Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston City Council proclaimed Dec. 11, 2018, “McGuireWoods Day,” honoring the firm for assisting Lone Star Legal Aid after Hurricane Harvey.
When flooding from Harvey’s historic rainfall caused an explosion and fire in LSLA’s Houston headquarters in 2017, McGuireWoods immediately provided a temporary home for some of the organization’s displaced lawyers and staff.
Since September 2017, lawyers, paralegals and staff from LSLA’s Equitable Development Initiative unit have worked in conference rooms in McGuireWoods’ offices in JPMorgan Chase Tower. The partnership between the law firm and the nation’s fourth-largest legal aid organization enabled the EDI team to continue its vital work without interruption as the city recovered from the devastating storm, and it earned the praise of Houston’s leaders.
“The City of Houston commends and appreciates McGuireWoods for continuing its critical work and strengthening a formidable partnership with Lone Start Legal Aid that has provided relief to some of Houston’s most vulnerable victims of Hurricane Harvey,” the proclamation notes. McGuireWoods partners Yasser Madriz and Meghaan Madriz and senior office coordinator Chasity Battist accepted the proclamation on the firm’s behalf.
LSLA serves 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas and four counties in southwest Arkansas. Its EDI unit focuses on fair housing, community advocacy and environmental justice matters — issues that took on new urgency after the hurricane.
“Community is a McGuireWoods core value and we are proud to lend a hand to Lone Star Legal Aid, which has done so much to help struggling families recover from Harvey,” said Jay Hughes, managing partner of the firm’s Houston office.
In January 2019, the EDI team will rejoin the rest of LSLA’s Houston staff in leased office space the organization will occupy until it can return to its downtown headquarters.
“McGuireWoods stepped up and offered us space to work right after our office was destroyed. It allowed our team some stability to take on significant work, immediately assisting survivors of Harvey,” said Marty Orozco, the EDI team’s project director. “The support Jay and his staff have shown us has been invaluable. McGuireWoods gave us the opportunity to hit the ground running after Harvey and to continue building on the work from those initial months.”