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A new Web site enabling lawyers to volunteer assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as helping evacuees in search of counsel, was launched Friday at www.katrinalegalaid.org. The site was created by Pro Bono Net, a New York-based organization that assists nonprofit legal groups by coordinating volunteer attorneys via the Internet. The group, established in 1999, draws support from ALM, the parent company of the Law Journal, and was instrumental in volunteer efforts after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mark O’Brien, executive director and co-founder of the Pro Bono Net, intends katrinalegalaid.org to become “cyberspace central” by linking to the myriad of relief programs begun by national and regional bar associations, public law agencies and pro bono groups responding to individuals and businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama affected by the hurricane. “This is unique, in terms of the breadth of groups doing something together,” he said. “It’s a first step at coordination of long-term issues, such as legislative matters that will have to be addressed eventually.” In addition to Pro Bono Net, three other national nonprofits are sponsors of the new Web site: the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. Elsewhere in Katrina-related legal news: � All 13 attorneys and the support staff at the New Orleans office of Proskauer Rose have been relocated. Ten lawyers are working from the firm’s office in Boca Raton, Fla. Another two are working from temporary quarters in Baton Rouge, La. A third has moved to the New York headquarters. The firm has created a disaster recovery fund to support the general relief effort under way in New Orleans, as well as its attorneys and staff there. � Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett provided pro bono counsel to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, beneficiary of proceeds from the Sept. 17 “Higher Ground Hurricane Relief” concert at Lincoln Center, organized by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, a New Orleans native. The firm likewise represented the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, principal beneficiary of Tuesday’s “Big Apple to the Big Easy” concert at Madison Square Garden. The firm has also established a fund to match employee contributions to relief organizations of their choice. � The New York office of Greenberg Traurig, in partnership with the Urban League of Houston, has shipped 500 boxes of essential personal hygiene items to evacuees housed in Texas shelters. � Thacher, Proffitt & Wood donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross for Gulf Coast relief efforts. In addition, the firm has contacted New Orleans law firms it has worked with in the past to offer assistance in restarting business. � A team of 45 attorneys from six offices of the San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster have produced a 189-page “Helping Handbook” to assist individuals, families and small businesses in such matters as government benefit claims, immigration, insurance and document replacement. � With an initial contribution of $10,000 from its insurance program, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association has established “Helping Hands: The Equal Justice Colleagues’ Support Fund” to assist staff members of Gulf Coast legal aid and public defender offices who have suffered direct and significant personal loss as a result of Katrina. Donations may be sent to NLADA Helping Hands, 1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C., 20036.

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