University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Brian Gilmore


This article is a brief historical examination of the origins of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program and an analysis of the work of the program as a federally-funded legal services program for forty years. Part I of this article examines the history of the program in the early years and the birth of the "neighborhood" concept in legal services. Part II analyzes the key precedent-setting housing cases the program litigated in the 1960's and 1970's. Part III addresses the criticisms of the program and reviews legal services in general. For instance, almost immediately from its inception, the idea of neighborhood-based legal services for the poor came under assault by political forces interested in destroying these organizations and their underlying governmental support. Finally, this article presents the obvious question: What is the real legacy and lessons left by the Neighborhood Legal Services Program as it continues its work amidst a much different legal services environment?

First Page