Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic

Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic

Our Mission: Because recovery goes beyond disaster relief, #UBLawResponds provides practical legal research and thoughtful pro bono service, through an ongoing collaborative effort to empower a resilient Puerto Rico.

Nuestra Misión: El camino a la restauración va más allá de responder a los efectos de un desastre natural. La misión de la clínica legal de la Universidad del Estado de Nueva York es contribuir al proceso de empoderamiento de Puerto Rico proveyendo servicios de investigación legal gratuitos con aplicaciones prácticas en colaboración con la comunidad puertorriqueña y sus aliados. #UBLawResponds

Contact Us

University at Buffalo
School of Law
507 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
716-645-2167, law-clinic@buffalo.edu

Natural disasters like 2017’s Hurricane Maria leave behind more than physical devastation and lives in upheaval. They leave real people facing unforeseen and urgent crises, in need of lawyers. They leave governmental institutions stuck and unable to provide their citizens legal support.

In response to the devastating hurricane aftermath facing the Island, #UBLawResponds, the School of Law's Clinical Legal Education Program, chose ten students from pool of applicants to learn about disaster recovery in context through the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic (PRC).

As a result, in January 2018, #UBLawResponds students assisted with more than 80 FEMA appeals and distributed humanitarian aid to more than 800 families. 

However, while the people of Puerto Rico are still rebuilding, 2018 hurricane season is fast approaching.  With more work to be done, our students traveled back to Puerto Rico in July to continue to address the ongoing legal crisis.

Our mission was the same.  Immediately after their spring semester final exams, each Student Attorney entered into a learning contract, chose an area of focus, and prepared a draft paper on a topic of their choice related to Hurricane Maria.  Following intense training during the months of May and June, the PR Clinic culminated with a trip to Puerto Rico to work with our partners on the ground to provide legal services. 

The students that took part in the ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico were:

Margaret McKenzie

Margaret McKenzie '19

Michael Altman

Michael Altman '19

Jonathan Reyes Colon

Jonathan Reyes Colon '19