Robin Hood Foundation Awards $200,000 Grant to Touro Law’s Disaster Clinic

January 31, 2017

Touro Law Center Dean Harry Ballan is pleased to announce that Touro Law has received a grant in the amount of $200,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation to support the Disaster Relief Clinic. 

Dean Ballan stated, “We are thrilled that Robin Hood Foundation has awarded us this grant that will be used to help Superstorm Sandy victims. The work of the clinic is critical to storm victims and has become a national model for disaster relief. We are proud that Robin Hood continues to recognize the accomplishments of our clinic. In fact, Touro Law Center has received multiple Robin Hood grants with funds totaling nearly a half of a million dollars. We look forward to continuing to serve those in need and this grant will enable us to do so.”

On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy earned its place in history as one of the costliest and most destructive natural disasters to disrupt the United States. Within three days of the storm, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center established a help center for Sandy victims in need of legal services through a Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team (HEART) hotline. The main purpose was to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for local residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The TLC- Heart hotline evolved into a full service legal clinic to address the changing needs of Sandy survivors. The Clinic stands as a voice for victims, a support system for those who feel helpless and need guidance, a community resource and an agent of change.  

The mission of the Clinic is to assist Sandy-affected New York households with a focus on Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The Clinic assists clients with various legal issues and disputes including: flood insurance or homeowner insurance underpayments or denials of coverage; contractors who misappropriated funds or incorrectly performed contracted services; FEMA recoupments; assistance with NY Rising; working with policymakers to positively reform the flood insurance program; and assistance with the FEMA Sandy Claims Review Process. 

Since the storm, the Clinic has been called upon by public officials to identify and discuss continuing problems facing the Sandy victims. Additionally, the Clinic has also offered help to other areas hit by disaster – providing tips and guidance to storm victims and disaster recovery agencies alike.

Clinic Director Melissa H. Luckman stated, “We are proud to have represented over 1,300 homeowners, but we continue to speak with new Superstorm Sandy survivors on a daily basis who need our assistance. I am extremely grateful to Robin Hood for providing this funding and supporting our Clinic.”

Touro Law’s Disaster Relief Clinic is proud to have recovered more than $2,380,000 in funds for disaster victims, assisted more than 200 homeowners through the NY Rising process, and terminated FEMA Individuals and Household Program debts in excess of $100,000. 

Susan Epstein, Managing Director at the Robin Hood Foundation stated, “We value a continued partnership with Touro Law. The Disaster Relief Clinic has proven to be a fierce advocate for storm victims. We look forward to another productive and successful year helping those in need.” 

Founded in 1988, Robin Hood is New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, and has focused on finding, funding and creating programs and schools that generate meaningful results for families in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods. The Robin Hood Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund has granted tens of millions of dollars to organizations throughout New York’s tri-state region that help individuals and families recover from the devastating effects of the storm.

Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art law school 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 650 and an alumni base of more than 6,000, 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 Law’s newly implemented Portals to Practice is a cutting-edge, experiential learning program that reconceives and restructures the law school experience. Portals to Practice expands the scope and quality of legal education by focusing on the development of legal professionals, from pre-law through post-graduation. 

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 29 branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to:

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Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

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