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.

Texas Bar Association — Referral Directory and Other Resources for Low-Income Texans [PDF]

This directory is published by the Texas Bar, the state's principal bar association. It contains contact information for many legal aid organizations that are available across Texas. In addition, the Texas Bar has written and collected informational legal resources for the public.

TexasLawHelp.org Legal Aid Directory

This is a listing of all the legal services providers in Texas. Service providers are listed by name as well as by service area. It also provides information about Legal Aid and has an online form for finding legal assistance.

Texas Legal Services Center

The Texas Legal Services Center is a nonprofit law firm that provides free representation and assistance to Texans who qualify for their services based on income or other criteria. They also sponsor several projects that assist low-income and disadvantaged Texans who need legal help: a legal hotline for Texans who are 60 years of age or older or who receive Medicare, a CPS family helpline for questions related to Child Protective Services, and a legal hotline for veterans. In addition to these services, the TLSC also trains and assists poverty law advocates and helps maintain TexasLawHelp.org.

CitySquare Legal Action Works (LAW)

Legal Action Works by CitySquare, a nonprofit organization, provides legal services to low-income families. They are located in the Dallas area and fees are calculated on a sliding scale.

Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program

The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program offers free legal assistance to residents of the Dallas area who meet their qualifications. They also host several legal advice clinics throughout the Dallas area on certain days of the month.

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

LANWT provides free civil legal services to low-income citizens in North Texas and the Panhandle area, including Abilene, Amarillo, Brownwood, Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Lubbock, McKinney, Midland, Odessa, Plainview, San Angelo, Waxahachie, Weatherford, and Wichita Falls.

Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program

HVLP provides pro bono legal services to low-income residents of Harris County.

Jefferson County Bar Association — Pro Bono Program

The Jefferson County Bar Association's Pro Bono Program can connect low-income residents of Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty, and Orange Counties with attorneys who are willing to take on their case for free. The program assists with civil cases such as family law (divorce, custody, adoption, name change, guardianship), welfare and income assistance, veterans’ benefits, employment, health care, consumer issues, housing issues (eviction, landlord/tenant issues), neighborhood issues, public education, license issues, expungement of criminal records, estate planning, and other miscellaneous civil legal cases.

Lone Star Legal Aid

Lone Star Legal Aid provides civil legal services to low-income clients in the Houston and east Texas area. They serve 72 counties in east, southeast, and northeast Texas as well as 4 counties in southwest Arkansas. See their website for a description of the types of cases they handle.

El Paso County Public Defender — How Do I Find an Attorney?

The El Paso County Public Defender's Office provides information on their website about how to apply for a court-appointed attorney for criminal, immigration, family law, eviction, and general civil cases. The services listed are only applicable for residents of El Paso County.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

TRLA provides free civil legal services to the indigent residents of central, south, and west Texas as well as migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. View their website for a list of Texas counties in TRLA's service area.

Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas

This nonprofit serves low-income residents in central Texas and helps to provide access to the civil legal system.

AVDA — Legal Advocacy Program

AVDA provides free legal representation in family law matters to victims of domestic violence in Harris and Fort Bend county. They can assist low-income residents as well as those who make too much money to qualify for typical legal aid assistance, but not enough money to afford a quality attorney. AVDA attorneys can assist with protective orders, divorce, child support, child custody, and other family law matters.

Advocates for Victims of Crime (AVOICE)

AVOICE, a project of the Texas Legal Services Center, provides free legal representation and legal referrals to victims of violent crime. The legal services they provide include assistance with protective orders, visa applications, family law issues such as divorce or child custody, and much more.

Houston Area Women's Center — Children's Court Services

The Houston Area Women's Center offers services for children who have been victims or witnesses of crime and who are going through court procedings. Services include information, support, and courtroom accompanyment. Services are free of charge.

Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault (LASSA)

Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault (LASSA) provides legal services, community training, and educational resources. The legal services they offer range from advice to full representation.

Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project

The Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project provides free immigration legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Their bilingual staff provide assistance with VAWA self-petitions, U Visa applications, Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residence, and other related legal services. All services are provided over the phone, by mail, or by online video conference, so clients will not need to travel in order to speak with an attorney. Services are available in certain Texas counties in Central and Northeast Texas.

The SAFE Alliance Legal Services

The SAFE Alliance is a project from the Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace that provides legal support to survivors of domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. SAFE offers legal representation and advice in the following areas of law: family law, immigration, some additional civil issues and limited criminal law.

Texas Advocacy Project

The Texas Advocacy Project is a statewide, nonprofit legal organization dedicated to promoting access to justice for the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. They provide several types of legal services including a legal hotline and an assisted pro se service designed to help those who are representing themselves in court.

ECI Juvenile Justice Project (JJP)

This project is run by the Earl Carl Institute at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The project focuses on providing legal assistance to homeless children as well as minors involved in the juvenile justice system, disparate educational disciplinary systems, the mental health system, or the foster care system. Please view the project's brochure [PDF] for more information. This project serves the general Harris County community and its contiguous counties.

Texas Defender Service

Texas Defender Service is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide legal services to those facing the death penalty in Texas.

Thurgood Marshall School of Law Innocence Project (TMSLIP)

This project is run by the Earl Carl Institute at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. This project provides legal services to convicted individuals claiming innocence in the State of Texas. To apply for services, inmates apply for services by completing a TPIQ in a prison library and mailing it to TMSLIP.

