After the president of the State Bar of Texas issued a call to action for Texas lawyers, the enormous response from the legal community did not end with just the law firms and lawyers responding to that call. Throughout the state of Texas, law students and faculty have also stepped up to provide what help they can after Hurricane Harvey.
Due to the damage and destruction wrought by Harvey, local law schools followed suit with the courts and closed down as well. Law students, like others, undoubtedly took shelter during the storm, but in the aftermath, with their schools closed, some took a tip from the legal community and stepped up to become heroes.
When it comes to Harvey's timing, for law students, it couldn't be any worse. For 1Ls, Harvey made landfall right around week two. And while professors and schools are likely in curriculum damage control mode in order to provide some make-up class sessions, or modify the semester's calendar, their students are busy being amazing.
As Bloomberg Law reported, law students in Houston were found volunteering at shelters, and one 2L even pulled out her kayak to help rescue stranded individuals. Another student reportedly pulled an eleven hour shift at an emergency relief center.
Learning by Helping
In the wake of Harvey, there will likely be a high demand for certain, disaster-related, legal services in the Houston area. Typical legal issues after a large disaster include filing FEMA and insurance claims, helping tenants with uncooperative/unhelpful landlords, property disputes, as well as potential employment, unemployment, and healthcare matters.
As a result of the high demand for legal services, law students may be well positioned to gain valuable legal experience by volunteering. Not only can volunteering during a disaster be immensely helpful for your community and the people around you, but it can also be a great line item on a resume. It can signal to potential employers that you are the type of person who can be depended upon when called to action.