The State Bar of Michigan is joining with bar associations throughout the country to extend its sympathy and to offer aid to the people of the Gulf Region whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
In these critical, early days of emergency response, the State Bar of Michigan encourages our members to contribute to organizations providing rescue, shelter and food. Links to the State of Michigan and American Red Cross website are listed below for that purpose.
In the coming months, the combined efforts of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association and state and local bars, will help in the recovery of the legal infrastructure lost in Katrina's wake. It is estimated that a third of the lawyers in Louisiana have lost their offices, law libraries, and files. The records and evidence in courthouses throughout the region are either missing or under water.
The State Bar of Michigan is keenly aware of the devastation wreaked by the hurricane upon the lives and practices of the lawyers of the Gulf region and the impact on the public they serve. Throughout the country, even in the best of times, there is a great, unmet need for legal services for low-income families, and Michigan lawyers have historically been in the forefront of support for legal aid and Access to Justice programs. We recognize the urgency of such support in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, where not only has the hurricane severely disrupted ongoing legal work, it will also greatly increase the legal needs of the region. Let us join together in this hour of need to reach out to our fellow Americans in the devastated region.
Nancy J. Diehl
President, State Bar of Michigan