City Bar Justice Center (CBJC)
42 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
To Volunteer, Contact:
Storm Response and Volunteer Needs:
In November, the City Bar Justice Center began mobilizing pro bono lawyers to staff clinics in the storm-ravaged Rockaways. At the first weekend pro bono legal clinic, around 30 trained attorneys came to two sites onSaturday and Sunday. The volunteers gave brief advice to 59 clients and provided information to additional people who stopped by with basic questions.
The main issues of concern were FEMA applications, insurance claims, disaster unemployment assistance, landlord and tenant problems, lack of repairs, no electricity, heat or hot water and simply no income or way to get to work. There was a huge amount of clearing out of damaged basements still going on in the Rockaways. While some buses were running again and there was mail delivery, many people were still without electricity.
Thanksgiving Sunday found another band of hearty volunteers out in the Rockaways with Lynn M. Kelly, Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center. This team staffed both the FEMA tent and the YANA site and helped 8 clients with similar legal problems to the first weekend.
The first weekend in December, the City Bar Justice Center brought a group of pro bono volunteers to the NYC Restoration Center at Arverne in the Rockaways. We were pleased to be inside and warm with bathrooms and wi-fi. The case mix is beginning to shift to insurance and FEMA denials as well as landlord tenant questions.
Our goal now is to arrange regular pro bono staffing at the NYC Restoration Centers which are located in impacted areas in collaboration with other bar associations, private law firms, corporate counsel, law schools and alumni associations through the end of 2012 and thereafter if needed.
The City Bar Justice Center has been involved in developing trainings and materials that can be found on probono.net's Disaster Legal Services resources page.