Professor of Law
Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic
Administrative Assistant: Stephanie Lee,
John and Frances Angelos Law Center, Room 412
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1996
B.B.A., High Honors, University of Texas at Arlington, 1991
Hatcher’s new book,
Injustice, Inc.: How America's Justice System Commodifies Children and the Poor
(UC Press, Feb. 21, 2023), is receiving excellent reviews such as from Kirkus.
Hatcher’s last book, The Poverty Industry : The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens (NYU Press), also received national attention from the New Yorker, and several other national media, and has been the foundation for legislative change across the country.
Areas of Expertise
Poverty Law: including welfare policy, consumer law, housing, landlord/tenant, family law, public benefits, administrative advocacy, and legislative advocacy
Child Welfare Policy and Practice
Clinical Legal Education
Health Care Law: focusing on issues impacting low-income families and the uninsured
Before joining the faculty in 2004, Hatcher was an assistant director of advocacy with the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. He previously worked as a staff attorney for Legal Aid representing children pulled into the Baltimore foster care system, and he represented adult clients in all poverty law matters—including public benefits, housing, consumer, and family law issues. He was also a senior staff attorney with the Children's Defense Fund where he worked on policy development and legislative advocacy in areas impacting child and family poverty.
Hatcher's scholarship has revealed how government institutions of welfare and justice generate revenue by commodifying the vulnerable populations they exist to serve, often with the assistance of private contractors—violating ethics, laws, constitutional requirements, and agency purpose. His 2006 article, Foster Children Paying for Foster Care, exposed how state foster care agencies take children’s Social Security benefits and other resources, diverting the children's funds into state coffers. His additional articles uncovered the commodified harm and legal concerns of multiple child support cost recovery strategies, child welfare revenue schemes, Medicaid maximization and diversion strategies, nursing home revenue schemes, school-based Medicaid revenue schemes, vast contractual partnerships with private revenue contractors, and more—all undermining agency purpose and diverting funds intended to help vulnerable populations into state revenue and private profit. His first book, The Poverty Industry (NYU Press, 2016), further revealed the seemingly endless revenue mechanisms used by human service agencies, subverting their missions and partnering with private companies to use vulnerable populations as revenue tools. His second book, Injustice, Inc. (UC Press 2023), reveals even greater concerns: how our very systems of justice are also part of the poverty industry, including foundational courts, prosecutors, probation, police, and detention facilities, all using unconstitutional and unethical contractual revenue operations—like a factory—extracting revenue and resources from impoverished children and families.
Hatcher’s scholarship and advocacy has attracted national attention, including significant press coverage, testimony before Congress and several state legislatures, citation in multiple Congressional Research Service reports, requests to draft federal and state legislation, and continued participation in policy reform efforts across the country.
Books and Book Chapters
Injustice, Inc.: How America’s Justice System Commodifies Children and the Poor (UC Press, Feb. 21, 2023).
States Diverting Funds from the Poor, in Holes in the Safety Net: Federalism and Poverty (Ezra Rosser, ed., Cambridge University Press 2019).
The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens, NYU Press (June 21, 2016).
Book Chapter, Advocating for Nonresident Fathers in Child Welfare Court Cases, Legal Strategies to Address Child Support Obligations, ABA Center on Children and the Law (2009).
Articles and Essays
Commodified Inequality: Racialized Harm to Children and Families in the Injustice Enterprise (Family Court Review, forthcoming 2023)
Amicus Brief, Supreme Court of the United States, Health and Hospital Corporation v. Talevski, 2022 (an amicus brief was submitted on my behalf, based on my scholarship, in support of respondent defending rights of vulnerable nursing home residents under federal law), https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/21/21-806/238682/20220923151920034_21-806%20Health%20and%20Hospital%20v%20Talevski%20Amicus
Juvenile Court Interagency Agreements: Subverting Impartial Justice to Maximize Revenue from Children, 76 NYU Annual Survey of Am. Law 33 (2020).
Nursing Home Residents Treated Like Human ATMs ( NYU Press Blog (From The Square), May 27, 2020) https://www.fromthesquare.org/nursing-home-residents-treated-like-human-atms/#.X1k7cmdKjGI
Juvenile Court Interagency Agreements: Subverting Impartial Justice to Maximize Revenue from Children, NYU Annual Survey of Am. Law (forthcoming 2020).
Stop Foster Care Agencies from Taking Children’s Resources, 71 Florida Law Rev. Forum 104 (2019).
2017 Keynote Speech: Poverty’s Cost, 21 U.D.C Law Rev. 58 (2019).
Remembering Anti-Essentialism: Relationship Dynamics Stud and Resulting Policy Considerations Impacting Low-Income Mothers, Fathers and Children, 35 Law & Inequality 239 (2017).
