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Save Legal Services



To the Editors of the Crimson:

I hope the numbers in the story (April 2) on the potential loss by the Legal Services Institute of the Law School of its funding from the Legal Services Corporation are wrong. The story ("Budget Cuts May Hamper Legal Service") asserts that the Institute gets $500,000 a year, 24 law students and 8 GSAS students are presently involved, and that it handles cases for people who cannot afford legal fees. It thus appears the Institute is costing us roughly 15,600 per student involved. What can possibly explain these figures, unless it is an error? I assume the students are not paid: the faculty is not paid, except perhaps in modest part, from the grant. An office? A secretary? Car-fare? Legal briefs? Summer pay for students? The real story was not that the Legal Services Institute was being cut: it was, unless the figures were wrong, that something that should cost very little--providing legal services by student volunteers for the poor--was costing a fortune. It is this sort of head-scratching result resulting from simple division that leads some of us to believe that many things in government can be cut without any apparent losses to the poor. Nathan Glazer   Professor of Education and Social Structure

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