Aug. 31, 2017 – The Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts continue to experience the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and will for a long time. As the devastation unfolds, watching families in crisis is difficult. But lawyers can help.
The Texas Supreme Court has issued an order allowing non-Texas licensed attorneys in good standing in other jurisdictions to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey, for the next six months, if they do so through a bar association or legal aid organization that provides services to victims of Hurricane Harvey. After arriving in Texas, the attorney must sign a “registration for temporary practice” form, which is attached to the order.
The State Bar of Texas is connecting volunteers with disaster-related service opportunities. State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent a message to members calling on them to assist their colleagues and to volunteer to assist members of the public as they begin to put their lives back together.
“This is a trying time for our state and our country. This is a time when mere words fail and action is demanded. So this is a call to action,” Vick said.
Wisconsin licensed attorneys can volunteer by going to the State Bar of Texas website and filling out a form to sign up. In addition, the American Bar Association (ABA) has set up a webpage with information on how to help.
“People need our help – I have no doubt that the lawyers of America will rise to the occasion,” said ABA President Hilarie Bass.
To monitor emerging developments in Texas and other regions impacted by Hurricane Harvey and other disasters, bookmark Disaster Legal Aid, a centralized national resource for legal aid and pro bono attorneys on legal issues related to disasters.
Donating Money, Other Resources
The Texas Access to Justice Foundation has established a Hurricane Harvey Legal Relief Fund to support the work of nonprofit legal aid programs providing support. These organizations can help victims apply for disaster benefits, replace vital documents, and combat frauds and scams, including scams by unscrupulous contractors.
Other relief organizations are asking for financial donations or donations in the form of supplies, food, water, or other relief. The New York Times recently published a list of local and national organizations, with information on how to avoid charity scams.