Faegre & Benson LLP was recently honored by Appleseed, a national network of independent public interest law centers, for its role as lead pro bono counsel to the Hurricane Katrina Response Project in 2006. The project, which was sponsored by Appleseed, produced the first comprehensive report on the status of the more than 1 million Hurricane Katrina evacuees dispersed throughout various U.S. cities.
As lead counsel, Faegre & Benson coordinated the research phase of the project and completed the final report, which was based on more than 350 interviews conducted by volunteers from Faegre & Benson and six other participating national law firms during site visits to New Orleans and five other Southern cities in June 2006. Faegre & Benson's role included developing the work plan and protocols for the research phase, sponsoring a national training session for project volunteers, and completing the field work in Baton Rouge, La. and San Antonio, Texas.
A team of 28 lawyers from Faegre & Benson's offices in Minnesota, Colorado and Iowa contributed a total of approximately 2,500 pro bono hours to the project.
The report, entitled "A Continuing Storm: The Ongoing Struggles of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees," analyzed conditions in New Orleans as well as the response efforts of host cities that cared for hurricane evacuees, and it recommended best practices and policy reforms for future disaster relief efforts.
The contributions of Faegre & Benson and other participating firms were recognized at Appleseed's annual fundraiser dinner, held June 12 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.