This paper has attempted to reconcile the neighborhood legal services plan with the existing Canons of Professional Ethics.The prime argument is that the plan provides benefits to society, and that the Canons were designed to prevent evils far different from the questions presented by the project. This is the fundamental issue: whether the canons are merely bent, or, in reality, broken. In either event, the canons should not prevent justice for those too poor to pay for a lawyer. The"redeeming social interest" spoken of by the Court in obscenity cases and the "overriding social importance" talked about in social legislation are phrases which are very apt in this context. If bent, the Canons should stand with that permanent crook so as to aid the indigent. If broken, the canons should be revised to fit current needs and modern situations, not to shut out the poor in their quest for the justice which is promised to every individual under the system of law in our nation.
Kenneth D. Korosec, Legal Ethics and the Poverty Program, 15 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 225 (1966)