Tulane law faculty played a key role in Katrina recovery

August 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Tulane Law School communications staff

Katherine Mattes, Tulane Law School

Professor Katherine Mattes, then-deputy director of the Criminal Litigation Clinic, documented flood damage to the Orleans Parish Prison evidence room as part of her work helping restore a functioning criminal justice system. (Photo from Katherine Mattes)

Tulane Law School faculty members as well as first-year law students scrambled to cram an entire year’s worth of coursework into one extended semester when the law school reopened in January 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. Yet, they also found time to help other New Orleanians.

Professors provided vital legal assistance to the city. For instance, New Orleans native Tania Tetlow, now an associate provost at Tulane, was only a few months into her job as director of the Domestic Violence Clinic when Katrina hit. After evacuating for a couple of months, she returned to volunteer at a FEMA disaster center and help restore the city’s public library system.

Criminal law faculty members were instrumental in bringing the criminal justice system back to functioning.

To commemorate Hurricane Katrina’s 10-year anniversary, Tulane Law School will host a panel on Monday (Aug. 31) with faculty, staff members and alumni reflecting on the hurricane’s impact on the university, the law school and the city and recounting faculty members’ roles in the city’s long and continuing recovery.

The panel on “After the Storm: Tulane Law School’s Role in Rebuilding” is from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Wendell H. Gauthier Appellate Moot Court Room 110. It is free and open to the public. Adam Feibelman, law professor and associate dean, is the moderator.

Panelists are:
• Professor Adam Babich, director of the Environmental Law Clinic
• Professor Oliver Houck, environmental law specialist and author of “Can We Save New Orleans?” published in the Tulane Environmental Law Journal
• David Marcello (law school class of ’71), executive director of The Public Law Center and author of “Systemic Ethics Reform in Katrina’s Aftermath”
• Professor Katherine Mattes, director of the Criminal Litigation Clinic
• Professor Pam Metzger, former director of the Criminal Litigation Clinic and author of “Me and Mr. Jones: A Systems-Based Analysis of a Catastrophic Defense Outcome”
• Professor Stacy Seicshnaydre (law school class of ’92), director of the Civil Litigation Clinic and author of “In Search of a Just Public Housing Policy Post-Katrina” and “How Government Housing Perpetuates Racial Segregation: Lessons from Post-Katrina New Orleans.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 504-865-4000 website@tulane.edu