News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
October 1, 2015

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Announces Grants for Veterans' Legal Services
Funds will support 15 nonprofits that provide civil legal services for
Texas veterans

 

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) has announced grants, totaling more than $3.5 million, to 15 nonprofit organizations that will help fund legal aid services for Texas veterans. With these grants, public interest and pro bono lawyers will be able to provide legal representation to veterans with civil legal problems such as denial of benefits or disability, family law matters arising from deployment, and other issues that may arise due to a veteran’s absence from home during military service. Last year, TAJF grantees helped approximately 7,000 veterans obtain access to the justice system.

“Too often, servicemen and women return from duty to find benefits delayed, families struggling, jobs scarce, homes in foreclosure, and debt collectors at the door,” Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht said. “We thank the Legislature for providing the resources to ensure that when basic legal problems pressure veterans, legal aid will be available for help.”

The 84th Texas Legislature provided $3 million in funding for basic civil legal services for veterans and their families over the next two years.  Also, the Texas Access to Justice Commission—through its Champions of Justice Gala—raised more than $400,000 in 2014 from law firms and corporate sponsors.

“With Texas having the second-highest population of veterans, it is essential that we provide legal services for those who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, the Court’s access to justice liaison, said. “Local legal aid programs for veterans are gateways to the justice system for many veterans and their families.”

The local organizations receiving grant awards for civil legal services to veterans and their families for 2015-17 are:

Austin Bar Foundation    $127,800
Baylor Law School Veterans’ Assistance Clinic    $108,000
Beacon Law    $108,000
Community Justice Program    $88,000
Equal Justice Works    $51,000
Fort Bend Lawyers Care    $80,000
Houston Bar Foundation    $187,400
Jefferson County Bar Association Foundation    $80,000
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas    $261,655
Lone Star Legal Aid, Inc.     $693,690
Oficina Legal del Pueblo Unido, Inc.     $260,800
South Texas College of Law Civil Practice Clinics    $108,000
Tarrant County Bar Foundation    $80,000
Texas A&M Research Foundation - Law School Clinic    $108,000
Texas Legal Services Center    $348,000
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid    $900,000

“We thank the Supreme Court of Texas for making this request for funding that will help serve the legal needs of those who have served our country,” Richard L. Tate, chair of the board of directors of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. 

TAJF has awarded more than $480 million since its inception in 1984. The organization collects and administers several funds, including Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (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.

Today, there are more than 5.8 million Texans who qualify for civil legal aid. Due to a lack of resources, less than 20 percent of the civil legal needs of low-income and poor Texans are being met. To be eligible for civil legal aid, an individual must earn no more than $14,713 a year. For a family of four, the annual household income cannot exceed $30,313.

-30-

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.teajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the leading 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 more than  100,000 Texas families each year.

 

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

 

Recent News

 

March 3, 2017

New applicants for 2017 TAJF grants must submit a Letter of Intent to Apply - By March 31 

Feb. 17, 2017

Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program application process opens- Deadline March 27 

Dec. 4, 2016

TAJF: Your Return on Investment - A year-end snapshot 

Nov. 4, 2016

Nov. 6-12 is Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week   

Oct. 25, 2016

TAJF Luncheon Kicks Off Pro Bono Week: ATJ Community Honors Legislative Heroes  

Sept. 19, 2016

Carlos M. Zaffirini, Jr., Apppointed to TAJF Board of Directors  

Sept. 14, 2016

TAJF Names 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellows

Aug. 22, 2016

Parenting Order Legal Line: Increasing Parenting Time for the Benefit of Children - ABA Dialogue 

Aug. 10, 2016

Legal aid groups aid to help poor families make smart decisions - KERA 

July 8, 2016

Help for sexual assault survivors - Corpus Christi Caller-Times  

July 8, 2016

One reason so many veterans are homeless? They can't afford lawyers. - Washington Post

June 6, 2016

Investing in Justice: Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault. - Philanthropy Southwest

May 19, 2016

Undue process: Poor people lose homes, children and money without a lawyer - Salon.com

May 18, 2016

Military Sexual Assault Victims Discharged After Filing Complaints - Time 

May 9, 2016

Rape survivors on a mission to help others... - Dallas Morning News  

Apr. 6, 2016

Texas Legal Hotline Now Available for Sexual Assault Survivors

Feb. 22, 2016

North East Texas Credit Union Joins Prime Partner Program

Dec. 16, 2015

Statement on Fed Funds Rate Increase and Impact on IOLTA

Nov. 17, 2015

Western Bank Joins Prime Partner Program

More news

© 2017 Texas Access to Justice Foundation