Asked and Answered

How can lawyers help Hurricane Harvey victims? Disaster response attorneys share tips (podcast)

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Lawyer holding emergency response briefcase

The full scale of the damage from Hurricane Harvey may not be known for weeks or months. But even as the rain is still falling, lawyers in Texas and across the country are mobilizing to meet the legal needs of the people who have been impacted.

In this special breaking-news edition of the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered, Lee Rawles speaks with Saundra Brown of Lone Star Legal Aid, whose Houston office was destroyed Monday. Brown discusses what efforts are already underway, and what kind of legal issues people will be experiencing in the coming months.

Rawles also speaks to Andrew VanSingel, the director of the Disaster Legal Services Program for the ABA Young Lawyers Division. VanSingel, who will be traveling to Houston in the next few days, shares the history of the disaster response program, and gives tips for lawyers who want to become involved in relief efforts.

Online Resources:

• Lone Star Legal Aid’s website, Facebook and Twitter

• ABA Disaster Legal Services Program’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page

State Bar of Texas’ Disaster Relief Resources

State Bar of Texas Disaster Relief Volunteer Form (for attorneys only)

In This Podcast:

<p>Saundra Brown</p>

Saundra Brown

Saundra Brown is the manager of the Disaster Response Unit at Lone Star Legal Aid. Saundra has responded to disasters for Lone Star Legal Aid since Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. She has been the manager of the unit since 2010 and is also the content coordinator for, a national disaster legal webpage with resources for individuals and attorneys to help them navigate the disaster preparedness and response process. She has responded to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Ike, the West explosion, the wildfires in 2011, the BP Oil Spill, and most recently the 2015 and 2016 flooding.

<p>Andrew VanSingel</p>

Andrew VanSingel

Andrew VanSingel is the Local Taxpayer Advocate for the Chicago office of the Taxpayer Advocate Service. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. Its job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that taxpayers know and understand their rights. VanSingel is a former legal aid attorney, and ran the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Prairie State Legal Services in Wheaton, Illinois. He has been director of the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program since June 2015.

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