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12 UCLA L. Rev. 381 (1964-1965)
Legal Representation and Class Justice

handle is hein.journals/uclalr12 and id is 411 raw text is: LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND
Jerome E. Carlin*
Jan Howard**
Half a century ago Reginald Heber Smith delivered the fol-
lowing indictment of our legal system:
The administration of American justice is not impartial, the rich and
the poor do not stand on an equality before the law, the traditional
method of providing justice has operated to close the doors of the
courts to the poor, and has caused a gross denial of justice in all parts
of the country to millions of persons.'
Smith saw this denial of justice as arising from the very nature of
our legal system which requires the services of trained lawyers for
its effective use but prices such services beyond the means of large
numbers of individuals.
[T]he machinery of justice can be operated only through attorneys ...
attorneys must be paid for their services ... and the poor are unable to
pay for such services. This is the great, the inherent and fundamental
difficulty-inherent because our legal institutions were framed with the
intention that trained advocates should be employed, and fundamental
in the sense that no amount of reorganization or simplification, short of
a complete overturn of the whole structure, can entirely remove the
necessity for the attorney.2
He also proposed a solution: an expansion of the newly emerging
Legal Aid organizations.
They are, indeed, the key to the solution of the whole problem, for if
we can speedily give them resources which they need and deserve, they
t This paper was prepared at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, as
part of the Civil Justice Project, which is supported by a grant from the Russell
Sage Foundation.
We wish to express our gratitude to our colleagues, Philip Selznick, Sheldon
Messinger, and Philippe Nonet, for their many valuable contributions and editorial
suggestions. We are especially indebted to Ian Kennedy and Aryay Lenske for their
assistance in the preparation of the paper. We also wish to thank Lois Karp and
Gloria Neal for typing the manuscript.
* Member of the Illinois Bar; Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of
California, Berkeley; Director, Civil Justice Project, Center for the Study of Law
and Society.
** Research Sociologist, Center for the Study of Law and Society.
1 SMITH, JUsTIcE AND THE PooR 8 (1919).
2 Id. at 241.

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