Touro Law Students Providing Disaster Relief
Students Spend Winter Break in Louisiana and Mississippi Providing Legal Assistance
January 13, 2011
Central Islip, NY – About 25 members of Touro Law Center’s Student Disaster Relief Network (SDRN) are currently providing legal assistance to residents of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi. Both gulf coast regions have been devastated by hurricanes in recent years, and most recently by the BP oil spill. As a result, tens of thousands of regional residents have incurred financial ruin, and have been thrust into the need for civil legal assistance.
Touro Law students are working for local legal services organizations to provide civil legal assistance under the immediate supervision of local legal services attorneys. The students are conducting legal research, client intake, attending court hearings, and providing other vital legal assistance to these overburdened legal service providers. The areas of law in which the students are assisting range from social security appeals to family law issues to landlord/tenant rights claims. The students' assistance is invaluable in relieving a little of the strain that these legal services offices have been dealing with in the aftermath of the region's recent devastating events. Concurrently, the students are improving the quality of services provided, and expediting the rate at which local residents are being served.
Another group of students is working with a local grassroots organization, "Common Ground.” Under the guidance of faculty advisor, Jack Evans, Esq., this group is providing legal assistance to the Algiers community of Orleans Parrish and the lower ninth ward through investigating claims of misappropriation of federal funds, and unlawful discriminatory practices by federally funded housing organizations. They are examining the Army Corps of Engineers proposed Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Restoration Plan, and inspecting it in light of federal environmental laws for possible comment. The students will also meet with the Wildlife Defense Fund to gain more scientific and legal knowledge, regarding this complex legal analysis. This group is also assisting in applying for funding to support the Algier's community cultural arts, and attempting to procure modern computers for the Algier's community center, which provides residents with GED courses as well as other educational, health, and social assistance.
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Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning model for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 750 and an alumni base of more than 5,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.
Touro is a system of Jewish-sponsored non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was established in 1971 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American community. More than 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro College Los Angeles, are separately accredited institutions governed in common by the same Board of Trustees as Touro College.
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