This law school casebook examines how society uses law to impact the realities of existence for poor people. It explores an emerging orthodoxy ; that government welfare programs harm more than they help. The first section focuses on conceptualizing poverty law theory through exploring current poverty, the historical legacies influencing welfare policy, and competing public policy perspectives on welfare. The second section examines poverty law practice, including challenges for poverty lawyers and the constitutional issues related to due process, equal protection, and the unconstitutional conditions dilemma. The third section discusses welfare reform and its focus on family and work.