Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to promote equal access to justice and provide grants for high-quality legal assistance to low-income Americans. Today, LSC is the nation’s largest source of this aid, providing funding to more than 130 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
Since the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, LSC has developed an extensive and coordinated program to ensure that local organizations are able to assist disaster survivors. LSC grantees have taken the lead in assisting and successfully representing disaster survivors as they secure or retain housing, prepare and file insurance claims, obtain replacements of personal documents, deal with repair contractors, and navigate Federal Emergency Management Agency aid and other complex assistance programs.
In April 2018, LSC’s board of directors established LSC’s Disaster Task Force. The focus of the task force was to foster and promote cooperation, coordination, and communication between and among the emergency management community, legal service providers, the private bar, the judiciary, community-based organizations, and the business community to ensure that disaster survivors with low incomes receive the legal assistance they need. One of the recommendations included in the Disaster Task Force Report was the creation of an ” an online “one-stop” resource for disaster training materials and expertise.”
In 2020, LSC launched the Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center website to provide additional support and resources to disaster legal aid organizations and professionals, pro bono volunteers, and disaster survivors.
LSC would like to acknowledge the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP and the members of their 2020 Summer Associate program who contributed significant resources to this website. The cohort of rising third-year law school students performed extensive research on disaster-related legal issues to help draft LADRC Guides for attorneys and Quick Guides for non-attorneys and disaster survivors.
Special thanks to the authors of these guides: Ben Bussman, Caroline Clarke, Benjamin Cling, Abhinav Dantuluri, Rebecca Frumento, Jordan Goodson, Joelle Hageboutros, Sami Haidar, Karen Kim, Daphne Lambadariou, David Leopard, Pauline Oostdyk, Dessie Otachliska, Kristian Perez, Yi Wei, and Youlan Xiu; and to their supervising attorneys: Sohom Datta, Lacey Henry, and Irina Sivachenko.
LSC would also like to thank the countless legal aid service providers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and volunteers who generously contributed resources to the LADRC.