Texas Wesleyan Law Review


Spencer Rand

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In this paper, I look at the work that attorneys are doing to right the wrongs of the underrepresented. This article argues that as a profession, we talk about providing assistance to those that cannot afford representation but that this is more talk than action. This article also examines modes of representing the poor, including legal services and other non-profit legal agencies and laws that allow attorneys to collect fees from third-party payors. Furthermore, this article argues that while the existing methods of representation are good and should be supported, these avenues are limited and, as such, are unlikely to change the position of the poor. This article further argues that many attorneys rely on ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1 as the expression of their duty to those that cannot afford to pay fully is expressed and that this rule is seriously deficient. Among other things, the rule is too nebulous because it does not address the need to take cases that address the condition of the poor. Furthermore, important provisions are adopted by many states with modifications that largely diminish its value. Finally, this article suggests ways that we could alter Model Rule 6.1 to begin to address the problems of the poor more fully.



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