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Pepperdine Law Launches Disaster Relief Clinic to Serve Victims of the Woolsey Fire

The Disaster Relief Clinic will provide limited-scope, pro bono legal services to people and communities harmed by wildfires in Southern California in 2018.

In order to address the immediate needs of the victims of the recent Woolsey Fire in Southern California, Pepperdine Law launched the Disaster Relief Clinic to serve Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Conejo Valley areas – parts of which remain under threat. The clinic will be administered under the leadership of Pepperdine School of Law Director of Clinical Education, Professor Jeff Baker. 

Professor Baker shared, “We love you all and know that this resilient community will emerge stronger and better.”

What is the Disaster Relief Clinic?

The Disaster Relief Clinic will provide limited-scope, pro bono legal services to people in Malibu, Conejo Valley, and Ventura County to assist as able with FEMA applications and appeals, insurance matters, contract issues, housing concerns, and other matters. The Clinic was first launched to serve folks after Hurricane Harvey and the Thomas Fire, and now we get to serve our own people in our community.

It will rely on volunteer lawyers and referrals for early phases of recovery, and it will offer significant community education sessions on these topics. In time, it will expand its capacity to provide direct legal services. 

How can legal professionals get involved?

The clinic is in need of volunteer lawyers licensed in California to help with as much as they are able. If you are able to join the legal effort, please register here: https://law.pepperdine.edu/experiential-learning/clinical-education/clinics/disaster-relief-clinic/

Where can volunteer lawyers find more resources?

Please see the Disaster Relief Clinic webpage for a working list of FEMA and California state resources.

How can I request assistance?

If you need legal services, please complete this form to request assistance: Legal Assistance Request Form. The Disaster Relief Clinic likely will not be able to handle cases for extended litigation or complex cases. The Clinic is working with legal aid agencies and volunteer lawyers to receive cases by referral. 

Are there other ways to give?

Many have asked how they can help with the recent crises within our community and where they can give to support students and families dealing with such sudden and tragic losses. 

The #PepperdineStrong fund will enable Pepperdine to respond quickly to our family in time of crisis, and it can provide support for the students, faculty, and staff directly impacted by these events. You can make your gift here.

Finally, we thank you all for the outpouring of love and support for our Pepperdine family over the last week. Pepperdine will keep the University community updated as conditions change. For the latest information, visit the University’s Emergency Information Page.

*Featured photo courtesy of Steven Lippman