In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the Houston legal community is getting back to work. WRAL news channel 5 reported that Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell expects to reopen Wednesday. Andrews Kurth has their attorneys working remotely. According to the WRAL report, an Andrews spokesperson said, “all of our BlackBerrys are working.”
Other Houston area firms were contacted by ATL directly. The most important news is that everybody is safe.
Mike Conlon, partner-in-charge of Fulbright & Jaworski’s Houston office, said:
[W]e have been able to assist all that have needed temporary housing. While our Houston office is closed today, our lawyers are working from remote locations, including our other offices in Texas. All computer support functions are operating, and other offices are providing additional support where needed, which is part of Fulbright’s disaster recovery plan.
Fulbright & Jaworski plans to be fully functional by tomorrow.
More news from Houston after the jump.
Various sources indicate that many of the law firms and office buildings have power, while private homes do not.
Marie Yeates, a spokesperson for Vinson & Elkins, said that her firm would be trying to help the families of their employees:
Because we have power in the Houston office, but not in many of our homes, we are going to tell our lawyers that they are free to bring their children into the office tomorrow where we will play movies on our wall- size screen in our courtroom, pop popcorn, and serve other food and cold drinks. The kids can charge their cell phones and lap top computers and enjoy each others’ company. Meanwhile, our lawyers can continue to service our clients’ needs.
V&E is also contemplating doubling up on office space, in order to offer excess space to clients whose buildings were severely damaged.
We hope other firms that are able will follow Vinson’s lead. It’s pretty hard to focus on work when children and loved ones are at home without power.
Are there other stories of firms bending to fit the needs of displaced attorneys and clients?
If you can, please donate to the relief effort here.
Houston port, airports wait to reopen after Ike [WRAL]