How to Get Help

Due to the pandemic, all in-person legal clinics have been suspended and legal consultations are being conducted over the phone.

HVL is currently able to assist with:

  • Veterans issues
  • Tax-related issues
  • Eviction and Housing issues
  • Consumer-related issues
  • Wills, Estate Planning, and Probate issues
  • Legal issues for those living with HIV/AIDS
  • Guardianship for Disabled Adults
  • Criminal Record Expungement
  • Juvenile Sealing Cases
  • Family Law Issues

If you are seeking legal assistance for any of the above legal issues, apply online HERE

HVL is unable to assist with criminal matters, traffic or citation related issues,  car accidents or personal injury cases.  

 

*Due to COVID-19 concerns, Houston Volunteer Lawyers' staff is currently working remotely. HVL's physical office is closed to all visitors.


 

 

 

Table of Contents

  1. How and Who HVL Can Help
  2. What is a Legal Advice Clinic?
  3. Assistance for those living with HIV or AIDS
  4. Paper Application Forms
  5. How long does it take to get a lawyer?

How and Who HVL Can Help

HVL provides free legal help to eligible low-income residents of the Greater Houston area. We can assist in family, housing, consumer, wills, veterans’ issues, taxes, and other non-criminal matters. 

How We Can Help

  • Find you a volunteer attorney to take your case.

  • Schedule an appointment for you to have a one-consultation with an attorney for free.

  • Provide self-help resources for you.

  • Refer you to other agencies when they are better able to help you.

Who We Can Help

To be eligible for free legal services you must:

  • Reside in Harris County*,

  • Have a household income* at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, 

  • Have limited assets, and

  • Have a civil (non-criminal) legal matter.

*Some exceptions do apply.  

 

* Exceptions:

* United States Veterans and spouses of deceased Veterans who reside in Austin County, Bell, Brazoria, Brazos, Chambers, Galveston, Grimes, Fort Bend, Hardin, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, or Washington counties and have a household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

* Persons with HIV or AIDS who reside in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, or Waller counties and have a household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

* Persons with IRS disputes who have a household income at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

 

What is a Legal Advice Clinic?

Due to COVID-19, all in-person legal advice clinics are canceled. All consultations are being conducted over-the-phone. For more information, click HERE.

 


The information below is for in-person clinics.

 

What is a clinic?

A legal advice clinic is an opportunity to meet with volunteer attorneys to discuss your legal questions and issues. To attend a clinic, there are no restrictions on financial eligibility or legal issues. The only restriction is that the Veterans Clinics are for Veterans or surviving spouses of veterans. 

What should I expect at a clinic?

When you arrive at a clinic, you will be asked to sign in with your name and legal issue, and then given a folder and our application. Once the application is complete (or if you downloaded our application from this website) we will review it for completeness. When the next attorney is available, we will sit you at a table with them to discuss your legal issue. Once they have gone over the issue(s), they will bring you to the exit table where our staff will review the file and give you a copy of the Applicant Agreement before you leave. If your issue requires continued representation by an attorney, we will make scans of any documents you have with you and you will hear from us within 10 days to tell you if we can find an attorney for the case. It may still take a few months to find an attorney.

What should I bring to a clinic?

The documents we will need to properly review your legal case depend on the type of case. If you do not have any of the documents, you can still attend our clinics and get legal advice. See the list below for an example of some of the documents we might need:

  • Photo ID
  • For Veterans, proof of Veteran Status
  • Birth Certificates (for custody issues)
  • Acknowledgment's of Paternity (for custody issues)
  • Doctor's Diagnoeses (for guardianship issues)
  • SSI Award letters (for guardianship issues)
  • IRS Letters (for income tax issues)
  • Other Person's address (whether it is a spouse in a divorce case or a landlord in a landlord tenant case)
  • Lease (for landlord tenant issues)
  • Contracts (for consumer issues)
  • Any other relevant documents you have about your legal issue.

Assistance for those living with HIV or AIDS

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we realize that many people in our communities may have concerns, fears and worries. Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL) is continually working to help our clients and volunteers manage life’s legal challenges during these difficult times. 

At this time, all HVL staff is working remotely, and we are here for you.

To apply for services through our AIDS/HIV Disability Unit, please:

  1. Complete an application:
  2. Return application to HVL:
    • Online
    • E-mail to disability@hvlp.org;
    • Fax to (713) 228-5826, Attn: Disability Unit; or
    • Regular mail to 1111 Bagby St., Suite FLB 300, Houston, Texas 77002, Attn: Disability Unit.
  3. Attach and provide required proof of eligibility:
    • Photo Identification (preferably unexpired);
    • Current Proof of Income;
    • Current Proof of Residence; and
    • Current Proof of Health Status.

For assistance with the application process and to schedule a telephone interview, please contact the Disability Unit at disability@hvlp.org or (713) 228-0735.

Please remember that we are here for you. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

Paper Application Forms

You can Apply Online or print out the applications below and email it to info@hvlp.org.

 

How long does it take to get a lawyer?

If your application is accepted, we will attempt to refer your case to a volunteer attorney for up to 3 months. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to find a volunteer willing to take your case. If, after three months on our waiting list, no attorney volunteers to take your case, we will close your file and notify you.