To provide assistance to communities affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
About the Organization:
Organized in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita by students from law schools at Tulane, Mississippi, Columbia, Harvard, and Fordham universities, the Student Hurricane Network (SHN) connects law students with individuals and communities throughout the Gulf Coast that need help with legal questions and problems. Since its inception, SHN has enlisted more than seventeen hundred students from over one hundred law schools to work pro bono assisting public interest organizations in conducting interviews and research; working on projects related to criminal justice, housing, immigrant labor, voters' rights, access to counsel, and the rebuilding of New Orleans; helping evacuees living in Florida, Texas, and Georgia return home; and assisting bar associations nationwide in the preparation of disaster-readiness plans. SHN also encourages students to make presentations on their campuses about ongoing legal issues in the Gulf Coast region and to talk with attorneys in their communities about getting involved.
Law students work as volunteers with SHN through a number of , including trips to the Gulf Coast; long-distance research projects, such as Katrina legislation tracking; , a program that pairs hurricane-affected residents with law school students who work with them on a long-term basis; and , a Washington, D.C., lobbying effort that grew out of SHN.
The SHN site provides a letter of inquiry and survey for considering volunteering as well as for local looking for legal help. It also offers for different constituencies, links to and , and free to SHN newsletters and communiqu�s.
Law schools nationwide have invested more than $200,000 to support their students' work with the organization, and initial fundraising efforts have resulted in contributions from foundations, nonprofits with a social justice focus, and individuals — all made to SHN through its fiscal agent, the .