Expanded LSC Records Finding Aid

Let’s C — LSC employees’ newsletter, May 1980. LSC Records, Newsletters series, NEJL.

The NEJl has recently expanded its finding aid for the LSC records (NEJL 012). The Legal Services Corporation Records constitute one of the core collections of the NEJL, and came to the NEJL in several different accessions. Many of the materials were donated from LSC’s in-house library. The collection consists mostly of gray literature – generally defined as publications that are not controlled by commercial publishers, such as research reports and proceedings of board meetings, and of audio-visual materials. The LSC collection is not a traditional manuscript collection and is partially “artificial”: to fill gaps in specific series and to facilitate easier access to LSC materials, materials from other NEJL collections are included in the LSC finding aid, even though they remain part of other NEJL collections, such as the Bill McCalpin Papers.

The records are arranged into the following nine series: 1. Board and committee meetings; 2. Fact books; 3. Budget and appropriation requests; 4. Annual reports; 5. Program directories; 6. Reports and proceedings; 7. training materials, 8. Newsletters and clipping files, and 9. Audio-visual materials.

In re Gault 50th anniversary

The NEJL has started working on a few projects in preparation for the 50th anniversary of In re Gault next year. We are currently collaborating with the NJDC to scan the entire original In re Gault 387 U.S. 1 (1967)  case file, using the new Innovation Hub at the National Archives, for example, and more projects are planned down the road. Stay tuned…

Experiences of a Legal Aid Lawyer by Junius Allison

When reviewing correspondence files from the early 1990s, the NEJL archivist recently discovered an unpublished manuscript: Experiences of a Legal Aid Lawyer by Junius L. Allison [ca. 1993]. Allison (1909-2003), who was originally from North Carolina, worked at Chicago’s Legal Aid Bureau in the 1940s and joined NLADA’s staff in 1953. From 1962-1971, he served as the organization’s Executive Director. Allison’s manuscript includes detailed recollections of his work for the Chicago Legal Aid Bureau in the 1940s, and his work for the NLADA in the 1950s and 1960s, where he closely cooperated with Emery A. Brownell. From an archivist’s perspective, Allison’s memoirs are also interesting, because they include descriptions of the contents of NLADA’s library in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as descriptions of some of NLADA’s promotional projects, such as the launch of the “Justice” TV series in 1953. The manuscript can be reviewed at the NEJL.

Featured collection (election special): The Center for a New Democracy collection

The NEJL also holds a few collections that document the development of public interest law more broadly, beyond the history of legal services. One of these is the Center for a New Democracy collection on campaign finance reform. The Center for a New Democracy, a project of the Tides Foundation, was established in 1991 to promote democratic reform through research, public education, litigation, and community organizing and training. A particular focus was on public financing of elections and fair voting reforms. The CND existed until 1996, and Donna Edwards served as its director from 1994-1996.

The collection (NEJL 064) was donated to the NEJL in 1996, and it includes case files and other materials related to state ballot initiatives in favor of campaign finance reform in the mid 1990s: Missouri Proposition A (Carver v. Nixon and Shrink v. Maupin); Minnesota (Day v. Holahan); California (Pro-Life Council PAC v. Jan Scully); Colorado (Colorado Right to Life Committee v. Victoria Buckley, Secretary of State); Montana (Right to Life Ass., et al. v. Robert Eddleman, County Attorney); Maine (Maine Right to Life Committee v. Federal Election Comm.); Oregon (Center to Protect Free Speech, Inc. v. Oregon); Washington, D.C. (National Black Police Assn. et.al. v. DC Board of Elections and Ethics).

In addition, the collection includes a range of reports, pamphlets, and articles (gray literature) on campaign finances in various states and in the U.S., including statewide surveys of “American Attitudes Toward Money in Politics” conducted by Bannon Research on behalf of the Center for a New Democracy in Massachusetts; Montana, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and California.

