Law Students Pitch In to Assist in Relief for Victims of Katrina

Wake Forest law students quickly swung into action last week to help the thousands of people who were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. 

After realizing that the Second Harvest Food Bank is one of  the clearinghouses for basic supplies to the hurricane victims, Law Review members, lead by Executive Editor Chad Brown, organized teams of law students to work last weekend sorting and repacking food and supplies at the Food Bank.  Over 100 students volunteered and made a major impact on the progress of this important assistance effort.  Furthermore, Law Review members organized a food drive this week to collect additional food and supplies. Faculty participated in this one-day event where they agreed not to call on any student who brought canned food or supplies to class.  Law Review members retrieved the goods after each class and were ultimately able to collect thousands of cans and supplies which they delivered to the Food Bank at the end of the week. 

The Public Interest Law Organization (PILO) spearheaded efforts throughout the last two weeks to collect cash donations for the American Red Cross from the Law School community. Each day, members took turns overseeing a table where  donations were collected from students, faculty and staff.    With other cash collection efforts by students, such as a Karaoke Party with a cover charge that was contributed to the PILO fund raiser, the Law School community to date has raised nearly $7,300 for this important cause.

Finally, many individual students have initiated projects to help victims.  Candace Garcia, a third year student, organized a collection of personal care items which she then used to make small toiletry kits for victims still living in shelters.  The bags were delivered to the Red Cross for distribution to shelters across the country.

In addition to these student-organized relief efforts, Wake Forest has also been able to offer a new law school home to six law students from Tulane Law School and Loyola New Orleans School of Law.  These second and third year students began arriving last week and have been embraced by our Law School community.  Tuition was waived for those who had already paid tuition to their home schools, and free books were provided by the University’s bookstore.  Admissions Director Melanie Nutt welcomed these students to our school and insured that they were registered and received student IDs and other essentials.  Executive Associate Dean Miles Foy worked to enroll students into classes that would transfer back to their home schools.  Finally, Wake Forest students opened their doors to our New Orleans guests until housing arrangements could be made, organized a party to welcome them, and provided them with outlines and other materials to ease their late entrance into classes.

We are proud of the caring and giving spirit demonstrated over the last few weeks by Wake Forest law students and salute the entire law school community for its united effort to help those who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy.