Responding to the need to address lingering post-Hurricane Maria challenges in Puerto Rico, the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation is launching a “Sustained Impact Fellowship Program,” which will send three of its Fellows to do legal work there this summer. The Fellows will work for two outstanding organizations in San Juan, focusing on post-Hurricane Maria disaster relief, community rebuilding and access to justice.
This initiative was formed in conjunction with the Foundation’s Deans’ Circle, which is a group of Deans from 16 law schools around the country. The Foundation and the Deans’ Circle developed this program together to work on a multi-year basis with organizations in Puerto Rico that are providing legal assistance to residents still trying to recover from Hurricane Maria.
“Our first goal is for our three Fellows working in Puerto Rico to be invaluable resources to Ayuda Legal Hurricane Maria and Centro Para Puerto Rico. These two outstanding organizations work with the citizens of devastated communities,” said John Oberdorfer, Foundation President.
“The Foundation’s Sustained Impact Program responds to the needs of the many people in Puerto Rico who continue to suffer from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Clearing title to enable housing restoration and providing access to justice are important contributions that lawyers can make for hard hit residents, and our Fellows are eager to work toward resolving these problems,” added former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, who chairs the Foundation’s Board.
The three Fellows who will be working in Puerto Rico this summer are:
Edmarie Rosario-Marín, who is the Foundation’s first Sustained Impact Fellow. A student at the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University, Edmarie is from Puerto Rico and has family on the island. She and her family saw the effects of Hurricane Maria first hand. Witnessing the devastation of the island motivated Edmarie to work this summer to help the citizens of Puerto Rico and provide much-needed legal services. Edmarie will work for Centro Para Puerto Rico.
Mónica Rodríguez, who is the Foundation’s 2019 Public Policy Fellow from Southern Methodist University Law School. Monica grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to Texas when she was 10. Mónica’s family suffered from the impact of Hurricane Maria, and she and her family became involved in relief efforts for Salinas, a town in the southern part of Puerto Rico. Motivated by this experience and her connection to the island, Mónica will work this summer for Ayuda Legal.
Andreana Paz, who is a Case Western Reserve University Fellow for 2019. She focuses her studies on international law and has interned in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and works with the Yemen Accountability Project. During her summer in Puerto Rico, Andreana will also work with Centro Para Puerto Rico.