Friday, April 13, 2007
Spring Break in NOLA
With a group of twenty other USD law students, I flew out to New Orleans during my spring break to join other students from across the country as volunteers for the Student Hurricane Network. I was personally assigned to the Loyola Law School Legal Clinic where I assisted with legal research and document review and called back clients to obtain more details about their cases, referring some to other agencies due to the immense backlog at the clinic. We worked with two amazing attorneys who, with very little resources, are dedicated to see justice prevail for the forgotten poor and disenfranchised victims of Katrina.
These deserted homes are located in the Lower Ninth Ward, a community whose residents are still scattered across the country. It was a striking contrast to the bustling downtown and French Quarter districts near the hotel where we stayed. In the typical tourist's eyes, Katrina is a dot on a distant past; for those who consider New Orleans home but can't return to their dilapidated neighborhoods, the memory of the disaster is still painfully fresh.