The Law: Politics and Poverty

For five years the Legal Services Program of the Office of Economic Opportunity has championed the rights of the poor with one hand, while fending off attacks from local and state governments with the other. Now, Legal Services lawyers feel that they need a third hand to repel an assault from a new quarter: the OEO itself.

The latest challenge developed five months ago, when a senior OEO official announced a plan that threatened to take authority for funding and policy direction away from National Legal Services Director Terry Lenzner and parcel it out to OEO's 10 regional directors. All are political...

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