Disasters devastate lower-income communities, creating new poverty and further entrenching inequality. In the wake of any disaster, families often need the assistance of a lawyer to overcome barriers to recovery.
The Disaster Resilience Program mobilizes Fellows and law students to provide free civil legal aid in disaster prone areas to ensure vital legal services are accessible, comprehensive, and responsive to the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities so lives can be stabilized and communities rebuilt to be more resilient.
Fellows and law students are hosted at legal services organizations, where they engage in outreach and education, help provide direct legal services to disaster survivors, and foster important relationships within the community.
In addition to the training and mentorship Fellows receive from their host organization, the Disaster Resilience Program provides a range of trainings and technical assistance throughout the Fellowship term. These include, but are not limited to:
- Substantive and skills-based webinars throughout the Fellowship
- Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training (attended by all Equal Justice Works Fellows)
- Annual Disaster Law Training
- Final Learning Event
- Potential for emergency travel to assist other legal aid organizations in the immediate aftermath of a disaster
- Equal Justice Works in-house disaster legal expert to provide and connect Fellows to specialized trainings, resources, and national partners related to disaster legal assistance
Host Organizations must provide legal supervision, a workspace, materials needed to work, and funding for fringe benefits, including health insurance, FICA, Worker’s Compensation (if applicable), and any other benefits available to full-time staff members.
The Host Organization selection process for the Disaster Resilience Program has concluded and application to the program is currently closed. Please contact [email protected] for questions.
The Disaster Resilience Program is currently funded by the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the California Wildfires Recovery, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and individual contributions.