Hurricane Katrina Relief

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To the Duke Law community,

The losses and tragedy in Katrina's wake are truly shocking, and our hearts go out to the many victims of this disaster. There has been an outpouring of efforts to support the victims from within the Duke Law School community. I thought you would like to know a bit about what’s happening on campus.

Current Students and Graduates

We have been in touch with the several students in our community who are from New Orleans , and I am very pleased to report that we have received confirmation that their families and friends are safe. We’ve also heard from a few of our alumni in the area, but we would welcome any news about alumni and their whereabouts. Please keep these individuals in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Visiting Students

Duke is one of many law schools across the nation that is opening its doors to students displaced by Katrina. We have accepted 11 visiting students for the fall semester. Ten are 2L and 3L students from Tulane and Loyola-New Orleans, and one is an LL.M. student from Tulane. They will all start on Monday.

In preparation for the arrival of these students, we are arranging housing for them as well as care packages. Further efforts are under way to secure text books, clothing, missed class notes, and other needed items. (I just received notice that West Law School and Foundation Press are replacing books lost in the hurricane free of charge.) A welcoming event for these students is planned for next week. I have no doubt that these visiting students will find Duke Law School a friendly, welcoming place.

Student Fundraising

Students immediately began organizing efforts to aid the victims financially. A "Help Bring Back the Music" Hurricane Katrina Relief Class Fund Drive is underway and I can report that students have collected more than $1200 thus far from students, faculty and staff. "Match the Tip" jars were placed strategically at the Law School 's Bar Review event and will continue at other events this weekend.

The father of one of our first-year students, Destiny Duron-Deas, is a pastor in Shreveport . Destiny has secured the donation of a large truck, available to pick up donated goods and deliver them to Louisiana . These goods will be sent to the Shreveport Community Disaster Relief Fund, where Destiny's father will ensure that all donations are used for the "refugees" who are taking shelter in Shreveport ; leftover goods will be sent further south.

The DBA Community Service Board has planned a blood drive for September 23.

“Mardi Gras beads" will be worn by students who participate in any of these efforts and show support for Katrina's victims. Duke Law students are also working with the American Bar Association student representatives from schools throughout the 4th Circuit, encouraging them to match our efforts.

Other ideas are being generated and are being coordinated through the Duke Bar Association Community Service Board and the Duke student chapter of the ABA . The Law School community's response has already been amazing and is part of a larger effort by the entire University. You can learn more about the University-wide efforts and how you can help by visiting

A special thank you to the students and administrators who are taking the lead in coordinating the School’s efforts.

I am extraordinarily proud to be part of this community.


Katharine T. Bartlett
Dean and A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law