Eligible Texas veterans will have access to free legal help 

AUSTIN, TX––Veterans across the state are invited to participate in Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week (TVLAW), a statewide effort in honor of Veterans Day coordinated by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF). Legal aid programs, local bar associations, law schools and pro bono private lawyers will provide services to qualified veterans at clinics throughout the state. 

“We thank the Texas Legislature for providing funding for veteran legal services, as well as the Texas Access to Justice Commission and State Bar of Texas who help raise funds through an annual gala,” said Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

 Texas has the nation’s second-highest population of veterans. Obtaining access to free legal services can be critical for them to receive the benefits and support they need for themselves and their families. 

Legal aid organizations and pro bono lawyers are able to provide legal representation to veterans with civil legal problems, including:

  • Denial of critical medical care

  • Problems receiving benefits

  • Legal issues related to disabilities

  • Family law matters arising from deployment

  • Other issues that may occur due to a veteran’s absence from home during military service

TAJF provided $6.7 million in two-year grants this year to 13 nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services.  In 2018, TAJF grantees helped nearly 9,000 veterans obtain access to the justice system. 

TAJF’s Remembering Our Heroes campaign (which began in 2017) allows individuals to donate in honor of a specific person––living or deceased––who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. military. This year, Remembering Our Heroes will be featured as part of a presentation during halftime at the Baylor University vs. University of Oklahoma football game in Waco on Nov. 16. The Baylor Law Veterans Clinic, a TAJF grantee, will also be recognized. The Remembering Our Heroes campaign benefits the Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services, an endowment fund created to ensure that the justice system is fairly and equitably accessible to Texas veterans and named to honor the late Houston lawyer, who was a veteran. 

Additional events are scheduled a few days before and after Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week. For a complete list of events, visit https://texaslawhelp.org/tvlaw-2019 

NOTE: For veterans unable to attend a TVLAW event, Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) will host a live online chat Nov. 11-15 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. to assist Texas veterans with legal questions. Assistance is also provided at 1-800-622-2520, option 2. For more information, visit: www.texaslawhelp.org.

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The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the largest state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to more than 150,000 Texas families each year. For more information, please visit: www.tajf.org.

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