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Student Hurricane Network

Law students working for justice in the Gulf Coast

SHN Leadership 2008-2009

Meet the SHN National Advisory Board for 2008-2009!

The National Advisory Board oversees the day-to-day operations of SHN as well as shapes the strategic vision for SHN's future.

Diana Csank is a second year student at Tulane. Before law school, she worked in New York City government on community development, zoning policy, and the implementation of a green building local law. Last summer, she clerked for the ACLU of Louisiana and traveled back to her native city of Budapest. Diana looks forward to pursuing a career in the public interest centering on environmental justice in the Gulf, and eventually on an international level. Email her at diana.csank [at]

A 3L at the University of Wisconsin, Sarah Erlinder is looking forward to beginning a career advancing social justice, most likely in criminal defense. She has spent two years on the SHN National Advisory Board and last summer at the Orleans Public Defender. Sarah was formerly in charge of SHN trips and has handed that task off to Diana, Chanel and Lindsey. Sarah has developed a deep admiration for the Gulf Coast and its residents through her work with SHN. Email her at serlinder [at]

Lyle Gravatt is a 2L at the University of Mississippi, a former physics graduate from Wake Forest. He serves as Secretary of the Law School Student Body, and President of the Public Interest Law Foundation and the Environmental Law Society. Growing up in Mississippi has given Lyle an appreciation of the needs of the Gulf Coast and the effort needed to help the area recover from the recent natural disasters. Email him at lylegravatt17 [at]

A student at William and Mary law school, Chanel Gray is a 2L interested in criminal defense for indigent defendants, specifically in the South. She received her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University and hopes to not only help in rebuilding the Gulf Coast with SHN but making the Gulf Coast a place of justice and equality for all residents. Email her at cagray [at]

Galen Hair is a 3L at Tulane and native of Dallas. He enjoys opera, designing large-scale student projects and long car rides. Galen is currently the vice-chair of the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Email him at ghair [at]

Ravi Kambhampaty is a 2L at the University of Maryland School of Law. Prior to joining to the NAB, he was a volunteer at the New Orleans Public Defenders Office in Jan 08. He was a 1L intern with the Army JAG Corps, and would like to persue that for after Law School as well. Email him at ravikam98 [at]

After graduating from Grinnell College in 2000, Gwynne Kizer spent seven years working and volunteering in Chicago's nonprofit and community organizing communities. Currently, she's a 2L at Chicago-Kent School of Law. Email her at gkizer [at]

A 2L at Tulane, Lindsey Topphails from southern Mississippi. She is passionate about animals and about social justice efforts both in Mississippi and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast. She is also pursuing a masters of business administration at the Tulane School of Business and will enter the real world in 2011. Email her at ltopp [at]

Alisha Williams is a 3L at Cardozo Law School looking forward to graduating and continuing to work for the public interest. She currently works on legal issues affecting the transgender and gender non-conforming community in NY. Email her at alisha.williams [at]

SHN Financial Team

Our SHN Financial Team helps us create accountability by creating model procedures for reimbursements, setting up a responsible, accountable process for processing donations, and managing our tax-exempt status. They also help us seek out funding both for SHN as a national organization as well as for our various self-contained projects.

SHN Pro Bono Liaisons

Our Pro Bono Liaisons use students experience to actively engage their local legal community in pro bono efforts by maintaining relationships with law firm pro bono counsel, law school administrators, legal aid agencies, and clinical professors who are committed to finding creative resources for legal services providers in the Gulf Coast.

SHN Diversity Committee Chairs

The realities of this work make us keenly aware of the benefit and the need of having a racially and ethnically diverse group of student working together for a common goal. Our Diversity Committee Chairs affirmatively heighten more diverse involvement among SHN participants and leadership. For more information, email

Megan Beaman, University of Wisconsin Alum, beaman [at]
Valerie Vidal, University of Wisconsin Alum, valvidal79 [at]

SHN Alumni

As students move from the academic to the working world, their passion for SHN's work remains. SHN Alumni is an outgrowth of the Student Hurricane Network comprised of recent graduates with a continued desire to assist SHN with its mission. To get in contact with SHN Alumni or to be added to our email list please email the chairs at

SHN Web Support

Our website is our greatest tool - our office, our bulletin board, our mailbox and our file cabinet. Our web support team helps us keep the site up-to-date and looking good.

To contact any of the leadership above, or to volunteer to help, please email



Trouble the Water

An award-winning film featuring a young couple living on the margins who survive the flooding of their city by any means necessary.

New Orleans 100

"The New Orleans 100" is a worldwide initiative that will highlight and encourage discussion among millions about 100 of the most innovative and world-changing ideas to take root in the city since Katrina. SHN is one of them!

Gulf Coast Civic Works Project

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is the national effort to pass HR 4048: The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, which would create 100,000 jobs for Gulf Coast residents and evacuees to rebuild their communities.

Social Entrepeneurs of New Orleans (SENO)

SENO is comprised of an amazing group of New Orleas residents working in creative ways to renew and revitalize the city. Check out the social entrepreneur profiles and initiatives on their website.

NOLA YURP (Young Urban Rebuilding Professionals)

The NOLA YURP Initiative is about connecting, retaining and attracting the city's young workforce, but also an example of many different communities working together to solve a problem.

Pro Bono Legal Corps

The LA Bar Association and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps legal fellows have volunteer opportunities available for law students.

Website with resources for probono attorneys

Legal info for the public in Louisiana

Legal info for the public in Mississippi

University of Mississippi Law's website for Katrina Legal Issues

Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net