The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs is coordinating with Professor Andrew Crespo and student leaders to form a Harvard Law School chapter of Hurricane María Legal Assistance or “Ayuda Legal Huracán María.” This network of national advocacy organizations, local legal service providers, and bar associations will provide free disaster relief legal aid to people in Puerto Rico, defending their rights to federal assistance, employment, and housing protection, as well as their access to health services in coming weeks, months, and perhaps even years. The immediate legal work focus will be on FEMA, disaster unemployment assistance, food stamps, and housing-related matters and a longer-term project will focus on capacity building.
As the needs become more defined and this network identifies how and when we can be most useful, the HLS community will be able to help in the following ways:
- writing and translating materials and forms,
- providing direct legal assistance though a hotline and workshops,
- traveling in a legal brigade over winter or spring breaks with travel funding from OCP.
Training will be provided and legal work will be eligible for HLS pro bono credit. In an effort to mobilize as quickly as possible, we are trying to gauge interest and expertise across HLS. Please indicate your interest and availability in helping by completing the form in this section. We will be back in touch as opportunities take shape.