The University of Houston Law Center building stood strong during Hurricane Harvey. With some minor cleanup, we reopened and welcomed our students on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

In a few short days, Houston experienced approximately 50 inches of rain, the greatest amount ever recorded from a single weather event in the continental United States. During that time, many of us sheltered in place as flood waters from Hurricane Harvey ravaged our community. Others have been less fortunate as Harvey caused unprecedented destruction.

Despite the good news about our building, this storm has affected members of our Law Center community. In a census of our faculty, staff, and students, we learned that some faced evacuations, flooded homes, flooded neighborhoods, and submerged cars. Some current students have expressed concerns about being able to remain in law school given the magnitude of their losses.

Given our concern for the community, Law Center faculty, staff, and student volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help those in need. They fanned out across the City to assist in rescuing flood victims, clearing debris, and helping their neighbors start the road to recovery.

On Wednesday, Law Center students and faculty members gathered at NRG Center to help Hurricane evacuees with legal matters such as FEMA and insurance claims, lost documents, Social Security, and other issues. Starting on Thursday, UHLC Immigration Clinic students along with Catholic Charities will work to assist immigrants in replacing documents related to their legal status that were lost in the flood.

Local residents with Harvey-related questions can contact the Center for Consumer Law hotline at (713-743-2168) and or visit its website at http://texasccc.com for advice in the areas of credit card and debt, automobile sales and repairs, housing/landlord disputes, and other legal issues. On Sept. 30, 2017, the Law Center will host the “People’s Law School” focusing on specific storm-related legal issues.

A link to various resources related to recovery is available at http://uh.edu/2017-harvey/.

Many have asked about giving opportunities to support disaster aid for the University of Houston Law Center students and staff. Click here for further information on how to donate to the relief fund. 

The Law Center will continue to help the City return to normal. My heart goes out to the City of Houston and the Law Center community. At times like these, it is important for us to be kind and patient with each other and focus on the bonds that bring us together. We are all Americans! We are all Houstonians!

Leonard M Baynes

Leonard M. Baynes
Dean & Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center

 
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