Photo of Latasha Cooper

Latasha Cooper

  • Hosted by Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
  • Sponsored by Disaster Resilience Program
  • Service location Orlando, Florida
  • Law school Florida A&M University College of Law
  • Issue area Consumer Rights, Disaster Recovery, Disaster Response and Preparedness, Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Disaster Resilience Program

The Project

Latasha will 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 to rebuild lives, stabilize neighborhoods and create resilience.

The needs addressed by her project include the various unmet needs of disaster survivors in being informed of their legal rights and options for resources in the areas of housing, consumer, and government and community programs. Since some of the many unmet needs of disaster survivors in housing include landlord/tenant issues related to housing conditions, evictions, and repairs, these are areas that she will focus her efforts on. Some other unmet needs that she intends to address include a variety of consumer rights issues, especially in the realm of contractor abuses or failures to provide agreed-upon work or contractor liens where work was not completed as agreed.

Latasha has been especially inspired by disaster resiliency because, until her exposure to this area of law, she did not realize just how vast of a range there was in unmet legal needs following a disaster. She has always had a passion for housing and consumer rights legal issues. Her connection to disaster involved members of her own family who were affected by a significant storm in the Atlanta area back in 2018. In this case, her mother’s house was blown into pieces, and her mom and family were displaced with nothing short of a few days’ assistance from a community partner. It was in this personal instance of turmoil that she realized just how dismayed a family could become when hit by a disaster and sudden tragedy.

Fellowship Plans

Latasha plans to provide free civil legal aid in disaster-prone areas to ensure vital legal services are accessible to the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities affected by the disaster. Some of the significant activities intended to accomplish these goals include providing direct legal services, delivering outreach and education to underserved communities through “Know Your Rights” presentations and collaborating with partners, other legal aid organizations, and cohort Fellows to serve communities impacted by the disaster.

Latasha previously served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Disaster Recovery Legal Corps.

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