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



January 2019

Victor Burdukov.

Victor Burdukov ‘20 was born and raised in the Buffalo area to parents from the Soviet Union who came as Christian refugees in the 1990’s. He is fluent in Russian and is proficient in Spanish. Burdukov decided to stay in the Buffalo area to pursue his post-secondary education. In 2016, he completed his Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in International Business from the University at Buffalo. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad for in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, studying Asian Business and the Global Economy. Currently, Burdukov is pursuing a joint J.D./MBA degree in conjunction with the School of Management. For his MBA, he is concentrating in Supply Chain and Operations Management. For his J.D., his concentration is Cross-border Legal Studies. Burdukov works at Moog in East Aurora as a Supply Chain Support. He appreciates the fact that he works in a position that combines both the business and legal schools of thought. Burdukov loves to travel and is looking forward to the service-learning trip to Puerto Rico. He has already visited over 30 countries and over 20 states, and wants to add another place to his list. Burdukov is excited to contribute to the Hurricane Maria recovery effort where he can use his education and experiences to provide meaningful assistance to the people of Puerto Rico.


Jonathan Reyes Colón ’19 (PR-Jan18, PR-July18, PR-Jan19) has dedicated a substantial portion of his work in law school to honing skills in litigation and promoting access to justice to underrepresented communities. In his first year, he co-founded a new student club called Intersectional Activism Alliance, along with several colleagues. The club is dedicated to the concept of intersectionalism, providing a safe space for students of different origins and backgrounds to share their identity and culture, and discuss their individual and collective social issues. Colón was born in Puerto Rico, and majored in Criminal Justice at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico before moving to Buffalo, New York to study law. Colón’s key areas of interest include social justice and other policy issues, and providing meaningful representation for those who cannot afford it. Colón applied to be a part of the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Clinic as a way of furthering his interest in access to justice, as well as seeking a meaningful opportunity to give back to the community in which he was born. Colón recognized the additional opportunity to evidence the outgrowth of the island’s historic social and political struggles. He hopes to be a valuable asset to the clinic, providing a source of knowledge and insight to Puerto Rico’s culture, its people, customs, and traditions. As a native of Puerto Rico, Colón is extremely grateful for the initiative of the School of Law in launching this endeavor, and hopes it will be a great benefit to his loved ones back home.


Siedah Gibson-Laurencin ’19 (PR-Jan18, PR-Jan19) is of Puerto Rican descent and a returning student attorney; Gibson-Laurencin participated in the first ever Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic in January of 2018. She is the Co-President of the Latin American Law Students Association and a member of the Hispanic Women’s League. She also works as a Law Clerk for Gibson, McAskill, & Crosby, LLP. Siedah finds that humanitarian work provides a much-needed balance to the private law sector. Puerto Rico is a place near and dear to her heart. Her Puerto Rican culture has served as a source of guidance and support throughout Gibson-Laurencin’s life. Attending the Language & Culture Program at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, helped her to understand Puerto Rico’s history and how it has contributed to its present systemic issues. Gibson-Laurencin’s January 2018 trip with the Puerto Rico clinic proved to be a life-changing experience. Through humanitarian and legal brigades, she learned some of the major needs of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and renewed her passion for serving an island and a culture that has given her so much.


Suzanne Starr '19 (PR-Jan18, PR-Jan19) has dedicated a substantial portion of her work in law school thus far to access to justice. She serves as a student attorney with the Civil Liberties and Transparency Clinic, where she works with major institutional clients on matters of government accountability and protected rights. Starr was a founding research fellow for the Veterans’ Legal Practicum and a teaching assistant in legal ethics. She has also interned for Elder Justice WNY and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Before law school, Starr left her career in 2008 to attend Erie Community College, as her husband’s military service finally made her own education financially feasible. Four years (and two babies) later she earned a B.A., Magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, from UB’s Honors College. Starr’s key areas of interest include advocacy for the underserved, with special focus on veteran’s affairs and sex workers’ rights; progressive policy development; and movement lawyering. Starr applied to be part of the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic because as an attorney, she believes it will be her duty to advocate for those who lack the access to justice. She desires to be an ally to the People of Puerto Rico, and denounces American colonialism. She hopes the trip will be informative on a policy level as well as adding to her legal skill set.

Past Students

July 2018

  • Michael Altman '19
  • Jonathan Reyes Colón '19
  • Margaret McKenzie '19

January 2018

  • Jonathan Reyes Colón
  • Elizabeth David ‘19
  • Heather Frank ’18
  • Sarah Gardner’s ’19
  • Siedah Gibson-Laurencin ’19
  • Emma Molodetz ’19
  • Amanda Oppermann ’19
  • Eamon J.P. Riley ’18
  • David Yovanoff ’18