When disasters like Hurricane Sandy hit, they leave significant unmet legal needs in their wake. Some of these needs arise immediately after the disaster, but others arise during the following months and years. Students selected for the Disaster Relief Field Clinic clinic work with MFY Legal Services, Inc. and help address the legal needs of low-income New Yorkers devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Students have the opportunity to provide direct legal assistance for victims of Hurricane Sandy through legal clinics in some of the hardest-hit parts of the city. They also have the opportunity to identify systemic problems facing victims of the hurricane, and engage in public policy advocacy or reform litigation to address those problems.
Legal work may include advocacy on FEMA applications, appeals, and recoupments; disaster unemployment compensation; repairs and rent abatements in public and private housing; insurance disputes, mortgage payment relief, and foreclosure prevention for low-income homeowners; and disaster planning for people with disabilities and senior citizens who live in adult homes or nursing homes. Because New Yorkers are facing a wide range of disaster-related legal problems, students have the chance to focus more time on issues that they find particularly compelling