The contemporary public interest legal movement is not far from that description, which Martin Luther King, Jr. once invoked to characterize the civil rights campaign of the 1960s. Most of this nation's leading public interest law organizations are now in midlife; they have grown substantially in size and influence since their formation beginning in the late 1960s. Groups that started with a few idealists, typewriters, and a Xerox machine are now multimillion dollar institutions at the forefront of social reform. Yet as the capacities of public interest legal organizations have increased, so, too, have many of the problems they seek to address. The growing conservatism of the public and the courts, and the increasing competition among reform-oriented groups, have also added new challenges. The movement has made enormous progress, but its aspirations far exceed its achievements...

 

Read the full article.