ERIC Number: ED229293
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Race and the Use of Legal Services: A Case Study of Chinese Americans.
Cultural and institutional influences on Chinese Americans' use of legal services are examined. General background information was gathered on clients who used the local office of a federally sponsored legal services program (LOLSP) in a major western city during 1978. Data were also collected through intensive interviews with LOLSP Chinese American staff, a randomly selected sample of 20 Chinese families, and the leaders of several community organizations. The 399 Chinese clients were also compared with 3,815 non-Chinese clients. Higher percentages of Chinese than non-Chinese were over 45, married, had never before used a lawyer, and were referred by community sources. Despite the potentially wide range of legal problems that their social and economic circumstances might be expected to generate, the Chinese tended to use LOLSP mainly for administrative immigration problems. Two factors explain the situation. First, for more than 100 years Chinese Americans have developed internal procedures for solving disputes outside the historically hostile formal legal systems. Second, when the LOLSP began to undertake social action strategies, it created the impression that it was no longer interested in handling individual problems. Also, community leaders involved in class action suits against the LOLSP threatened its funding and reduced its activism. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (Boulder, CO, 1982).