WMU-Cooley Law School Christian Legal Society Hosts Talk on Poverty and Issues Surrounding Rule of Law in the Developing World

Patrick Oetting, Andrew Vanderput, Sorinna Griffin,Abi Adjanor

Pictured (left-right) Patrick Oetting, Acton Institute Alumni Relations Director; Andrew Vanderput, PovertyCure Strategy & Engagement Manager; Sorinna Griffin, CLS vice president; and Abi Adjanor, CLS president at the “Justice for the Poor” discussion.

The Christian Legal Society (CLS) at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus hosted a discussion on poverty and law with a showing of the PovertyCure Inc.’s video series, “Justice for the Poor.” The Feb. 20 event explored the roots of human flourishing with a focus on entrepreneurial solutions to poverty.

Representatives from Acton Institute, a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles, facilitated the discussion on issues surrounding rule of law, or lack thereof, in the developing world. Acton Institute Alumni Relations Director Patrick Oetting and PovertyCure Strategy & Engagement Manager Andrew Vanderput discussed the film and what could be done to help combat poverty in local communities.

Abi Adjanor, CLS president said, “It is an honor to organize an event like this in that it is an ‘eye-opener’ as it digs deeper into issues about how the rule of law impacts not only the developing countries but the communities at large.”

The film series focuses on the limitations that are caused by the lack of legal frameworks and the rule of law in the developing world, and determines how this impacts the poor in a society. It says that lack of private property rights often inhibits entrepreneurship and thus people’s ability to escape from poverty. Without ownership rights, people who start businesses are unable to get loans, expand or grasp the fruits of their labor.

The film says that once individuals are given property rights, they tend to flourish in a variety of ways: world views begin to change, trust in other people increases, health improves and children stay in school longer. However, the film continues, implementing rule of law is a long-term and difficult proposition.

About Western Michigan University Cooley Law School: WMU-Cooley Law School resulted from the 2014 affiliation that combined WMU's status as a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and WMU-Cooley Law School operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.



‘Justice for the Poor’ Video Series Featured

Event explores how Rule of Law affects communities, countries

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