2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

Learn More & Apply

Headshot of Nick Gau

Nick Gau

  • Hosted by Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Disaster Resilience Program
  • Service location Nashville, Tennessee
  • Law school Belmont University College of Law
  • Issue area Disaster Recovery, Disaster Response and Preparedness
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Disaster Resilience Program

The Project

Nick will provide legal services to victims of the December 2021 tornadoes on the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) Disaster Response Helpline and increase the capacity of the helpline to provide legal services to disaster victims in the future.

There are a number of obstacles standing in the way of Tennesseans facing legal strife in the wake of disaster. The first of these obstacles is often their misunderstandings about what constitutes a civil legal issue. Disaster survivors must then be made aware of the free civil disaster legal services available and how to access them. TALS will continue to improve and expand the provision of free civil legal advice to survivors of the 2021 tornadoes and other natural disasters through the Disaster Helpline and partnerships. Lastly, community partners statewide need to be made aware of TALS’ position as the first point of contact for victims seeking disaster legal services.

Nick worked in safety, security, and disaster preparedness prior to attending law school. In fact, it was his appreciation and aptitude for high-pressure problem solving that drew him to both fields. This Fellowship through the Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program provided Nick the opportunity to draw on past experience to help grow Tennessee’s disaster legal services community.

Fellowship Plans

Nick will enhance TALS’ capacity to meet the civil legal needs of disaster victims by creating training and reference materials for attorneys staffing the disaster response help line. Nick will increase awareness among community partners by sharing information about the helpline with new and existing partners. Nick will also equip community partners who are working directly with victims in the field with tools to identify civil legal issues, so they may refer victims to TALS for legal services.

Strong communities share burdens.”

Nick Gau /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Nick

View All

Lizdebeth Carrasco-Gallardo

Host: New Mexico Immigrant Law Center

Current Fellow

Headshot of David Wrinkle

David Wrinkle

Host: Kentucky Legal Aid (KLA)

Sponsor: Disaster Resilience Program

Current Fellow

Headshot of Matthew Flood

Matthew Flood

Host: West Tennessee Legal Services

Sponsor: Disaster Resilience Program

Current Fellow

Headshot of Brittany Jackson

Brittany Jackson

Host: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

Sponsor: Disaster Resilience Program

Current Fellow