From the 1890s onwards, social reformers, volunteer lawyers, and politicians increasingly came to see access to affordable
or free legal advice as a critical part of helping working-class people uphold their rights with landlords, employers, and
retailers - and, from the 1940s, with the welfare state. Whilst a state scheme was launched in 1949, it was never fully implemented
and help from a lawyer remained out of the reach of many people. Lawyers for the poor is the first full-length study of the
development of voluntary action and mutual schemes to make the law more accessible, and the pressure put on the legal profession
and governments to bring in further reforms. It offers new insights of the role of access to the law in shaping ideas about
citizenship and civil rights in the twentieth century. -- .