Professor of Law
Director, Justice Action Center
Director, Economic Justice Project of the Justice Action Center
Coeditor, Clinical Research Institute
Richard D. Marsico teaches clinical courses at New York Law School. His work has included representing community groups campaigning for local development to bring housing and jobs to needy people and to increase banking and financial opportunities in poor and minority neighborhoods.
A Westchester native, Professor Marsico went to college in the Bronx, where he got his B.A., summa cum laude, from Fordham University, along with a healthy sense of the possibilities for community development in low-income neighborhoods.
“I’ve always been interested in antipoverty efforts and civil rights,” he says. “In law school, I developed an interest in community-based economic development as a way to fight poverty and discrimination. It’s a combination of liberal politics and economic development.”
During law school at Harvard, where he earned his J.D. magna cum laude, Professor Marsico learned the power of the law as a force for change. He took a clinical course where he worked with clients who needed his representation and where he could see the positive results of his efforts. He now teaches clinical courses, where he has supervised students representing clients on diverse issues including discrimination, community reinvestment, not-for-profit law, and political asylum. “With the asylum cases, for example, we’ve helped get political refugees and their families here and we get good citizens in the process,” he says, explaining the satisfaction in working with clinic clients.
“They fled here because of what we stand for and now they hope to be good residents and good citizens.”
Professor Marsico’s scholarship now focuses on the Community Reinvestment Act, and he has just published a book about this obscure, but crucial, federal law that promotes economic development in impoverished communities. He is examining ways to encourage banks to make loans to businesses and residents of these low-income neighborhoods without encouraging predatory lending at high interest rates and harsh terms. He has written and lectured extensively in the field, focusing on low-income and minority borrowers. His published research includes a survey on patterns of home mortgage lending to low-income and minority communities in the New York metropolitan area.
Now, as Director of the Justice Action Center, Professor Marsico is shaping the school’s efforts to use law’s constructive power as a tool of justice and social welfare. He brings extensive practical experience to the Justice Action Center, having worked as a staff attorney in the Civil Division of the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx and as law clerk to the Honorable Shirley Wohl Kram of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Professor Marsico is married to an attorney who serves as a town justice and a hearing examiner for New York State. They have three children.
Fordham, B.A. 1982 summa cum laude Harvard, J.D. 1985 magna
Law Clerk, Hon. Shirley Wohl Kram, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Served in Civil Division of Legal Aid Society. Authority on lending and banking law relating to poor and minority neighborhoods, with specialty in community reinvestment and home mortgage disclosure legislation.
Social Science Research Network (SSRN)