More than 140 American law school deans--including Albert M. Sacks, dean of the Law School--sent a letter to Congress this week asking for maintained funding of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides federally financed free legal aid.
The Reagan administration want to abolish the corporation, which supplies legal help to poor people in non-criminal matters.
The joint statement of the deans' says "substantial funding for legal services is essential if we are going to make progress toward meeting the goal of equal justice under the law."
Law school professors across the country are preparing a similar statement and will sent it to Congress within a month. Sacks added.
A Senate committee has recommended trimming the corporation's annual budget from $321 million to $100 million: a House committee has called for a reduced-budget of $200 million.
Cutting the corporation's budget would severely damage the Legal Services Institute, a key component of the Law School's clinical education program. Gary Bellow, professor of Law and the head of the institute, said. The insitute receives $500,000 per year from the corporation.