MIAMI – Nov. 7, 2017 – Greenberg Traurig, P.A. supports the Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) recent request to the United States Congress for a $12 million emergency supplemental appropriation to help Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Hurricane Irma created an estimated $19 billion of damage in Florida, and LSC estimates that more than 11 million people are now eligible for legal aid in Florida and other affected states and territories.
The global law firm has joined the leaders of 22 major law firms in Florida in writing to their congressional representatives asking them to support the LSC request, noting that the organization’s Florida grantees are vital leaders in developing the pro bono response to critical legal needs in the wake of Hurricane Irma. LSC provides volunteer lawyers with needed case screening, training, and mentoring to handle disaster cases on a pro bono basis.
Most of the appropriated funds would be used for constituent services and disbursed by LSC over three years. Smaller amounts would fund online tools to organize legal services, as well as pro bono outreach and training. The request is consistent with supplemental appropriations given to LSC in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“It is essential that LSC receives the funds necessary so that its grantees can help hurricane survivors fully recover and be able to put their lives back together,” said Greenberg Traurig Co-President Hilarie Bass, who also is President of the American Bar Association. “Attorneys working pro bono are assisting survivors facing such issues as FEMA appeals, housing disputes, and other basic human needs. However, they can only reach those who need assistance with the help of legal services agencies.”
In the letter the firms sent to their congressional representatives, they noted some of the pro bono legal work already being done to help hurricane survivors: Legal Services of Greater Miami is helping survivors obtain FEMA assistance and food stamps; Bay Area Legal Services has developed an online disaster resources center to assist impacted Floridians; and Three Rivers Legal Services in North Florida is facilitating information sessions to guide Floridians through disaster recovery issues, such as construction repairs, housing disputes, and insurance claims.
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Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.