Congress Approves $560 Million for Civil Legal Assistance at Law Deans’ Urging


In May of 2022, 99 law school deans signed a letter to the United States Congress imploring legislators to provide increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to address what they called “the ever-growing justice gap in America.” Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell signed on behalf of New York Law School, and other signatories included a wide array of state attorneys general, state judges, and corporate counsel.

The letter argued for a critical and urgent need for civil legal assistance—a need that has only grown since the onset of the pandemic.

At the very end of 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the final appropriations bill for the 2023 fiscal year. The bill includes $560 million for LSC which is below the LSC’s request of $1.2 billion but represents a 14.5 percent increase of last year’s appropriation.

“I was honored to sign this letter urging Congress to take critical action, and I thank Dean Ron Weich of the University of Baltimore for his leadership in coordinating this effort,” Dean Crowell says. “I look forward to advocating for more resources for the LSC, which is critical to ensuring justice is done in every sense of the word.”