History of the Welfare State: Pre and Post Goldberg v. Kelly

(359 Ratings)

Produced on: May 13, 2016

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

This course takes a look at the development of welfare programs from the post WWII era through today. Using the lens of the landmark Supreme Court case of Goldberg v. Kelly (Brennan, 1970) which established Due Process rights for welfare recipients, we trace "entitlements" from Aid to Dependent Children ("ADC") through Aid to Families with Dependent Children ("AFDC") to today's "workfare" known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ("TANF"). This course provides a brief but comprehensive look at public benefits law and theory through U.S. history.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Gain an overview of the history of public benefits laws in the U.S.

II.    Become familiar with the Supreme Court’s findings in Goldberg v. Kelly 

III.   Understand the development of welfare programs in the U.S. from WWII through the present


Christopher Portelli

New York Legal Assistance Group

Christopher J. Portelli is Senior Staff Attorney at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) in Manhattan. He is founder and director of the Economic Justice Clinic at NYLAG. The clinic trains law students from St. John’s University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School in public benefits and allows the students to provide legal services to low income and homeless New Yorkers with attorney supervision. He is Co-Director of Project FAIR, a fair hearing assistance program run jointly by NYLAG and the Legal Aid Society. He frequently trains law students and attorneys in various topics in Poverty Law and related subjects. He earned his BA in Philosophy from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, his JD from New York Law School, and a Masters of Philosophy in Public and Urban Policy at The New School. He has recently taught courses in law and public policy at Brooklyn Law School, St. John’s University School of Law, The Milano Graduate School (The New School) and New York Law School. His previous teaching experience includes interdisciplinary courses at New York University, St. Peter’s University (Jersey City), and American University (Washington, DC).


Steve S.

Solid course on an important issue.

William L.

Mr. Portelli is an outstanding presenter. I would take any course he offers.

Ruth G.

Outstanding! The presenter was very well-informed and delivered his remarks in a warm and engaging manner. A true advocate.

george h.

In my opinion this course was extremely informative, providing a background representing our welfare/ public assistance programs. Thank you.

Mary Ellen F.

Very good presentation , The Speaker was well prepared and articulate .

William B.

Great Course!

Gregory S.

I think this material gave me with a very useful base amount of information and understanding that I will benefit from going forward.

Brandan B.

One of the best presentations on the subject I have ever seen!

P Rowland G.

Excellent presentation, well delivered.

Rose Ann P.

enjoyed the presenter and the discussion

Anthony N.

Very good course. on a topic about which I knew very little, other than having studied the Goldbrg decision in law school.

Andrew C.

Great class. Drew together a lot of little pieces into a coherent whole.

Michael W.

Well done course.

Rebecca J.

I would welcome more presentations on public benefits.

William H.

Good overview of the welfare state

Edward A.

Great introduction!

Kim W.

This is one of the best Lawline classes that I have taken. A must for learning the important history of welfare.

Laura V.

excellent, substantive presentation

Frank T.

I thought this was well done and informative

Melissa B.

Good overview of the history of social programs.

Load More


$ 59 Constitutional Law, Disability & Social Security Law, Civil Rights, and Public Interest Law In Stock


Get Unlimited Access to Lawline Courses

Unlimited CLE Subscription gives you access to take almost any course from our catalog and earn as much CLE credit as you need.