Free Legal Resources for the Public
A toll-free legal assistance hotline is available to low-income individuals and families across Texas who are confronted with civil legal problems as a result of the pandemic. People may call 800-504-7030 toll-free to be connected with legal service providers in their area.
Areas of legal assistance or guidance include:
Bankruptcy and debt-collection matters;
Employment issues, unemployment applications and appeals;
Child custody, visitation, and support issues;
Life, medical, and property insurance claims;
Mortgage or foreclosure problems;
Public benefits issues (e.g., Medicaid, SNAP/food stamps, Social Security);
Healthcare directives and powers of attorney;
Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and scams;
Disability discrimination; and
Family and domestic violence concerns
Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who can provide free legal help. Callers should be aware there are some limitations on the legal services available. This service is a partnership among the State Bar of Texas, the state’s legal aid agencies, volunteer organizations, and access-to-justice organizations. See this news release for a full list of the partners.
A partnership of legal aid and volunteer organizations around the state have agreed to amass COVID-19 related legal resources on the TexasLawHelp.org website operated by the Texas Legal Services Center. TexasLawHelp.org has a wide range of resources including documents, guides, and forms covering topics such as eviction and tenants rights, unemployment benefits, CPS issues during the pandemic, bankruptcy and foreclosure, private insurance and public benefits, voting and attending court procedures during the pandemic, and many others. The website also has a live chat feature to assist low-income individuals with their legal questions.
TexasLegalAnswers.org is a free online legal advice website provided by the State Bar of Texas and Texas Legal Services Center that allows low-income Texans to post questions about their civil legal issues and receive answers from volunteer Texas attorneys.
VIRTUAL AND TELEPHONE LEGAL CLINICS
Bar associations and volunteer organizations around the state are hosting legal clinics that allow members of the public to call in at specific times or sign up online to be connected with a volunteer attorney who will provide them with resources and advice to assist with civil legal matters. The programs are as follows:
Consejos Legales — a Spanish language legal advice project offered by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston, the Houston Bar Association, and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston — 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. Go to hba.org/legalline to sign up for an available time slot or call 713-759-1133 for more information.
Dallas Bar Association — Between 4 and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. To sign up for a slot, go here.
Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program — Dallas County residents who would like to apply for free legal assistance at one of the program's virtual clinics should fill out the form at tinyurl.com/DVAPClinic.
Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas — For Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Williamson county residents. Call 512-472-8303 or toll-free 866-303-8303 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month to obtain free brief, legal advice. Se habla Español
Tarrant County Bar Association — Between 5 and 7 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month through the end of May. Sign up here.
CARES ACT Renter Protections
The CARES Act offers renters who live at certain covered properties several protections for a temporary period. At covered properties, landlords are prohibited from filing evictions for non-payment of rent, or charging late fees or penalties for late payment of rent, for a period of 120 days from March 27 until July 25, 2020. During this period, landlords cannot issue notices to vacate for nonpayment.
Free Planning Forms for Emergency Responders
The Dallas Bar Association has created a webpage offering basic
planning forms for police, fire, and medical personnel. Forms on the
webpage include: planning forms for your signature; summaries of the
forms; additional lawyer video explanations; and an article explaining
how to successfully complete and execute the forms. The forms can be
printed, completed, and signed to put affairs in order as needed. Go to
dallasbar.org/COVIDFirstResponders for more
Volunteer probate lawyers from the DBA Probate, Trusts & Estates Section will be available to answer questions for free in a conference-call format from 7 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday during the pandemic. In order to participate, call 888-909-7654 and enter the passcode 827261#.
Lawyer Referral Service
If you need a lawyer, contact the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 800-252-9690 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Legal Aid Service Provider Directory
Please consult this Referral Directory for Low-Income Texans to locate legal service providers by county.
Statewide Mental Health Support Line
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has launched
a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing
anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19
This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919. Read more about the support line here.