November 7, 2016

November 6–12 Is Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week

Free Legal Help Available for Eligible Veterans in Various Cities Throughout Texas

Texas veterans 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. Throughout the week of Nov. 6-12, legal aid programs, local bar associations, law schools and pro bono private lawyers will provide free civil legal services to qualified Texas veterans in various locations throughout the state.

Texas has the second-highest population of veterans in the nation. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, legal issues account for five of the top 10 unmet needs of homeless veterans. Obtaining access to free legal services can be critical for veterans to get the benefits and support they need for themselves and their families.

In 2015, 1,268 Texas veterans received free legal assistance during Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week. Throughout the entire year, legal aid organizations provided free legal services to more than 8,000 Texas veterans.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation provided $1.9 million in grants this year to 15 nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services to veterans. The 84th Texas Legislature appropriated $3 million in funding to legal services for our veterans and their families. The annual Champions of Justice Gala benefiting veterans, co-sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission and the State Bar of Texas, also provides grant funding.

With this funding, 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, and
  • Other issues that may arise due to a veteran’s absence from home during military service

Additional Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week events are also scheduled the days before and after the week of Nov. 6-12. For a complete list of events, visit https://texaslawhelp.org/veterans-portal

NOTE: For veterans unable to attend a TVLAW event, Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) will host a live online ‘chat’ Nov. 6-12, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m. to assist Texas veterans with legal questions. Visit: www.texaslawhelp.org. The statewide hotline number for veteran legal issues is 1-800-622-2520, option 2.