Delivering Legal Aid After Katrina: The Equal Justice Works Katrina Legal Initiative

Delivering Legal Aid After Katrina: The Equal Justice Works Katrina Legal Initiative

The Katrina Legal Initiative was established by Equal Justice Works to provide Gulf Coast residents hard hit by the 2005 hurricane with legal education, direct legal services, and a network of volunteer attorneys and law students. To evaluate the program's effectiveness, Equal Justice hired the Urban Institute, which issued Delivering Legal Aid After Katrina: The Equal Justice Works Katrina Legal Initiative (92 pages, PDF). The report found that although each of the initiative's components met or exceeded their stated goals, Equal Justice faced several challenges in implementing the initiative, especially in terms of selecting suitable host sites, building relationships, and maintaining strong communication links over several years. To address these issues in future initiatives, the report recommends providing better training for program administrators, starting fundraising efforts earlier, and selecting host sites that are geographically closer to affected areas.