Free Legal Advice
One way that Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas helps low-income people with their civil legal problems is through our evening legal advice and intake clinics. In partnership with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, we hold free legal advice clinics every Monday and Wednesday night (except on holidays or during school breaks) at local middle schools. Advice is given only on civil, not criminal, matters. Child care, Spanish translation, security, and free parking are provided.
1. Decide Where To Go:
Monday’s evening clinic is at Martin Middle School, 1601 Haskell Street, Austin, Texas 78702. CALL TEXAS RIOGRANDE LEGAL AID IF YOU NEED LEGAL HELP WHILE THE CLINIC IS CLOSED – 374-2700
Wednesday’s advice clinic is at Webb Middle School, 601 East St. Johns Street, Austin, TX 78752. CALL TEXAS RIOGRANDE LEGAL AID IF YOU NEED LEGAL HELP WHILE THE CLINIC IS CLOSED – 374-2700
2. Arrive Between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
For security issues, please do not come early. No one will be allowed to enter the school before 6:00 p.m. People arriving after 7:00 p.m. will be asked to come back to another clinic.
3. Complete an Intake Form.
Everyone will be divided into two groups – those needing help with family law matters and those needing help with any other non-criminal matter. Everyone will be asked to fill out a form asking for information about your case and yourself. This form will be given to an attorney to review before talking with you.
4. Get Free Advice from an Attorney
Most people will be able to talk with an attorney. Be prepared to give a short overview of your problem. Hundreds of people come to the clinics each week, so the attorneys can only spend 10-15 minutes with each person. No advice is available for criminal matters. Remember, the attorney who talks with you is agreeing only to give you advice and is not going to represent you in your case.
5. Free Legal Representation
People who are financially eligible can also apply for free legal services from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid at the clinics. There is no guarantee that an attorney will take the case. There are simply not enough attorneys to help everyone.
- Volunteer Legal Services (VLS) and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) are separate organizations:
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid screens all applications for legal services. VLS only takes cases referred to it by other legal service providers. Because we are a small organization, we do not have the staff to handle calls.
- Financial Eligibility:
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid can only help a small number of people who meet very low income guidelines, which are set at 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Other federal regulations prevent TRLA from taking certain cases.