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What is Volunteer Legal Services (VLS)?
Volunteer Legal Services is a nonprofit organization that helps provide free legal advice and representation to people with civil legal matters who cannot afford an attorney.
What kinds of legal cases can VLS help with?
VLS can help with civil cases only. We cannot help with criminal, immigration, or contested probate matters.
What is the process for obtaining attorney representation with VLS?
VLS has very limited resources and strict eligibility guidelines, so we cannot guarantee attorney representation to everyone who applies.
First, you must attend a legal clinic sponsored or hosted by VLS, often with our partner organization, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA).
If you attend one of our Full Legal Clinics, attorneys will be present to give you advice regardless of your income eligibility. If you attend one of our Intake Legal Clinics, where the VLS Outreach Coordinator sets up an informational table in a community center, an attorney usually will not be present–the Intake Legal Clinics are generally for people who may not be able to attend our Full Legal Clinics on Mondays & Wednesdays, but would still like to find out if they are eligible for our services.
At both the Full and Intake Legal Clinics, you will need to fill out an Intake Form with your basic information including, but not limited to: your name, address, phone number, birthday, and income information. (You may bring this form with you to the legal clinic, already filled out, which will make the process go much more quickly.) You may also fill out additional forms or questionnaires specific to your legal issue.
- If you are first determined to be eligible based on clinic criteria, your forms and information will then be taken back to either VLS or TRLA offices and screened further for eligibility. This should take no longer than about 1 week. Then, you will receive either a letter or a phone call regarding your case. Letters will include a number to call and more instructions about the process.
Travis County Clinic Schedules:
Bastrop & Hays County Clinic Schedules:
Bastrop & Hays Counties: ALL 2018 Clinic Dates
If you are eligible for services, you will be informed of next steps in the VLS process, either by phone call or mailed letter.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have been a VLS client in the past, but your case was finished (or closed due to inactivity), you must reapply for services by attending a legal clinic as explained above.
If you have a case that is currently open with VLS, you must contact either the staff attorney or the case placement coordinator you have been in contact with at VLS. Attending a clinic again while your case is open will not speed up the process.
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