News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
S
eptember 13, 2013

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Announces 2013-14 Grant Awards Funds will support 30 nonprofits that provide civil legal services
 

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) has announced its 2013-14 grants that will help fund 30 nonprofit civil legal aid organizations throughout Texas.

With the help of grants from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, public interest and pro bono lawyers provide legal representation to low-income Texans with basic civil legal problems, such as landlord-tenant issues, family law matters, employment law, access to earned benefits and consumer issues. Each year, TAJF grantees help more than 100,000 low-income individuals and families with their civil legal needs.

Grant levels were able to remain stable due to the recent $17.6 million biennieum appropriation by the Texas Legislature for basic civil legal services,   This funding is critical as historically low interest rates continue to decimate the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) program, a primary funding source for legal aid in Texas.  Additionally, Texas legal aid providers who receive federal funding continue to see losses in that critical source of legal aid funding.

“Many times, access to a lawyer can be a lifesaver to disadvantaged families facing challenging times,” Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “Legal aid plays a critical role in ensuring that vulnerable Texans are able to access the judicial system.” 

TAJF has awarded more than $370 million in its 29 years of existence. TAJF collects and administers several funds, including IOLTA, Basic Civil Legal Services (filing fees, fees assessed to out-of-state attorneys practicing in Texas, and other public funding), crime victims’ funds and private donations.

To qualify for legal help from a program funded by TAJF, an individual normally cannot earn more than $14,363 per year. A family of four must earn less than $29,438 per year.

TAJF was created by the Supreme Court of Texas and is the largest Texas funding source for legal services to the poor. The board of directors is appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and the State Bar of Texas.

 

Area

Organization

IOLTA/BCLS/CVCLS

Austin

Disability Rights of Texas (statewide)

$1,385,654

Austin

Southern Disability Law Center

                  144,089

Austin

American Gateways

                  279,685

Austin

Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas

                  236,823

Austin

Equal Justice Center

                  236,977

Austin

Oficina Legal del Pueblo Unido, Inc.

                  810,631

Austin

Texas Legal Services Center (statewide)

                2,397,581

Dallas

Legal Hospice of Texas

                  172,512

Dallas

Dallas Bar Association Community Service Fund

                  235,975

Dallas

Catholic Charities of Dallas

                  298,457

El Paso

Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services

                  312,459

Ft. Worth

Texas A&M School of Law--Law Clinic

                    40,000

Ft. Worth

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas

                6,088,740

Harlingen

Pro Bar (ABA)

                  108,198

Houston

University of Houston Law Center Clinic

                  135,251

Houston

South Texas College of Law Clinic

                  103,074

Houston

Earl Carl Institute- Thurgood Marshall School of Law

                  118,340

Houston

Cathedral Justice Project

                  133,533

Houston

Boat People SOS, Inc.

                  147,689

Houston

Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance

                  324,802

Houston

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse

                  351,500

Houston

Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program

                  607,041

Houston

Lone Star Legal Aid

                6,447,933

Lubbock

Legal Aid Society of Lubbock

                  253,282

San Antonio

St. Mary's Immigration Clinic

                  150,969

San Antonio

Refugee & Immigrant Center for Education

                  166,608

San Antonio

Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.

                  192,190

Sugar Land

Fort Bend Lawyers Care

                    56,098

The Woodlands

Montgomery County Women's Center

                    65,004

Weslaco

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.

                8,421,970

 

# # #

 

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the largest state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texas families each year.

 

Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104
kschmitt@teajf.org

 

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