Burned out home in New Orleans, Ninth Ward.
Student Hurricane Network is a collaboration of law students
from across the US working for the redevelopment and rebuilding
of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. Students at the University
of Oregon have joined in this collaboration. UO students are
planning an alternative spring break trip to participate in
pro bono activities the Gulf Coast region. In addition, students
will be involved in hurricane-relief related work during the
summer, including legal research and writing projects about
a variety of disaster-related topics.
is SHN Important?
The Hurricanes decimated legal institutions decimated, destroyed
offfices and lawyers & staff displaced and/or laid off.
The hurricane itself has created new pressing legal work to
be handled by this reduced staff those cases pending before
half of the Louisiana Bar was displaced by Katrina and Rita.
Low income legal services overwhelmed with rebuilding effort.
The City of New Orleans is bankrupt - 35 of 39 public defenders
have been laid off.
does SHN serve?
Hurricane victims & communities in Louisiana, Mississippi,
Alabama, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. Those who need help
navigating the FEMA system. Those with problems associated
with the death or disability of a loved one. Those in the
criminal justice system
Rebuilding/redeveloping affected areas.
New Orleans, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
Fort Worth, TX
Over 25 different organizations from Louisiana, Mississippi,
Alabama, Texas, Florida and Tennessee have agreed to work
with law students to serve the needs of those affected by
the recent hurricanes. Students have the opportunity to work
on a variety of issues such as criminal justice, civil rights,
housing, juvenile justice, immigration, and governmental benefits.
For a complete list of organizations confirmed for spring
break, see the link below [List of confirmed organizations]
What is it we’re trying to do?
Our goal here at the UO Student Hurricane Network
is twofold: One, we want to help alleviate some of the overwhelming
demand for legal services in the hurricane-affected areas.
Two, we want to serve as a network for UO students to connect
with attorneys helping in the rebuilding effort and to gain
valuable experience using legal skills.
can volunteers go?
See List at right. Although it is counter-intuitive,
there may actually be a greater need for legal services outside
the immediate hurricane zone. Most of the displaced populations
from New Orleans and Coastal Mississippi are living elsewhere
in places such as Houston, Dallas, Jackson, and Pensacola.
If you consider going to those places, you are more likely
to have direct client contact. Of course, there is so much
need, that your services in and around New Orleans are not
going to be wasted. Just don’t discount the other places!