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This Article is concerned with legal services lawyers and how they ethically might allocate their time and resources among their clients. Part I of this Article describes the institutional terrain of legal services practice and introduces the concept of the lawyer as street-level bureaucrat, operating within a complex, high demand human services bureaucracy. Part II discusses the problems inherent in attempts to ration care within a subsidized law practice. The purpose of Part II is to reveal the practice tensions that establishment professional ethics fail to accommodate, and that form an underlying justification for a discussion of triage principles. Part III then describes a model of community-based ethics that can serve as the basis for a triage system in a beginning attempt to lessen the internal contradictions of poverty law work.