Lawyers Called to Help Hurricane Victims

By William Vogeler, Esq. on August 30, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In every major disaster, heroes are needed. Some will save lives; many will be unnamed.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, a mother drowned while saving her toddler -- found clinging to her body. Their identities were withheld from reports until the child's father could be notified.

Meanwhile, the Texas Bar Association has sent out a call for lawyers to help. It's not about public recognition; it's about public service. For lawyers both in Texas and out of state, this is the time to step up and provide volunteer services.

Texas Heroes: How Can You Help?

With the waters still rising, bar president Tom Vick reached out to almost 100,000 lawyers in Texas. He said it was a "call to action."

"As I write these words, many Texans are suffering the ravages of Hurricane Harvey and many are still in harm's way," he wrote. "This is a time when mere words fail and action is demanded."

Vick called upon lawyers to donate housing, money, and legal services. His online invitation included links to resources, including the state bar's website and a form to volunteer.

Before the storm made landfall, the website updated information on its hotline. With help in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, it guides low-income victims with disaster-related issues, including how to replace lost documents, insurance questions, and consumer protection.

Lawyers Everywhere: You Can Sign Up

The Texas Access to Justice Commission pushed the message even farther, and the state Supreme Court responded. Justice Don Willett tweeted that out-of-state lawyers can join in the relief effort.

"The Texas Supreme Court today issued an order letting out-of-state lawyers assist,"  he said.

The American Bar Association is also backing disaster relief, including a report from a Texas legal aid attorney whose office was destroyed in the storm. The office burst into flames after an explosion. No one was found in the building, according to reports, but a firefighter was injured.

If you're able, consider donating your time to help the hurricane victims. This is a chance to make a real difference and help people in need.

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