Disability Rights Texas

Disability Rights Texas's mission is to help people with disabilities excercise their rights. They provide legal representation as well as educational resources.

Capital Area AIDS Legal Project (CAALP)

CAALP is a project from AIDS Services of Austin and Legal Services of Central Texas that provides free legal assistance to low-income individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in Central Texas. CAALP staff and volunteer attorneys can assist people with a wide range of civil legal matters but do not provide assistance with criminal defense or immigration matters.

Legal Hospice of Texas

Legal Hospice of Texas provides legal assistance to people with AIDS, HIV, or a terminal illness. They assist with legal problems related to estate planning, insurance, credit, housing, employment benefits/discrimination, public benefits, and family law.

American Gateways

American Gateways provides legal assistance to low-income immigrants in the Central Texas region. They serve twenty counties including Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coryell, Falls, Fayette, Frio, Hays, Karnes, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, McLennan, Milam, San Saba, Travis, and Williamson. Their offices are located in Austin, San Antonio, and Waco. American Gateways can assist with various immigration-related matters such as asylum petitions, VAWA petitions, T Visas, U Visas, representation in the San Antonio Immigration Court, permanent residency and naturalization, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and family-based petitions.

Catholic Charities — Immigration Legal Services

Catholic Charities provides affordable legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees. They offer legal consultations, representation, and other assistance. Their fees vary depending on a client's resources and the type of assistance provided. Services are available in Central Texas, Corpus Christi, Dallas, East Texas, Fort Worth (also see their refugee services), Galveston-Houston, the Texas Panhandle (also see their refugee services), San Antonio, and Southeast Texas.

immi.org

Immi is a website that provides legal information, pro-bono referrals, and an online screening tool for immigrants in the U.S. It was created by two nonprofit organizations, Immigration Advocates Network and Pro Bono Net, to help immigrants understand their legal options.

ImmigrationLawHelp.org Directory of Immigration Legal Aid Organizations

The ImmigrationLawHelp site has a directory of immigration legal aid services across Texas. The directory provides a description of what kinds of services an organization offers as well as contact information. They also have a map view of the various organizations that provide immigration legal assistance.

Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project

The Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project provides free immigration legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Their bilingual staff provide assistance with VAWA self-petitions, U Visa applications, Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residence, and other related legal services. All services are provided over the phone, by mail, or by online video conference, so clients will not need to travel in order to speak with an attorney. Services are available in certain Texas counties in Central and Northeast Texas.

Mosaic Family Services

Mosaic Family Services is a nonprofit organization that provides case management, counseling, legal assistance, and shelter to refugees and immigrants in North Texas who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)

RAICES provides counseling services and legal representation to immigrant families and refugees in Central and South Texas.

Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON)

Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) is a private organization that “advocates for immigration laws that are just, humane, and righteous.” They also host legal clinics in certain areas of Texas where low-income immigrants can meet with staff members and attorneys to discuss immigration law issues. Apart from the national organization's website, you can also contact the Austin Region JFON, the Dallas-Fort Worth Region JFON, the Houston Region JFON, and the San Antonio Region JFON.

Tahirih Justice Center

The Tahirih Justice Center provides, among other services, legal aid to immigrant women who have a claim to legal status under U.S. immigration law as survivors of gender-based violence.

Texas Here to Stay / Texas No Nos Vamos

This nonprofit organization seeks to assist those who are dealing with immigration issues. They provide legal information as well as services such as legal clinics and forums in Central Texas. Please check their Facebook page for news on upcoming dates.

Austin Tenants' Council

This organization provides information, mediation services, and counceling for issues regarding housing discrimination, housing repair and rehabilitation, and other matters surrounding landlords' rights and tenants' rights. Some services may only be available to residents of Travis County.

Texas Tenants' Union

The Texas Tenants' Union provides tenants with assistance with rental housing issues. Advoacy and legal assistance as well as housing and shelter are provided by the organization. Their main office is located in Dallas, TX.

Area Agency on Aging of the Panhandle

The Area Agency on Aging of the Panhandle offers legal assistance and representation as well as other community services for seniors in the Texas panhandle area.

Lubbock Legal Aid Society

The Lubbock Legal Aid Society provides legal asssistance to low-income residents of Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Terry, and Yoakum counties. They can provide assistance with elder law matters such as simple wills, statutory powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and advanced directives to physicians (living wills). They also provide family law services.

Opal Mitchell Lee Property Preservation Project (OMLPPP)

This project is run by the Earl Carl Institute at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law and receives funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Legal assistance is given in the areas of advanced directives, wills and trusts, partition agreements, estates, reviewing real estate documents, foreclosure prevention, and other matters regarding land loss prevention. Please view the project's brochure [PDF] for more information. This project serves the general Harris County community and its contiguous counties.

Transactional Legal Assistance / Transfer on Death Deed Project

This project of the Texas Legal Services Center helps low-income, property-owning Texans prepare transfer on death deeds. These deeds allow those assisted to transfer their real property to others upon their death without the need for a will or probate.

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.

Central Brazos Valley Dispute Resolution Center

The Central 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.

page last updated: 12 Aug 2019 10:49 AM