The North Carolina Bar Association, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association and Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), with support from the North Carolina Bar Foundation, are collaborating to provide immediate pro bono legal assistance to survivors of Hurricane Florence through the NC DLS program.
Volunteer ExpectationsDLS pro bono attorneys agree to provide: · Basic counseling, advice and limited-scope representation; · Extended representation; and/or · Outreach at FEMA Recovery Centers
Clients with cases that require more significant representation will be directed to the NCBA Lawyer Referral Service at 1.800.662.7660, M-F 8am-5pm (Spanish-speaking operators are available).
If you are interested in helping in response to Hurricane Florence, but you are not able to take DLS case referrals, please see "Additional Opportunities" below.
** Note: malpractice insurance coverage is provided to North Carolina attorneys who volunteer through the DLS program. For more information, please email NCDLSvolunteers@gmail.com.
Volunteer TimelineA Legal Aid of NC staff member will pair you with a DLS hotline client referral after callers are processed through intake. Please note that you may not receive a referral immediately after signing up to serve as a volunteer -- please be patient, and stay engaged with us. We expect that NC residents affected by this disaster will have need for legal assistance for a year or more post-event. In the first few weeks, we expect that those affected by Hurricane Florence will be focused on initial FEMA/insurance claims, government benefits, school enrollment, landlord/tenant and real property issues, document replacement and income protection. Two to six months out from the event, we expect that those affected by the Hurricane will require assistance with FEMA/SBA appeals, housing displacement, repair and contractor scams, powers of attorney, and emergency custody and parenting order modifications. In the longer term (6+ months post-event), affected residents may need advice and assistance regarding foreclosure, insurance disputes, bankruptcy, and disaster relief tax applications.
Volunteer Training/Resource MaterialsTraining and informational resource materials are available to support volunteer attorney work at www.ncbar.org/florence.
Additional OpportunitiesIf you are interested in providing immediate, limited pro bono legal assistance, please sign up to volunteer with the NC Free Legal Answers pro bono project, through which volunteer attorneys provide answers to questions posed by members of the public through an online portal, in a Q&A format. Register to volunteer at nc.freelegalanswers.org.
If you cannot take case referrals, but wish to assist with the DLS Hotline, please volunteer to do intake on DLS Hotline calls. You can sign up for shifts here: https://goo.gl/forms/V7g4DGyu6QiT01c33.
Finally, please consider a donation in support of the Disaster Legal Services Hotline: www.ncbarfoundation.org/donate.