crisis, 9/11, pro bono, service, technology, small business, disaster, bar associations, september 11, legal aid, victim compensation fund, volunteer, trusts and estates, facilitator


The attacks on September 11, 2001 were unprecedented in scope, and the legal needs that grew out of the attacks were varied and far-reaching. This report summarizes the response of the legal community to these needs. The response was fast, thoughtful, comprehensive, and creative. And as a result, thousands of people were helped and thousands of lawyers were able to use their professional talents and skills in a manner that both led to important services being provided to people in need and resulted in great personal satisfaction. In response to 9/11, the institutions that make up the New York area legal community, including bar associations, legal services organizations, private law firms, and individual lawyers collaborated extensively. This report discusses these collaborative efforts and the critical role assumed by the City Bar as the “central hub” for coordination, training, and technology implementation. Also discussed are specific programs that were launched, including notary services, expedited death certificate assistance, immigration assistance, trusts and estates assistance, small business relief, victim compensation fund access assistance, and other general legal advice. Ongoing and unmet needs resulting from this crisis, the impact on pro bono legal work, and lessons learned from this mass effort are also discussed.

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