Legal Assistance Organizations

Various Texas organizations are committed to ensuring fair and equal access to the court system for all members of the public. The organizations highlighted here provide informational videos, free legal publications, self-help guides, legal information, and legal aid assistance to populations that may be at a disadvantage. If you would like more information, or if you know of a free or low-cost legal assistance organization that we don't list on this page, please contact the library.

This list is maintained for informational purposes only. An organization's presence in this list does not constitute an endorsement by the State Law Library.

These organizations provide alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or mediation services. These services typically assist individuals with resolving conflicts outside of a courtroom. Mediators can be attorneys or other individuals trained in mediation and dispute resolution tactics. Services are often provided for free or at a low cost. Please view each center's website for cost information.


Rural Mediation Services

Texas Rural Mediation Services is headquartered in Lubbock County, but services are available to all Texans. The center administers the USDA Agricultural Mediation Program, serving rural Texans, landowners, producers, creditors, and others directly affected by USDA actions. Disputes can be addressed such as landlord/tenant or neighbor issues, insurance or healthcare issues, credit issues, employer/employee issues, issues with rural loans or grants for disaster assistance, family or adolescent issues, and more. Services are provided through the Lubbock County ADR system.

Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC)

The DCDRC handles cases that are referred from the Dallas County court system. Services are provide for free and attorneys are not required.

Denton County Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (DCAP)

The DCAP provides low cost mediation services to those who qualify. The program offers family mediators, civil mediators, personal injury mediators, and probate mediators.

Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc.

This private, nonprofit organization is the designated Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) for residents of Tarrant County and the surrounding areas.

Lubbock County Alternative Dispute Resolution Services

Members of the public can enlist the services of the Lubbock County ADR Services for almost any type of dispute. Civil and criminal cases may also be referred from the court system. These services also include the Lubbock County Domestic Relations Office which focuses on family and custody disputes.

Panhandle Regional Planning Commission's Dispute Resolution Center

Residents of the Texas panhandle region can visit the Dispute Resolution Center to resolve legal conflicts through mediation. Many types of cases are handled including child custody and visitation, divorce, landlord/tenant disputes, neighbor disputes, employment issues, consumer complaints, and much more.

Paris Dispute Resolution Services

Dispute Resolution services are held at Paris Junior College and are available for those living in Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, and Red River Counties. E-mail Carl E. Lucas, Director, or call 903-783-9839 to inquire about services and make an appointment.

Plano Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services at SMU Plano

The Conflict Resolution Center at Southern Methodist University's Plano campus assists with civil, family, and community disputes at a low cost. Mediation can be arranged regardless of whether a law suit has been filed. The center also accepts cases referred from the court system.

South Plains Alternative Dispute Resolution System

The counties of Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Garza, Hockley, Howard, Lamb, Lubbock, Terry, and Yoakum have contracted with the Lubbock County ADR system to provide mediation services for those residing in the South Plains region of Texas.

Texoma Dispute Resolution Center

Texoma DRC, an independent charitable organization, provides free or low cost dispute resolution services to residents, organizations, courts, and agencies in Texas's Grayson and Cooke counties as well as Oklahoma's Bryan, Marshall, Johnston, and Love counties.

Jefferson County Dispute Resolution Center

Mediation services include merchant/consumer complaints, landlord/tenant issues, divorce, custody or visitation issues, neighborhood disputes, personal injury claims, and other issues. Services are for those residing in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas.

Montgomery County Dispute Resolution Center

The DRC of Montgomery County, a nonprofit organization created by the Mongomery County Bar Association, provides mediation services for general civil disputes, some minor criminal issues, and some juvenile restitution cases. Mediation services can be obtained regardless of whether a law suit has been filed. Attorneys may be present for the mediation, but they are not required.

Fort Bend County Dispute Resolution Center

The Fort Bend County DRC is a independent, nonprofit organization that serves residents of Fort Bend and the surrounding counties. The center provides low cost mediation services for civil issues including divorce and other family matters whether or not a law suit has been filed.

Harris County Dispute Resolution Center

The Harris County DRC is sponsored by the Houston Bar Association and funded by the Harris County Courts System. The center accepts cases before or after a law suit has been filed and provides services for civil issues such as disputes involving money, automobiles, divorce, landlord/tennant issues, and more. Services are free for residents of Harris County.

McAllen Mediation Center

The McAllen Mediation Center offers dispute resolution services including including mediation, arbitration, umpiring, and settlement consultation.

