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107 Harv. L. Rev. 1747 (1993-1994)
Practicing Community

handle is hein.journals/hlr107 and id is 1767 raw text is: BOOK REVIEWS
LAW PRACTICE. By Gerald P. L6pez. 1 Boulder: Westview Press, Inc.
1992. Pp. ix, 433. $55.00, $17.95.
Reviewed by Anthony V. Alfieri2
Yeah, he said, we used to call it nigger removal. Pretending
not to hear, I looked away to the soot-coated New England church
where the night meeting had just ended. People milled around on
the sidewalk, some stepping into the street. They talked about crime
and housing. They wanted more police, better housing, cleaner
This was my first meeting. My job was to organize community
education and outreach programs for the housing unit of the local
legal services office. The community was multi-ethnic, multi-racial,
and poor. Waves of immigrants - Irish, Southern black, Portuguese,
Laotian - had left their mark on storefronts, streets, and homes.
Sometimes new storeowners never bothered to take down an old sign:
a Chinese restaurant housed in a former gas station still bore the name
of the station in tall black letters painted over the front door.
Some homeowners also left untended the ramshackle repairs of
previous owners. Their houses stood crooked and stooped on small
cement or tar-covered lots, many with surrounding chainlink fences.
Most had little time or money for renovation; they were either too
busy with jobs and children or too old and impoverished. After a
few months of walking house-to-house and knocking door-to-door, I
developed an aesthetic of urban displacement that helped me to learn
the history of a block, a store, or a home by surveying its outward
signs of decay and renewal.
Yeah, he said, in the sixties they called it urban renewal. They
kick you out of your house, move you away from your neighborhood,
I Kenneth & Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, Stanford University.
2 Associate Professor of Law, 'University of Miami School of Law; A.B. 1981, Brown Uni-
versity; J.D. 1984, Columbia University School of Law.
I am grateful to Gary Bellow, Tom Baker, Naomi Cahn, Wes Daniels, Bob Dinerstein,
Ellen Grant, Chris Harvie, Marguerite Holloway, Keith Kerman, Gerald L6pez, Martha Ma-
honey, Peter Margulies, Rick Marsico, Charles Ogletree, Michael Perlin, Susan Stefan, Paul
Tremblay, Lucie White, the students of my Public Law and Ethics seminar, and the participants
in the American University Washington College of Law Clinical Colloquium for their comments
and support. I also wish to thank Felicity McGrath, Eileen Moorhead, and the University of
Miami School of Law library staff for their research assistance.
This Book Review is dedicated to Amelia Hope.

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