Disaster Help Available from the Alabama State Bar

The citizens of north Alabama, including many lawyers who were hard hit, are making strides in cleaning up after the devastating tornadoes of April 27th.  As the recovery process begins, the Alabama State Bar is assisting those injured and requiring guidance as a result of this tragedy. We have mobilized our Disaster Assistance Plan and here are the key elements of how we are providing assistance:

1. COMMUNITY HOTLINE: We have activated the Disaster Assistance Hotline at 1-800-354-6154. Please share this number in your communities and any relief center in the affected areas. State Bar staff will screen calls and refer callers to a member of the bar’s Young Lawyers Section who will then return the call and answer questions. In the event more extensive legal assistance is required, the matter will be returned to the Volunteer Lawyers Program which will then refer it to a VLP panel member.

2. FREE CLINICS: During the week of May 23, we will be offering free walk-in legal assistance clinics. A list of the dates, times and locations will be posted soon.

3. DISPLACED LAWYER CONTACT: If you have been displaced because of the tornado, we are keeping track of alternate contact information. You can either call Emily Farrior (334) 269-1515 or email her at emily.farrior@alabar.org. Please provide an address and cell phone number. Please let Emily know if you would like to update your publicly available information or if you want us to use the new information only for communication with the ASB. You may also want to give us your Twitter handle, facebook or Linkedin information. We will not make this information public.

4. PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE : We continue to work to secure donations of hardware, software and cloud computing services for members whose offices have been destroyed or where equipment has been damaged.  If you are a lawyer who needs help in reestablishing your practice or if you have office space, computer equipment, business services or other things that you would like to donate to assist affected Alabama lawyers in getting back up and running, you may list them on the bar’s bulletin board set up for this purpose. You may enter your offer or need on the Disaster Assistance page or you may call the Practice Management Assistance Program at 334-269-1515 and ask for Laura or Kristi. Please continue to let us know about any of our members who have lost their buildings or offices, or need assistance because of this disaster.

5. ALAP: The Alabama Lawyer Assistance Program can refer lawyers whose homes or practices have been destroyed, are suffering emotional strain or who have lost a loved one and are in need of professional counseling. All calls or emails are confidential. Contact Jeanne Marie Leslie, Program Director (334) 834-7576, Confidential Phone 24 Hour – (334) 224-6920, jeannemarie.leslie@alabar.org.

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