We launched a national roundtable series in June 2018 to discuss topics of cross-cutting interest to disaster legal aid practitioners across regions. Roundtables will be held monthly throughout November and hosted by leading programs and subject matter experts in the area of disaster response. The purpose of these roundtables is to discuss the work and challenges associated with legal issues in the aftermath of the 2017 & 2018 natural disasters and to aid programs in preparing for future events. They will be hosted by Pro Bono Net, Lone Star Legal Aid, and the Legal Services Corporation. 

Materials and roundtable recordings will be sent to all registrants the day after, regardless of attendance. Materials and recordings will also be uploaded to this area under Resources > Roundtable Materials. To gain access, you must first sign up as a member of the Advocacy Center. 

Upcoming Roundtable

Thursday, November 29, 2018, at 4 pm ET | 3 pm CT | 1 pm PT | 2 pm MT | 10 am HST 

This month's roundtable will highlight the challenges associated with legal issues that people with disabilities face during disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Invited Speakers:

  • Marcie Roth, CEO | Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • Sydney Pickern, Staff Attorney | Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
  • Richelle Brown, Community Organizer and Disability Activist | Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • Tafaimamao Tua-Tupuola, Director | University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), American Samoa Community College
  • Stephanie Duke, Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Fellow | Disability Rights Texas

All advocates and volunteers from nonprofit legal aid organizations, bar associations, pro bono counsel from law firms and corporations, law school students and faculty, and allied nonprofits working on disaster legal aid are welcome to attend.

Past Roundtables

We welcome all leaders and staff at public interest legal organizations, law school students and faculty, pro bono counsel from law firms and corporations and allied efforts involved in disaster legal aid work after a disaster. We also welcome those who are interested in the discussion of specific issues, such as FEMA appeals and title clearance.

Roundtables will be led by a moderator and are expected to last 1 hour. Roundtables will be hosted once a month in 2018, beginning in June.

Each roundtable will be co-moderated by staff from partner organizations from the National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center, along with one or more subject matter experts. Subject matter experts will be identified by the National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center’s partners but suggestions and volunteers are more than welcome. Participants are encouraged to review resources related to the subject beforehand. Participants who want to submit ideas for discussions can do so by emailing Jeanne Ortiz, PBN Disaster Response Legal Fellow, at jortiz@probono.net. We ask that you please RSVP in advance by registering via the GoToWebinar invitation for each month. Invitations will include information so you can dial in or connect via computer.

Discussion Topics

Potential discussion topics include: 

Contractor scams


FEMA-related issues and program benefits

Elder Abuse Post-Disaster

Disability rights and issues before and after a disaster 

Elderly community issues

Benefits for immigrants

Law student engagement in relief efforts

Housing - foreclosures, leases, repairs, evictions

Insurance and flooding

Outreach strategies to reach vulnerable communities

Title clearance

Landlord-tenant issues

Will, trusts, probate matters

State experiences with the “Katrina rule”

Engaging large law firms in relief efforts

Fair housing

Coordinating state disaster planning efforts

Language access strategies in disaster response

Effective uses of technology and social media in disaster response efforts