Frequently Asked Questions

LegalLine is a weekly opportunity for individuals seeking civil legal help to receive legal advice from pro bono attorneys. HVL has determined that individuals scheduled for LegalLine will not qualify for extended representation, but that they would benefit from receiving advice and information from a licensed attorney. For many, this is the only pro bono guidance they receive.  

The legal information and advice you provide allows individuals to understand their legal options and to obtain clarity about what they need to do to resolve their legal issue. The individuals you will help do not have the financial resources to afford an attorney, and this advice call may be the only guidance the client can obtain.

You can sign-up as a group or individually online here. Questions email

Date and time options are found here. Time commitments range from 3 to 4 hours.  

You may begin making calls upon receiving the call assignment email from Houston Volunteer Lawyers. The email will contain contact information for the 4-6 clients you are expected to call during LegalLine. After you complete your calls, send Houston Volunteer Lawyers a brief description of the advice you provided to each applicant. HVL informs all clients receiving help through LegalLine that the services HVL can provide them is limited to your advice call. If you are interested in helping the applicant by accepting their case or providing ongoing legal services, please let us know by emailing

Yes! The day prior to LegalLine, Houston Volunteer Lawyers will email you the explanation of the legal issue and the contact information for your HVL mentor attorney. Your HVL mentor attorney will provide you with relevant legal resources, such as pro se packets. Your HVL mentor attorney is available to guide you in giving targeted advice to your client. HVL attorneys are also available to join a client call during LegalLine if needed.

No. Volunteers will be provided with resources that can be reviewed before calling the client. If you are experienced in a particular area of law, and would prefer to handle those types of calls, please indicate so when signing up. HVL will do its best to accommodate the request.  

No, you can call privately. Use *67 and dial the client’s phone number. 

HVL provides free access to AT&T Language Line so that you can speak to your client in the language your client prefers. Details can be found in the clinic assignment email that you will receive. 

Volunteers typically spend 20-30 minutes on each call. Volunteers typically spend 10 -20 minutes reviewing client documents and legal resources to prepare for each call. Volunteers spend roughly 15 minutes at the end of LegalLine sending a brief summary of the calls to Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

No. Applicants are informed ahead of time that they will only be provided with legal advice regarding their specific legal issue. After you complete your calls, HVL will close the file once we receive a copy of the legal advice you provided.  


Please reach out to a Texas licensed attorney to make your calls. If you cannot find a substitute attorney, contact HVL so HVL staff can recruit another attorney to help prior to LegalLine. If you have a time conflict but can make the calls at a different time, ask HVL staff to contact the applicants prior to LegalLine to inform them to expect a call later. 

Yes, LegalLine is a great opportunity for summer associates to interview the clients, provide legal information and to give advice. A supervising attorney licensed in Texas needs to be present to supervise the summer associate. For questions about integrating summer associates into LegalLine, please contact

Clients’ legal issues are almost always Texas specific. You will need to be a licensed attorney in Texas or register under the State Bar of Texas New Opportunities Volunteer Attorney (NOVA) Program. HVL is able to help you register under the NOVA program. Contact 

No, you do not need your own malpractice insurance to volunteer with HVL. We provide primary malpractice insurance coverage to all HVL volunteers. Even if you have your own insurance, you will be covered by HVL’s malpractice insurance. 


Yes. Every 16 hours donated by your firm to LegalLine will count as 1 pro bono case.