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Office of Chief Counsel

Our Mission

To advance FEMA's mission by providing timely and quality legal advice and counsel while maintaining the highest standards of professional integrity and ethics.

News & Announcements

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Individuals and Households Program Debt Collection (Recoupment) Appeal Hearings

If FEMA finds that disaster assistance may have been given to applicants who were not eligible for some or all the money they received, the agency issues a Notice of Potential Debt letter. You can appeal the decision in writing and request a hearing — learn about the appeals process.

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FEMA Honors Attorney Program

The two-year FEMA Honors Attorney Program provides challenging professional opportunities for outstanding, third-year law students with a commitment to public service.

What We Do

Our office is responsible for ensuring that the agency carries out its statutory responsibilities, advising on policies and regulations, and representing the agency in litigation.

Office Functions

  • Federal Insurance and Mitigation Legal Division:  Provides legal counsel to the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration and its programs, including the National Flood Insurance Program, mitigation grant programs such as the Hazard Mitigation Grant and Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities programs, FEMA’s environmental planning and historic preservation program, and other risk identification and mitigation programs.
  • Legal Counsel and Ethics Legal Division:  Brings expertise to congressional, external affairs, legal policy, ethics, disability and equal rights matters.
  • Mission Support Law Division:  Provides legal services related to human capital law and litigation, information and privacy law and litigation, information technology, records management, real and personal property, and tort liability and litigation.
  • Procurement and Fiscal Law Division:  Advises on fiscal, acquisition, debt collection and appropriations law.
  • Resilience - Preparedness and Continuity Legal Division: Provides counsel to FEMA’s preparedness and protection-related activities, including grants and to FEMA’s United States Fire Administration.
  • Regional and Field Operations Legal Division: Advises the 10 FEMA regional offices, joint field offices, recovery offices and disaster locations.
  • Regulatory Affairs Division: Provides legal support and counsel on regulations, rulemaking and associated administrative laws and executive orders.
  • Response and Recovery Legal Division: Provides counsel to the Office of Response and Recovery in support of reduction in the loss of life and property and to protect the nation from all hazards.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Office: Offers support to help create a collaborative workplace.


View the FEMA Offices & Leadership page to learn about this program's key staff.