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Poverty Law Research Guide

This guide will assist researchers of poverty law, including Family Law, Global Poverty Law, Government Benefits Law, Homelessness Law, Housing Law, Legal Assistance to the Poor, and Social Security Law.


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This guide is designed to assist with research in the Georgetown University Law Library on poverty and related areas of legal scholarship, practice, and policymaking. It includes sections of family law, global poverty law, government benefits law, homelessness law, housing law, legal assistance to the poor, and Social Security law. Each section provides information on relevant books, journals, databases, electronic resources, organizations, and statistics where available.

When using this guide to research specific or discrete topics, it is important to explore the resources listed in all sections. The resources and organizations presented under each category will often address a variety of poverty-related topics, although their names may indicate a concentration in a single area.

Poverty law has been defined as "the legal statutes, regulations and cases that apply particularly to the financially poor in his or her day-to-day life."ƒ Accordingly, the research of poverty law often draws upon materials across a wide range of legal topics and social science disciplines, including public benefits law, health care law, housing law, education law, elder law, family law, juvenile law, employment law, welfare law, and Social Security law. A broader list includes consumer law, immigration law, insurance law, domestic violence, child care, election reform, political science, economics, sociology, social policy, social work, and financial literacy of low-income people.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of research in the subject, poverty law researchers may also find the Law Library's Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Research GuideConsumer Law andPolicy Research Guide to be helpful.