Case #10.0

California Legal Services, Inc. (B)

Publication Date: January 01, 1975
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This four-part case examines the efforts of California Legal Services (CLS) to provide legal aid to the poor in the late 1960s. Part A traces the origins of the legal services program. This section also presents incoming CLS Deputy Director David Goldman's views on the important role of "lawyer organizers" in legal aid. Part B examines Goldman's attempts to strengthen the organization internally, with particular attention to his development of a collective decision-making process. It also outlines his strategy for dealing with external constraints such as the bar, the governor, the press, and the unions. Part C follows CLS as it sues US Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz in an effort to halt the importation of Mexican farm workers into California. Part D examines the political response to CLS activities and outlines the strategy CLS developed to deal with political pressure.

Learning Objective:
The chief aim of the case is to develop students' sense of what a manager's objectives are and what concrete things must be done to accomplish them. Seemingly minor managerial decisions can be seen to have enormous strategic implications. The case also raises the question of what strategies are effective in managing the political and press relations of controversial agencies. Finally, Goldman's interpretation of his authorization can provide the basis for a discussion of advocacy ethics.

Other Details

Case Author:
Stephen Hitchner
Faculty Lead:
Stephen Hitchner
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States