Puerto Rico 2019
Promises made, promises kept.
Puerto Rico’s people are still experiencing Hurricane Maria, over a year later. Some are still living without essentials in Puerto Rico. Some have been forced to move away. This January, another group of UB Law's Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic student attorneys will work to address both local and Puerto Rico-based legal needs. And they need your help!
Puerto Rico Clinic Student Attorneys will dedicate hundreds of hours from December-February to provide service. First, they enroll in a class that starts in December, to get them ready to return to the islands to continue their work to support a resilient and thriving Puerto Rico. In the beginning of January, these Student Attorneys will not just study to prepare for the trip south, they will also use their training to provide much needed pro bono legal services to the displaced Puerto Ricans who now call Buffalo home. And after their service-learning trip to Puerto Rico, they will produce papers to provide policy guidance to help continue the work for those in need, both one the islands and locally.
How can YOU be part of this important work?
Your support will help cover the cost of student travel to Puerto Rico in January, and provide resources to work on the islands with local community partners and farmers to do work building a sustainable structures while on the ground in Mayaguez and other areas!
Your support will help Student Attorneys provide legal advice to the local community in Buffalo by allowing the Puerto Rico Recovery Clinic the means to address essential legal needs of those who relocated (the “diaspora”), working with Puerto Rican families who have relocated to Western NY due to Hurricane Maria. Those who have been forced to leave everything behind face legal needs that #UBLawResponds student attorneys are uniquely poised to assist with!
Your support will help continue the commitment we made right after Hurricane Maria – we responded to the needs then, and will continue to respond to the needs now!
Bold Participation.... #UBLawResponds
Just 4 months after Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico in January 2018, 10 #UBLawResponds student attorneys were on the ground helping residents file FEMA Appeals, distributing humanitarian aid, and learning about what the island needed next to move towards the path of full recovery. This learning experience resulted in tangible aid being provided to the residents (nearly 800 families received solar lamps and other basics) and policy analysis including an award winning paper that provided ideas for moving forward, entitled “Yo Soy Boricua”: Tapping Into The Strength of the Puerto Rican Community to Reclaim Control Over Its Political, Social, and Economic Future, that was welcomed by local community leaders.
Purposeful Ambition.... #UBLawResponds
In July 2018, another group of Students Attorneys enrolled and paid tuition to continue #UBLawResponds’ mission to find ways to continue to help Puerto Rico rebuild sustainably… because it is not "if" the next category 4 hurricane hits Puerto Rico, it is "when". Connections made on the island during this trip resulted in continued pro bono services being provided by our Law School's Environmental Advocacy Clinic to address the needs of resiliency in the food system, since Puerto Rico has been importing over 95% of its food since the Hurricane.
Radical Empathy.... #UBLawResponds
UB Law's Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic Student Attorneys will return to the island January 20-26, 2019 to continue their work to establish a resilient and thriving Puerto Rico by taking on projects requested by community leaders, like helping to rebuild the agricultural and food supply system (working hand in hand with local farmers, the University of Puerto Rico, and others in the food justice movement). Yet, one year later, the need for legal help is not only in Puerto Rico, but also to serve the transplanted Puerto Ricans who now call Buffalo home, including elders and children. The Puerto Rico Recovery Legal Clinic will establish methods to provide continued pro bono legal services to the thousands of Puerto Ricans who have settled in Buffalo.
Global Perspective.... #UBLawResponds
Directly serving those in need - in our local communities and beyond is what gives our #UBLawResponds student attorneys the unique perspective of working on behalf of real clients on something that really matters. These perspectives can change the trajectory of our students lives and further benefit our community.
Meet our Team