Medicaid Maximization and Diversion: Illusory State Practices that Convert Federal Aid into General State Revenue , 39 Seattle University Law Review 1225 (2016).
Forgotten Fathers, 93 B.U. L. Rev. 897 (2013)
Purpose vs. Power: Parens Patriae and Agency Self-Interest, 42 N. Mex. L. Rev. 159 (2012)
Don't Forget Dad: Addressing Women's Poverty by Rethinking Forced and Outdated Child Support Policies, 10 Journal of Gender, Social & the Law 775 (2012)
Poverty Revenue: The Subversion of Fiscal Federalism, 52 Ariz. L. Rev. 675 (2010)
Collateral Children: Consequence and Illegality at the Intersection of Foster Care and Child Support, 74 Brooklyn L. Rev. 1333 (2009), (Selected for presentation at AALS Section on Family and Juvenile Law's 2010 Annual Meeting)
Legal Strategies to Address Child Support Obligations for Nonresident Fathers in the Child Welfare System, 28 ABA Child L. Prac. 1 (2009).
Child Support Harming Children: Subordinating the Best Interests of Children to the Fiscal Interests of the State, 42 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1029 (2007). (A draft of the article provided to the New York Times helped lead to a front page story. See Erik Eckholm, Mothers Scrimp as States Take Child Support, Dec. 1, 2007 at A 1.)
Foster Children Paying for Foster Care, 27 Cardozo L. Rev. 1797 (2006). (A draft of the article provided to the New York Times resulted in a front page story. See Erik Eckholm, Welfare Agencies Seek Foster Children's Assets, N.Y.Times, Feb 17, 2006 at A1. Professor Hatcher has since been asked to draft federal legislation to implement his suggested reforms and to testify before Congress regarding the article and his legislative proposal.
Breaking the Cycle of Defeat for 'Deadbroke' Noncustodial Parents Through Advocacy on Child Support Issues, 37 Clearinghouse Rev. 5 (May-June 2003) (co-author).
Recent Presentations and Conferences
Testimony, Council of the District of Columbia, bill to protect foster children's resources, 2022 (I also helped to draft the bill)
Testimony, Philadelphia City Council, bill protect foster children's resources (I also helped to draft the bill)
Presenter, National Association of Counsel for Children, 2022
Presenter and Trainer, State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center, Protecting federal benefits for children in foster care, 2022
Podcast Interview, Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota, The Poverty Industry, 2022
Presenter/Trainer, Partners for Our Children, Meeting of Washington State Agency, Lawmakers and Advocates, Protecting federal benefits for children in foster care, 2022
Presenter, "Just Listen," University of Baltimore, Commodified Inequality, 2022
Presenter, University of Baltimore, Faculty Symposium on Poverty, 2022
Congressional Testimony: My book, the Poverty Industry, and my advocacy, are discussed in cited by two members of Congress in their testimony to a Congressional committee on Veteran's Affairs, 2021.
Keynote Speaker/Book Talk, The Poverty Industry, UCLA Center for Social Medicine, 2021
Keynote Speaker/Book Talk, The Poverty Industry, The Rand Corporation, 2021
Presenter, National Association of Counsel for Children, 2020
Keynote Speaker, Equitable Dinners Atlanta, June 14, 2020 (collaborated with a playwright to convert scholarship into a play for the event, and I was the keynote speaker)
Keynote Speaker, Maryland Community Action Partnership Human Services Conference, May 2019.
Speaker, American Bar Association Conference on State and Local Government Equity in the Budgeting and Planning Process, April 2019.
Keynote Speaker, Prince George’s County Circuit Court Training, Entitlement Benefits for Foster Youth, March 2019.
Speaker, American University Washington College of Law Poverty Law Conference, Poverty States: Federalism, Rights and State Anti-Poverty Efforts, March 2018.
Keynote Speaker, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition Annual Dinner, November 2017.
Speaker, Baltimore Sun Newsmaker Forum, HOUSED: A Forum on Baltimore’s Housing Issues, October 2017.
Keynote Speaker, University of the District of Columbia Law Review, Poverty’s Cost Symposium, March 2017.
Keynote Speaker, Maryland Legal Aid Bureau Statewide Conference, November 2016
Speaker, National Poverty Law Conference, Poverty Law: Academic Activism, Seattle University School of Law, Feb. 20, 2016.
Speaker, 7th Annual Veteran's Legal Assistance Conference & Training, June 5, 2015.
Instructor, Maryland Judicial Institute, Impact of Poverty on Judicial-Decision Making, March 31, 2015.
