Poverty and Economic Mobility – Washington, DC

Paper proposals are invited around the conference theme “Poverty and Economic Mobility” for a scholarly gathering at American University Washington College of Law on Monday Oct. 26, 2009. Papers fitting broadly with the theme will be considered. If you are interested, please email paper title and abstract to Ezra Rosser at erosser [at] wcl.american.edu by September 15, 2009.

Papers in all stages of completion are invited, though the hope is that they will be at a stage where they could be improved through conference participation. Food during the day will be provided but participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging.

At the University of Chicago Law School last year, Justice Scalia put forward his view on poverty law: “I took nothing but bread-and-butter classes, not ‘Law and Poverty,’ or other made-up stuff. Take serious classes. There’s too much to law to learn. Don’t waste your time.”

Whatever one’s feelings about Justice Scalia’s remarks, they arguably do say something about the marginalized place of poverty law and poverty scholarship. After enjoying some attention during the war on poverty, it has been a long time since poverty law was “sexy.” Maybe it is time to think about economic mobility. This might be way of “bootstrapping” attention while also providing a missing perspective on poverty.