Nueces County Dispute Resolution Center

The Nueces County DRC helps people resolve conflicts outside of court. Mediation services can assist with civil issues including divorce, landlord/tenant disputes, small claims, neighbor disputes, and other issues. All services are for residents and businesses of Nueces County and are offered free of charge.

El Paso County Dispute Resolution Center

The El Paso County DRC provides low cost mediation services prior to, during, and in lieu of litigation to residents of El Paso County. Attorneys may be present, but are not required. The center handles civil issue such as lantlord/tenant disputes, neighbor disputes, child welfare issues, contracts, probate, and much more. Mediation services are provided in both English and Spanish.

Austin Dispute Resolution Center

This independent nonprofit organization provides dispute resolution services for residents of Travis County and the surrounding Austin area. Mediation services include civil litigation mediation, juvenile court/offender mediation, and juvenile court prerelease/parent-child mediation.

Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center (BCDRC)

The BCDRC provides free mediation services to Bexar County residents and businesses. They can assist with resolving interpersonal, family, business, consumer, and community disputes. They also accept cases referred from the court system.

Brazos Valley Dispute Resolution Center

The Brazos Valley DRC offers mediation services in the areas of commercial relations, domestic relations, law suits, and other types of disputes such as landlord/tenant disputes and probate issues.

Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center

The Central Texas DRC provides mediation services for residents of Hays, Comal, Guadalupe, and Caldwell counties. The center handles community, civil, family, divorce, and child custody disputes. They can assist with cases before or after a suit has been filed and also take cases referred from the court system.

Hill Country Dispute Resolution Center

The Hill Country DRC provides low cost mediation services for residents of Kerr, Bandera, Kendall, Gillespie, Kimble, Mason, Medina, Menard, McCulloch, Real, and Edwards counties. Services are provided for civil issues such as divorce, modification of court orders (such as child custody, visitation, or support), landlord/tenant issues, consumer complaints, and more.

McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center

The McLennan County DRC provides low cost mediation assistance for family conflicts, financial disputes, neighbor conflicts, parent/teen conflicts, roommate disputes, school conflicts, workplace disputes, and other issues. The cases do not need to be in litigation to be addressed. Services are available for those living in McLennan County and the surrounding area.

University of Texas at Austin's Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution Center

This organization provides dispute resolution services for governmental and nonprofit entities in the Austin area.

These organizations advocate for certain groups of people or legal issues. They may provide representation or assistance in specific situations.


ACLU of Texas

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas works to address civil rights issues through advocacy, education, and strategic litigation. ACLU of Texas is a branch of the national ACLU organization.

Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal is a national nonprofit organization that works toward achieving full civil rights recognition for members of the LBGT community as well as those living with HIV. The South Central Regional Office is located in Dallas, TX.

Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF)

MALDEF is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the civil rights of Latinos living in the United States through advocacy, community education, and litigation.

Texas Access to Justice Foundation & Texas Access to Justice Commission

These groups provide funding and grants to organizations that serve the legal needs of low-income Texans.

Texas Civil Rights Project

This organization uses strategic litigation to influence policy in Texas. They aim to promote the civil rights of all Texans by supporting voting rights, criminal justice reform, racial and economic justice, and other issues.

Texas Fair Defense Project

The Texas Fair Defense Project states that their mission is "to fight for a criminal justice system that respects the rights of low-income Texans." They work to achieve this through advocacy, education, and strategic litigation.

Texas Legal Services Center

The Texas Legal Services Center is a nonprofit legal office that provides assistance to poverty law advocates. They sponsor and coordinate projects that help low-income and disadvantaged Texans who need legal help.

Texas Loves Children

This nonprofit organization seeks to help abused children in Texas by improving the quality of legal services they receive from court-appointed attorneys. They provide access to a complete child abuse online law library, communication services for attorneys, an expert exchange network to connect attorneys with experts in the field, a pro-bono attorney network, and training for judges, attorneys and others.

These resources provide other sources of legal assistance or information.


Limited Scope Representation — Research Guide

Limited scope representation or "unbundled legal services" is becoming more prevalent as an affordable alternative to traditional representation. This research guide created by the State Law Library has more information.

TexasLawHelp.org

This website is one of the best resources for anyone with common legal questions. TexasLawHelp.org provides many free legal forms and informational packets as well as a LiveHelp service that allows you to chat online with an attorney during normal business hours. The site is powered by Pro Bono Net and resources are written and compiled by various legal aid organizations in Texas.

Texas Legal — Legal Insurance

Founded by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Legislature, Texas Legal is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable legal insurance to Texans.

page last updated: 19 Apr 2017 11:51 AM