/ Press Release
Program Builds on Organization’s Work to Respond to the Increasing Demand for Disaster Legal Aid
WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 17, 2020—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today announced the launch of the Disaster Resilience Program, a Fellowship program focused on disaster lawyering.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a brutal reminder of the continued need for lawyers who can help individuals and families prepare for and respond to the unique challenges arising from all kinds of disasters,” said Sara Morello, executive vice president at Equal Justice Works. “We are tremendously proud to create the Disaster Resilience program, which builds on our organization’s 15 years of experience and expertise in mobilizing passionate public service leaders focused on supporting communities when a disaster occurs.”
The Disaster Resilience Program will begin with a cohort of 6 Fellows (lawyers) and 6 Student Fellows (law students) at legal services organizations in Texas and Florida, where they will address the critical legal needs that low-income communities face before, during, and after a disaster including COVID-19. Fellows will serve as on-the-ground experts, helping clients secure disaster benefits, challenge unlawful evictions, clear property titles, tackle insurance claim disputes and scams, and other pressing legal needs that support the overall wellbeing and stability of a community. In addition to this work, Fellows will provide resources and support to other organizations that are assisting clients affected by COVID-19 and other natural disasters. Equal Justice Works continues to raise funds to support additional Fellows and ongoing cohorts in this program.
Throughout the Fellowship, program participants will receive ongoing trainings, resources, and tools for collaboration to ensure that they are an effective force in responding to the increased demand for disaster legal aid.
To date, Equal Justice Works has mobilized more than 80 lawyers to deliver legal services to disaster-affected communities. Fellows have responded to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Sandy, Ike, Katrina, and Rita; Tropical Storm Imelda; flooding in the Gulf Coast; tornadoes in Missouri and Oklahoma; the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; and most recently the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Visit here to meet the Fellows in the Disaster Resilience Program and click here to learn more about how you can support Equal Justice Works in its efforts to mobilize lawyers to provide legal services to communities in need.
About Equal Justice Works
Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. We bring together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of our Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.
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We are tremendously proud to create the Disaster Resilience program, which builds on our organization’s 15 years of experience and expertise in mobilizing passionate public service leaders focused on supporting communities when a disaster occurs.”
Sara Morello /
Equal Justice Works Executive Vice President