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April 09, 2015 - In The Media

Commission Supports Veteran Access to Justice

The sixth annual Champions of Justice Gala Tuesday in Austin raised $401,000 to support legal aid for veterans — for a cumulative total of more than $2 million. Last year, about 8,800 veterans were provided legal assistance. That’s the good news. More »

March 31, 2015 - Publications

Access to justice for those who can’t afford lawyers

The Commission is supporting Texas lawmakers who seek to pass legislation creating free and easy-to-use Texas Supreme Court-approved forms that low-income Texans can use to make a will and to probate their estate. Another bill would do the same thing for tenants seeking legal action against a landlord trying to evict them without just cause. More »

March 31, 2015 - Publications

For the poor, a new path around probate

Picture this: A working-class grandmother dies after a long, full life at 85. She’s survived by a large, loving family and leaves behind some minor possessions, a few hundred dollars in a bank account, and a home in Houston – but no will. Probating an estate without a will is complicated and costly. The surviving heirs are going to need to hire an attorney, notice all known heirs, run an ad in the newspaper to notice all creditors, hire a second attorney to represent the unknown and missing heirs, and pay for several other costs. The price tag could easily reach $5,000 to $10,000. More »

March 31, 2015 - Publications

Legal aid in action: Stories from the frontlines

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and JUSTICE FOR ALL. With a hand over our heart, we have all made the pledge. For many of us, it’s those final words – Justice For All – that echo loudest. More »

March 31, 2015 - Publications

Positive signs for growth of legal aid funding

The Texas Access to Justice Commission is pleased that the Supreme Court’s request for $17.56 million of baseline state funding for civil legal aid so far has been well received in the 84th Texas Legislative Session. This is very encouraging, and we are very appreciative of our legislators’ support of this baseline funding. It will help many poor Texans receive direly needed legal services.  More »

March 31, 2015 - Publications

Student Loan Assistance for Legal Aid Attorneys

We know that low salaries of legal aid lawyers coupled with skyrocketing student loan debt make it difficult or impossible for lawyers to accept employment at legal aid or stay in those jobs long term. That’s why the Texas Access to Justice Commission created the Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (Texas SLRAP) in 2003 to assist attorneys who choose to pursue careers in legal aid in Texas. More »

March 30, 2015 - In The Media

More state money is needed to provide legal representation for poor

This country has a legal-aid funding crisis. Matters are just as bad, if not worse, in Texas. Currently, 5.6 million Texans qualify for legal assistance with issues such as domestic violence, foreclosures and health care for the elderly. Yet insufficient state funding makes access to legal representation for the poor almost impossible. Only about 104,000 families receive help each year from a small group of legal aid organizations. More »