1965-1975: OEO Era

The OEO era began in 1964 when Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act, the beginning of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. For the first time, Congress made federal money available for legal services for the poor.

OEO’s legal services program achieved much success but also encountered significant opposition. This made clear the need for a new legal services structure, separate from the Executive branch and protected from vagaries of the political process.

While many people played important roles, the three critical, formative players for the OEO Office of Legal Services were Bamberger, Johnson and Cahn.

Related oral histories

Following is a list of oral histories relating to the OEO era:

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Bamberger, Clinton — Interview by Christopher Brown, 2002 Jun 04 OEO/LSC

Bellow, Gary — Interview by Zona Hostetler, 1999 Mar 17 LA/OEO

Bennett, H. Michael — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2004 May 27LSCC/OEO

Cahn, Edgar — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2002 Jul 03 OEO/LA

Edson, Charles — Interview by Robert Rhudy (?), 2002 Jun 07 OEO

Johnson, Earl, Jr.– Interview by Alan Houseman, 2002 Nov 02 OEO

Lenzner, Terry — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2002 Sep 04 OEO

McCalpin, Bill — Interview by Linda Perle, 2002 Aug 09 OEO/LSC

Reynoso, Cruz — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2002 Aug 12 OEO

Wald, Patricia — Interview by Linda Perle, 2015 Apr 22 OEO

Westwood, Howard — Interview by Clinton Bamberger, 1992 Oct 06 OEO