For the Poor and Disenfranchised: An Institutional and Historical Analysis of American Public Interest Law, 1876-1990

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Quid Pro Books, Dec 17, 2014 - Law - 170 pages
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For the Poor and Disenfranchised is an historical and institutional analysis of the public interest bar in the United States. It traces how the legal profession delivered on the legal system’s promise of equal justice for all by making the legal system available to all and a vehicle for substantive justice, exploring political mobilization, entrepreneurial lawyering, and pro bono publico representation.

“In this dramatic and detailed account, Robert Sauté documents the establishment and evolution of the public interest bar, particularly its struggles to provide zealous advocacy for its clients. Through meticulous historical research in case studies of the New York Legal Aid Society, NAACP, ACLU, and Legal Services Corporation, Sauté’s book analyzes how access to the legal system has been affected by cultural and structural changes in society and in American politics. His chapter on pro bono in large firms reveals how a new generation of elite lawyers defines its commitment to professionalism and the poor.”
— Cynthia Fuchs Epstein
Distinguished Professor
Graduate Center, CUNY
Author, Women in Law

“Rob Sauté’s For the Poor and Disenfranchised is a subtle and fascinating history of the development of public interest and poverty law in the United States, analyzing how the legal profession has responded to the needs of the poor and disenfranchised over time. Although there have been many advances in the ways those needs are met, Sauté closely examines the influence of the market, social movements and other factors and suggests that those responses have been inadequate, particularly in light of a legal system moving increasingly to the right.”
— Mark Potok
Senior Fellow
Southern Poverty Law Center

A new addition to the Dissertation Series by Quid Pro Books.


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About the author (2014)

Robert Saute holds a PhD in Sociology from CUNY's Graduate Center, teaches in the Labor and Employment Relations program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is an editor, and lives in New York City.

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