Of particular local interest in Washington, D.C. are the materials related to Initiative 41, a 1992 ballot initiative that limited contributions to $100 for the election cycle for district-wide races and $50 per cycle for Ward races. The Center for a New Democracy and the DC community group DC ACORN, a principal supporter of the initiative, undertook a study to analyze the early impact of Initiative 41 on elections in the District. The collection also includes case files from National Black Police Association v. District of Columbia, 108 F.3d 346, 348-49 (D.C.Cir.1997). The case challenged the constitutionality of the new D.C. law as imposing “unprecedented limitations on the right of individuals and groups to contribute, and of political candidates to accept, contributions in support of campaigns for elected public office.”

A collection inventory exists, and the collection can be accessed at the NEJL.

Recently digitized: Legal Services During the 1971 Mayday Demonstrations

Between April 28 and May 7, 1971, over 12,000 people were arrested during a series of anti-war protests in Washington, D.C. – it became known as the largest mass arrest in U.S. history. Along with many volunteer attorneys from the ACLU and other organizations, over forty attorneys from DC’s Public Defender Service played a critical role in providing emergency representation for the detainees, many of whom had never before been arrested. This Special Report of the Board of Trustees of the PDSDC, chaired by Samuel Dash, details the activities of the PDS staff during the Mayday protests. The digitized report is now available in Digital Georgetown — permalink: https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/1041061



Book reviews

In the past years, To Establish Justice for All: The Past and Future of Civil Legal Aid in the United States by Earl Johnson Jr. (Praeger, 2013) has been reviewed numerous times. Reviews by Art Gilbert in the L.A. Daily Journal, Jan. 26, 2014, and by Toby Rothschild in the MIE Journal, vol. 28, are available on the on the book’s website: http://www.toestablishjustice.com/page1/page1.html

Victor Geminiani reviewed it for the Clearinghouse Review, Vol. 2015, Issue 5, and Alan Houseman wrote a reflection, published in the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, vol. 23, no. 2.

Transcript of interview with Brooksley E. Born available online

A transcript of the oral history interview with Brooksley Born, conducted by Alan Houseman in June 2015, is now available online. In the interview, Brooksley Born, retired partner at Arnold & Porter, discusses her public service and pro bono work, which she pursued using the firm as a base. Together with Marna Tucker, she started teaching the pioneering “Women and the Law” course at Catholic University in 1972, while also being involved in the formation of the Women’s Legal Defense Fund. In 1973, she helped to launch the Women’s Rights Project at CLASP, which later became the National Women’s Law Center. Other topics include her extensive work with the ABA, where she has chaired the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, and the Consortium on Legal Services and the Public. Born was the first woman to be appointed to the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, and, with Marna Tucker, founded the ABA Women’s Caucus. She also discusses her tenure as the chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 1996-1999, where she urged that the over-the-counter derivatives market should be subject to federal oversight and regulation. The government’s failure to regulate that market was later criticized as a major cause of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. “What was important to me,” she said, “was always trying to look clearly at a situation and see the dangers for people who were not represented or spoken for, and I think I was doing the same thing at the CFTC as I was doing on SCLAID or the National Women’s Law Center. It was the American public that was endangered by the over-the-counter derivatives, and I felt I should voice their interests and try to represent them…The lesson that I’ve learned throughout my life is that you can’t be silent about the needs of others that you see.” (Transcript, p. 30) Ms. Born has received many awards recognizing her work in the areas of women’s rights, legal aid, public interest law, and her public service. In 2009, Born was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in recognition of her political courage to sound early warnings about the dangers of the unregulated derivatives market. Born has overseen ABA’s Women Trailblazers in the Law oral history project, capturing the experiences of women pioneers in the legal profession.

Transcript of the oral history interview with Brooksley E. Born, conducted by Alan Houseman on behalf of the NEJL Oral History Project, June 22, 2015, online at Digital Georgetown.