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People in Crisis: A Poverty Simulation CLE

Presented by The Kansas Bar Association Diversity Committee and Kansas Women Attorneys Association, together with Women in Law, the Public Interest Law Society, and the Faculty & Staff Committee on Diversity at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Friday, April 13 | 2 – 4 p.m. program | 4 – 5 p.m. reception

The Oread, 1200 Oread Ave., Lawrence, KS 66044

2.0 hours CLE credit in Kansas and 2.4 hours CLE credit in Missouri

Free to attorneys and judges, with preference given to KBA and KWAA members and KU Law alumni and students.

Space limited to 80 attendees


The People in Crisis CLE program is an interactive exercise with up to 80 participants assuming the roles of up to 26 different families living with limited resources. Some families are newly unemployed, some are recently deserted by the breadwinner and others receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), either with or without additional income. Still others are senior citizens receiving Social Security or grandparents raising grandchildren. The task of the families is to provide for basic necessities and shelter during the course of one simulated “month,” comprised of four 15-minute “weeks.”

During the CLE program, there are a variety of community resources and service agencies available to the families, including a bank, food pantry, general employer, payday and title loan company and social services agency. Volunteers play the roles of the community resources and service agencies. The CLE program lasts approximately 2 hours. It includes an introduction, the interactive exercise and a debriefing period in which the participants and volunteers share their feelings and experiences, talking about what they have learned during the exercise.

The People in Crisis CLE program helps participants better understand what it might feel like to be a member of a low-income family trying to meet basic needs each month. While we may be intellectually familiar with the statistics of poverty, this exercise enables participants to experience some of the emotional stresses and frustrations created by having limited resources, as well as the difficult choices people with few resources feel they may need to make in order to survive.

Questions? Contact Deana Mead at or (785)234-5696.