Speaker, National Child Support Enforcement Administration, Policy Forum, Beginning Plenary Speaker, February 12, 2015.
Moderator, "How Long is Too Long - Criminal Records in the Digital Age," Conference/Panel discussion with the Job Opportunities Task Force, January 12, 2015.
Speaker, Social Security Advisory Board, Board discussion to consider ways to protect children's SSI funds, January 8, 2015.
Speaker, National Tribal Child Support Association Conference, June 9, 2014.
Speaker, "Evaluating Claims about "the End of Men': Legal and Other Perspectives," Boston University School of Law, October 12-13, 2012.
Speaker, AALS Joint Session of Sections on Poverty Law & Clinical Education, Theory and Praxis in Reducing Women's Poverty, January 7, 2012.
Speaker, Speaker Stolen Futures: A Forum On Child Identity Theft, Federal Trade Commission and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, July 12, 2011.
Speaker, Identity Assistance Center (ITAC) Podcast, Professor Daniel Hatcher, University of Baltimore Law School, July 10, 2011.
Speaker, The Urban Child in the Child Welfare System, University of Baltimore School of Law, April 7, 2011.
Speaker, Masking and Manipulating Vulnerability, Emory University School of Law, March 19, 2011.
Speaker, Congressional Briefing on "The Fleecing of Foster Children: How We Confiscate Their Assets and Undermine Their Financial Security," March 16, 2011, press release available at http://www.caichildlaw.org/Fleecing.htm.
Speaker, AALS Section on Family and Juvenile Law, 2010 Annual Meeting, Money, Intimacy, Law and the Contours of Inequality, Jan. 8, 2010 (paper selected from call for papers).
Speaker, American University Washington College of Law, Conference on Poverty and Economic Mobility, Oct. 26, 2009.
Speaker, ABA Section on Litigation, Children’s Rights Litigation, Raising our Hands: Creating a National Strategy for Children’s Right to Counsel in Abuse and Neglect Cases, Oct. 23, 2009.
Speaker, ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions, Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Proceeding, University of Maryland School of Law, June 13, 2008.
Speaker, Economic Driver’s License Suspension Roundtable, Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Mobility Agenda, March 5, 2008.
Speaker, The Role of Law Schools in Fostering Commitment to Pro Bono Publico, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Oct. 6, 2007.
Speaker, American Bar Association and University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, Children and the Courts, Summit on Unified Family Courts: Serving Children and Families Efficiently, Effectively and Responsibly, May 3, 2007.
Speaker, International Society of Family Law North-American Regional Conference, Vancouver, Presentation of draft article titled “Child Support Harming Children,” June 2007.
Speaker, Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program and ABA Center on Children and the Law, 12th National Conference on Children and the Law, Promoting Children's Interests: Preparation, Practice & Policy Reform, April 14, 2007.
Example Media Coverage
The Marshall Project, Inside Story, Paying for Their Own Foster Care, 2022 (interviewed as part of the video news investigation).
NPR, New York City Will Stop Collecting Social Security from Children in Foster Care, 2022 (story about NYC stopping harmful practice as a result of my scholarship and advocacy).
Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly took $5 Million in Foster Children's Social Security Benefits (investigation is based on my scholarship and quotes me)
Press Release, D.C. Councilmember Nadeau (quoting me and discussing my work in support of bill to protect foster children's resources), 2022
The Marshall Project, Foster Care Agencies Take Millions of Dollars Owed to Kids, 2022 (investigation is based on my scholarship and quotes me)
Baltimore Banner, "A Baltimore woman has had her food benefits canceled repeatedly. This time she fought back" (I am quoted), 2022
NBC, Children that Pay (I am interviewed and my research contributed to the documentary that aired on primetime), 2021
ProPublica, These Single Moms Are Forced To Choose: Reveal Their Sexual Histories or Forfeit Welfare, 2021 (investigation is based on my scholarship and quotes me)
NPR, Movement Grows for States to Give Back Federal Funds Owed to Foster Children, 2021 (Three-part NPR series/investigation is based on my scholarship and advocacy, and includes my interview. This series in collaboration with The Marshall Project that resulted from my scholarship was a finalist for the Pulitizer)
CBS Chicago, Foster Kids Footing The Bill For Their Own Services, 2021 (TV investigation based on my research and advocacy, and interviews me).
Netflix, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez (interviewed in the series as an expert), 2020.
