real
possibility for the impoverished
to make the social changes that
they feel are needed, through

whatever lawful methods are
More than three decades ago Edward
Sparer of the Center on Social Welfare
Policy and Law developed a carefully
orchestrated agenda of strategic litigation
to establish ultimately a constitutional
right to live-in essence, a right to a
guaranteed minimum income.3 Sparer's
sequential test-case approach, which
produced a string of victories for welfare
recipients in the U.S. Supreme Court but
did not establish any fundamental right
to a minimum income, became the model
by which a generation of legal services
lawyers fought the War on Poverty
through efforts to achieve court-ordered
law reform.4
I. Introduction
Although ironically Sparer himself favored
a multifaceted advocacy approach to
effect lasting social change for poor com-
munities, the litigation-based model with
which he became identified soon became

1 Stephen Wexler, Practicing Law for Poor People, 79 YALE L.J. 1049, 1053 (1970).
2 Edward V. Sparer, The New Legal Aid as an Instrument of Social Change, 1965 U. ILL. L.
FORUM 57, 59-60 (1965) (emphasis added).
4 King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309 (1968) (Clearinghouse No. 287); Shapiro v. Thompson, 394
U.S. 618 (1969) (Clearinghouse No. 238); Rosado v. Wyman, 397 U.S. 1207 (1970)
(Clearinghouse No. 1886); Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970) (Clearinghouse No.
1799); Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471 (1970) (Clearinghouse No. 1048). See also
Davis, supra note 3, at 128-33.



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