Founded in 2006, the Humanitarian Aid Legal Organization (HALO) is a student organization that assists and raises awareness of underserved communities. Each year, HALO raises funds for a spring break legal aid trip, where UC Davis law students travel to underserved areas to provide aid. Past trips have been to New Orleans, San Antonio, Brooklyn, Biloxi, East St. Louis, and various other locations throughout the United States.
Our group is committed to providing humanitarian and legal aid to communities where the access to these types of aid is severely lacking or in a state of crisis. We focus not only on offering a week of energy, passion, and legal knowledge, but also on raising awareness about often overlooked communities across the country. We do this through our blog that is updated daily by members while we are on our trip so that we can log our impressions and experiences at a place accessible to our fellow classmates, faculty, family, and friends. Additionally, we host a post-trip event where we share photos and stories of our experiences with the entire King Hall community. This enables HALO to bring the problems and struggles from across the nation to the immediate attention of our fellow students, adding a real-world element to the often detached world of academia. We hope that by sharing the facts and images from our trip, we can increase consciousness of these conditions across the country, as well as motivate others to consider poverty or crime-ridden neighborhoods closer to home that are equally overlooked.
As law students and future lawyers, we have special access to the law and a responsibility to give back to communities that are denied access to the law. By fundraising a Spring Break trip to a community that needs humanitarian and legal aid, we are advancing social justice and increasing awareness about inequality at home. We try to go to places that might not fall within the radar of common concern but are nonetheless casualties of a system that does not always serve those most in need.