Los Angeles Times, “Troubled companies made him billions. A prison phone investment made him enemies”, September 5, 2019
Chanel 7 News Boston, 7Investigates: Foster Children’s Money, May 9, 2019
Mother Jones, How One Company is Making Millions off Trump’s War on the Poor, February 2019
Baltimore Sun, Bills in Annapolis aim to allow greater public scrutiny of Maryland Judges, February 11, 2019
Fox 45 News Baltimore, Judges name coded out on bail cases, April 17, 2019
San Francisco Review of Books, Book Review of The Poverty Industry, October 22, 2018
The Capital Times, Op-Ed, Scott Walker confiscates millions from disabled and orphaned foster children, September 27, 2018
Political Science Quarterly, Book Review of The Poverty Industry, Spring 2018
Baltimore Sun, Op-Ed, Maryland needs to stop forcing foster children to pay for their own care, April 2, 2018
CPz Deep Dive, Podcast Interview of Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry, March 27, 2018
The Atlantic, When Prisoners are a “revenue opportunity”, August 10, 2017
Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Siphoning Off the Safety Net” (review of The Poverty Industry), Fall 2016
New Books Network, Book Review of The Poverty Industry, Nov. 8, 2016
Health Care Blog, Book Review of The Poverty Industry, October 31, 2016
The Healthcare Policy Podcast, Interview of Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry, September 23, 2016
KB00 Radio Portland Oregon, Interview of Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry, September 12, 2016
Boston Review, “Great Exploitations” (review of The Poverty Industry), August 29, 2016
KALW (NPR affiliate in San Francisco), Your Call, “Profiting from the Poor,” August 24, 2016
WPR (NPR affiliate in Wisconsin), The Kathleen Dunn Show, “How Government and the Private Sector Profit from the Social Safety Net,” August 23, 2016
New York Mid-Manhattan Library, Book discussion with Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry, August 22, 2016
The Potter’s House DC, Book discussion with Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry, July 14, 2016
WILL Illinois Public Radio (NPR affiliate in Illinois), The 21st Show, “The Poverty Industry,” July 11, 2016
KERA (NPR affiliate in Dallas), Think, “Exploring The Poverty Industry: 'Children And The Poor Being Mined For Revenue',” July 5, 2016
BYU Radio, The Matt Townsend Show, “The Poverty Industry,” July 1, 2016
C-SPAN, “Book Discussion on The Poverty Industry” (coverage of book talk with Politics and Prose), June 29, 2016
Politics and Prose/Busboys and Poets, Book discussion with Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry, June 29, 2016
Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) Op-Ed (reprinted from Transformation), Transform the Poverty Industry, June 29, 2016
The Guardian, “US law professor exposes system that makes profit from poverty,” June 28, 2016
WAMU (NPR in Washington DC), The Kojo Nnamdi Show, “ How Local Foster Care Plays A Role In ‘The Poverty Industry’,” June 28, 2016
WNYC (NPR affiliate in New York), The Leonard Lopate Show, “How Some Public-Private Partnerships Profit from Poverty,” June 27, 2016
WYPR (NPR affiliate in Baltimore), Midday, “The Poverty Industry,” June 24, 2016
Center for American Progress, TalkPoverty (Op-Ed), The Poverty Industry: How Foster Care Agencies Exploit Children in Their Care, June 24, 2016
KSTX, Texas Public Radio, (NPR affiliate in San Antonio, Texas), The Source, “Texas Among States That Siphons Federal Dollars To Balance Budget, Book Argues,” June 22, 2016.
Newstalk-WOCA, AM Ocala, The Poverty Industry, June 22, 2016
openDemocracy, Transformation, (Op-Ed), Transforming the Poverty Industry, June 21, 2016.
WOSU Public Media (NPR affiliate in Ohio), All Sides with Ann Fisher, “Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry,” June 7, 2016
CBS News Money Watch, “The High Cost of Being Poor,” March 28, 2016
Baltimore Sun Op-Ed, “Legislation Needed to Protect Foster Kids’ Assets,” March 3, 2015
Wonkette, “States Find Cash Cow: It is Impoverished Kids in Foster Care…,” March 6, 2015
Baltimore Sun Op-Ed, “How Maryland Robs its Most Vulnerable Children,” Oct. 14, 2013
Baltimore Sun Letter-to-the-editor, “Sorry, But DHR is Robbing Foster Children,” Oct. 23, 2013
Boston Globe, Op-Ed, “Romney’s Medicaid Shell Game,” Oct. 12, 2012
Salon, “Law Professor: Romney Exploited Federal Spending Loophole in Mass.,” Oct. 14, 2012
New York Times, Cuomo’s Medicaid Changes are at Washington’s Mercy, Oct. 23, 2012
Associated Press, “States’ Use of Foster Kids’ Benefits is Assailed,” March 16, 2011