Thirty School of Law
students used their Winter
2007 break to travel to New Orleans to help Hurricane Katrina
victims cope with resultant legal problems. Some met with and
interviewed clients who have been imprisoned without legal
representation for as long as 18 months for minor misdemeanors.
Others worked with people to regain title to their homes; filed
papers to ensure that unpaid day laborers recovered back pay or
drafted petitions against contractors in breach of contract cases.
who accompanied them states: “I am proud of the
small yet integral part that St. John’s students played in the
fight for victim’s legal rights.” Student volunteers also took
pride in their accomplishments. “To know that my legal education
could be used to help those in need, to improve their lives or
simply bring long awaited comfort was an amazing feeling. It showed
me how the skills I am learning at St. John’s can be used in the
real world to bring positive change to others,” says one volunteer.
The New York State Bar Association awarded the law school’s
Hurricane Network chapter with the 2007 President’s Pro Bono
Service Law School Group Award. The award is given to attorneys and
law students who provide civil legal services without compensation
to the disadvantaged.