More than 160 Law School Deans Pen Letter of Support for Legal Services Corporation

March 24, 2017

WASHINGTON – More than 160 law school deans sent a letter to Congressional leaders on Thursday, March 23, urging support for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC is a nonprofit corporation funded by Congress that promotes equal access to justice and provides grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.

The signatories—166 law deans in total—represent a diverse array of law schools, including private and public institutions of all sizes. Their letter to the Chairs of the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and the Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science, & Related Agencies follows an earlier letter sent by 25 Catholic law deans to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, opposing the elimination of LSC.

“LSC-funded providers serve millions of low-income Americans who could not otherwise afford legal representation,” the March 23 letter reads. “These providers help people who live in households with annual incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, a category that includes almost one in five Americans. The cases involve some of the most difficult, life-changing circumstances a person can face.”

The letter stresses that funding for legal aid is a wise public investment. Civil legal services for low-income Americans helps end cycles of domestic violence, allows children to more easily leave foster care, and reduces unjust evictions and foreclosures.

“LSC has been a success story because it reflects a bipartisan affirmation of who we are as Americans,” the letter concludes. “As the late Justice Antonin Scalia stated in his remarks celebrating the organization’s 40th anniversary, the LSC 'pursues the most fundamental of American ideals,’ for ‘without access to quality representation there is no justice.’”

Read the letter here: http://www.stthomas.edu/media/schooloflaw/pdf/lawdeanslettertoCongress.pdf

Read the earlier letter from Catholic law school deans: http://www.stthomas.edu/media/schooloflaw/pdf/catholiclawschooldeanslettertoLSC.pdf

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.