ABA AND FEMA PARTNER WITH NY STATE BAR ASSOCIATION ON
FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR STORM AND FLOOD SURVIVORS
An existing toll-free hotline created last month by the New York State
Bar Association for survivors of recent storms and flooding in New York
is being bolstered by a partnership with the American Bar Association
Young Lawyers Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Homeowners and tenants facing legal issues may call 800-342-3661 to
request assistance. Callers should say that they are seeking
storm-related legal assistance, and should identify the county in which
they are located. They will be matched with New York lawyers who have
volunteered to provide at least 30 minutes of free legal
The type of legal assistance available includes:
• Assistance with securing FEMA and other government
benefits available to disaster survivors;
• Assistance with life, medical and property insurance
• Replacement of wills and other important legal documents
destroyed in the disaster;
• Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and
• Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and
• Counseling on landlord/tenant problems.
When the U.S. President declares a major disaster, FEMA, in cooperation
with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, establishes a
toll-free number for disaster survivors to request legal assistance.
Funding for the toll-free line comes from FEMA under the authority of
Section 415 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency
Assistance Act (Public Law 100-707).
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in turn joins
with state bar associations and other legal organizations to recruit
volunteer lawyers in affected areas to handle survivors’ cases. In
this instance, there will be no additional expense for the federal
government, because the State Bar Association if offering use of its
existing toll-free line.
The following organizations have joined forces to support a toll-free
phone line for New York storm survivors to request free legal
assistance, and to provide volunteer attorneys to handle cases arising
from recent storm damage.
American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
– The ABA YLD, the largest national organization of young lawyers,
provides leadership in serving the public and the profession, and
promotes excellence and fulfillment in the practice of law. Its
parent organization, the ABA, is the national voice of the legal
profession and the largest voluntary professional membership group in
Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA
coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for,
preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering
from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts
The New York State Bar Association
– The NYSBA, which has 77,000 members, is the nation’s
largest voluntary state bar association. Its Lawyer Referral and
Information Service and its Young Lawyers Section has been offering free
legal consultation to flood survivors since early September. The section
is comprised of lawyers in their first ten years of practice or under 37
years of age.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993