I reached out to the deans at the three Houston law schools (University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law Houston, and Thurgood Marshall Law School) to see how the law school community can best support their students, staff, and faculty in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Deans Baynes and Guter responded with links to websites set up by their schools for this purpose:
Here are the full responses I received:
From Len Baynes (Dean, University of Houston Law Center):
Hurricane Harvey has been unprecedented. Houston experienced approximately 50 inches of rain. This is the greatest amount of rain ever recorded from a single weather event in the continental United States. To put this in context, the average annual precipitation for Houston is about 50 inches.
The University of Houston Law Center building stood strong during Hurricane Harvey. With some minor cleanup, we look forward to reopening and welcoming our students on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
Despite the good news about the building, this storm has affected members of our Law Center community. In a census of our faculty, staff, and students, we learned of evacuations, flooded homes, flooded neighborhoods, and submerged cars. Some current students have expressed concerns about being able to remain in law school given the magnitude of their losses.
My heart goes out to the City of Houston and the Law Center community. It may take time for us to recover some sense of normalcy. At times like these, it is important for us to be kind and patient with each other and focus on the bonds that bring us together. We are all Americans! We are all Houstonians!
Many have asked about giving opportunities to support disaster aid for the University of Houston Law Center students and staff. To give, please visit https://giving.uh.edu/gift/.
Select a School, Unit or Program UH Law Center
Select a designation Law Fund AFRA
Enter amount $____________
Click and hit the red button “+Add gift”
Special Instructions Harvey Emergency Funds- only to Law Center students and staff
Alternatively, you can mail checks and money orders written to the U.H. Law Foundation making clear your intentions that it is for Harvey-related University of Houston Law Center student and staff emergency aid.
Donations to this fund will be used to provide support to UHLC students and staff who suffered hardship as a result of the storm.
Sincerely and with warm regards,
Leonard M. Baynes
Dean and Professor of Law
From Don Guter (President and Dean, South Texas College of Law Houston):
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Please help us spread the word about the Hurricane Harvey Student Relief Fund and the Hurricane Harvey Faculty/Staff Fund. Donors can make a tax-deductible contribution by visiting www.stcl.edu/give and then selecting the fund to which they want to direct their contribution.
This site allows friends of South Texas College of Law Houston the opportunity to provide direct assistance for students, faculty, and staff who have been displaced or have experienced loss from this tragic storm. 100% of all Hurricane Harvey Relief funds will be dispersed for only this purpose.
We have had an outpouring of concern from those across the nation and within our community —including many STCL Houston student organizations — who are working on creative but competing solutions to raise funds. When we work together, we are stronger. Please consider sharing this link so we can centralize our efforts, track funds, and ensure they are provided to those students, faculty, or staff in greatest need.
We are still gathering information, but already have received reports about a number of students, faculty, and staff who have suffered catastrophic loss from the hurricane. Many have lost their homes, vehicles, and possessions in the floodwaters. Others are without power, safe water, or access to public transportation. Our goal is to help those most adversely affected to care for basic needs as they strive to reclaim a sense of normalcy in this difficult time.
I am truly inspired by the stories that have already begun to surface about our students, alumni, faculty, and staff who have acted selflessly and thoughtfully to ensure the safety and comfort of their neighbors.
Please share this letter or the link to www.stcl.edu/give with your contacts, and help us continue to share this spirit of compassion for members of our STCL Houston community.
Thank you for your support.
Donald J. Guter, Rear Admiral, JAGC,USN (Ret.)
President and Dean, Professor of Law
South Texas College of Law Houston