Burned out home in New Orleans, Ninth Ward.

About SHN

The 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.

Why 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 the storm.

Almost 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.

Who 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.

Where can
volunteers go?
Lafayette, LA
New Orleans, LA
Shreveport, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
Oxford, MS
Jackson, MS
Gulfport, MS
Hattiesburg, MS
Austin, TX
Beaumont, TX
Galveston, TX
Houston, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Mobile, AL
Birmingham, AL
Pensacola, FL
Miami, FL
Memphis, TN

Organizations and Collaborations
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.

Where 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!

For further information:
Check out the Student Hurricane Network website:

email Erin Fair, Institutional Liaison for SHN at UO

or email Paul Tassin