10 Years Later: Minnesota's Pro Bono Services After Katrina

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Minnesota legal aid and pro bono attorneys wasted no time pulling together legal resources and offering their time and expertise to those affected by the storm, both here, and in Louisiana. 

According to census estimates, approximately 2,000 displaced victims relocated to Minnesota. More than 960 applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance by Katrina victims were filed from Minnesota about a month after 2005 Labor Day weekend disaster.

The state’s effort to offer pro bono legal services was organized by the Minnesota State Bar Association, and Jeremy Lane, executive director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid at the time, recalls that local lawyers helped with filling out applications for FEMA assistance, bankruptcy and unemployment benefits, and intervened when insurance companies appeared to stall.

"According to the bar association, more than 100 evacuees in Minnesota got free assistance by the end of September 2005 — a response Lane says 'still makes me proud to be a Minnesotan when I think back on it 10 years later.’”  Read the Star Tribune article.