January 04, 2007
Tulane Law student, Student Hurricane Network Co-Founder
NATIONWIDE—More than 500 law students from 28 law schools are heading south this winter to the hurricane-affected areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. The Student Hurricane Network (SHN), a national association of law students dedicated to helping communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, is matching these law students with legal nonprofits for a week. These students will help address hurricane survivors’ pressing legal problems, ranging from criminal justice, housing, workers' rights, government benefits and environmental justice.
Law students are traveling to the Gulf Coast from many states, including Oregon, California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. "I'm from California and go to school in DC, but I'm here because I want to stand in solidarity with the people of the Gulf Coast and use my legal skills to assist an incredibly underserved and vibrant community," said third-year American Law student Lauren Bartlett, who is interviewing residents living in FEMA trailers.
Over the past year, SHN has assisted or placed over 1700 law students with legal organizations, connected law advocates with displaced residents to help them return home, provided free legal researchers to hurricane-focused projects, educated law students about Katrina-related lobbying efforts, and helped prepare disaster preparedness plans with state bar associations across the country.
One of several volunteer orientations took place on January 2, 2007 at Loyola Law School, and SHN is convening a National Leadership meeting on January 6, 2007 at Tulane Law School.
Law schools represented in SHN efforts over winter break include the following: American, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Chicago-Kent, De Paul, Fordham, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Illinois, John Marshall, Kansas, Loyola-New Orleans, LSU, Maryland, McGeorge, Mizzou, NYU, Ole' Miss, Oregon, Pittsburg, Richmond, Southern Louisiana, Southern Texas, St. Johns, Tulane, UNC and Wisconsin.
For more information, see SHN's Annual Report, dated October 2006: http://www.studenthurricanenetwork.org/main.htm, under "click here for the SHN report".
For previous press coverage of Student Hurricane Network activities, please reference the following links:
ABA Law Student Division, "The Gulf Coast Needs You,"