Natural Disasters

Disaster response news from the ABA Journal, American Bar Association legal resources, volunteering opportunities and disaster helplines.

Hurricane Florence/Sasa Kadrijevic via NASA (Shutterstock.com.)

Legal industry loses 1,700 jobs in March
The legal industry lost 1,700 jobs in March, before law firms began to announce layoffs and furloughs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some law firms delay start of summer associate programs because of novel coronavirus
Some law firms have announced that they are delaying the start date of their summer associate programs and shortening their length because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legal aid programs likely to be hard hit by drop in IOLTA funds, group warns
The National Association of IOLTA Programs is sounding the alarm about an expected drop in funds from Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts and other sources that support legal aid programs.
Afternoon Briefs: Seyfarth withdraws after controversial filing; law firm scammer seeks release

Seyfarth Shaw withdraws from suit after controversial argument

Seyfarth Shaw is seeking to withdraw from representing the U.S. Soccer Federation in an equal-pay case after a controversial court filing.…

BigLaw pay cuts and layoffs are likely to multiply, experts say; which firms are doing it?
Large and midsize law firms responded to economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic this week with pay cuts, layoffs and lower partner payouts. And it’s not over yet, observers say.
Above the Law founder David Lat is being discharged after COVID-19 battle
Above the Law founder David Lat tweeted Wednesday he is being discharged from NYU Langone Hospital where he was treated for COVID-19.
Afternoon Briefs: Athletes aim for law school; lawsuits target Zoom over Facebook sharing

Pro basketball players shoot for law school

Imani McGee-Stafford, a center with the Dallas Wings, is leaving the basketball court and headed to the Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.…

Pryor Cashman furloughs some associates during coronavirus crisis
Pryor Cashman has furloughed some associates whose workflow was affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Baker Donelson temporarily cuts pay, furloughs some employees because of COVID-19
Baker Donelson is imposing temporary pay cuts, reducing partner draws, and furloughing some employees because of the financial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
5th Circuit allows Texas to enforce abortion ban during pending appeal
A federal appeals court is allowing Texas to enforce its pandemic-related abortion ban until the state’s arguments can be considered.
New York bar exam planned for September; Hawaii postpones exam, too
The New York Court of Appeals announced Tuesday that the bar exam will take place shortly before or after the Labor Day holiday. Also, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore is looking into supervised practice for law school graduates.
Afternoon Briefs: Ex-BigLaw partner gets home jailing for COVID-19 risk; lawsuit sees immigration-court safety risk

Ex-BigLaw partner released from prison for COVID-19 risk

A Manhattan federal judge has ordered former Locke Lord partner Mark Scott to be released to home confinement because he has a…

Cadwalader cuts pay, pauses partner distributions because of coronavirus financial impact
The law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is imposing temporary pay cuts and pausing partner distributions because of the financial effects of the novel coronavirus crisis.
Law prof suggests COVID-19 will gradually weaken, spars with reporter who questions theory
A New York University law professor who argued estimates of potential coronavirus deaths are exaggerated, partly because the virus may weaken over time, sparred with a New Yorker reporter in a Q&A interview.
Nonprofit AccessLex Institute sets up emergency fund for law students during pandemic
A $5 million law student emergency relief fund has been established by the AccessLex Institute, which plans to distribute $25,000 each to ABA-accredited, nonprofit schools.
Disaster Response Resources
Volunteering Opportunities

Florida attorneys can visit the Florida Bar Foundation to find post-storm volunteer opportunities for legal aid and pro bono attorneys, or visit Florida Pro Bono Matters.

North Carolina attorneys can find info on volunteering on the North Carolina Bar's Hurricane Florence page.

South Carolina attorneys can volunteer for the South Carolina Bar's disaster relief legal service hotline by filling out this form.

Not licensed in those states but looking to donate your time or money? Check out ambar.org/DisasterRelief.

ABA Journal Coverage
Disaster Helplines

The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters.

For low-income individuals with disaster-related legal needs, the following phone numbers are available:
North Carolina residents: 1-833-242-3549
South Carolina residents: 1-877-797-2227 ext. 120
Virginia residents: 1-804-775-0808 in the Richmond area, or 1-800-552-7977.
Florida residents: 1-866-550-2929.