The Veterans Legal Initiative (VLI) is an important part of the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans (TLTV) partnership honoring our veterans for their service. VLI is a partnership of the Houston Bar Association, HVL and the Houston Bar Foundation. Launched in 2008, more than 22,000 low-income veterans in a multi-county area have been served. Pro bono attorneys assist veterans with legal issues specific to their military involvement including discharge upgrades, disability compensation, VA pension and benefits along with all other civil legal issues handled by HVL volunteers and staff.
HVL, along with Lone Star Legal Aid, University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law and the Earl Carl Institute at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, created the Eviction Defense Coalition. As part of this special unit, HVL's Eviction Defense Attorney Program (EDAP) works collaboratively to assist Harris County residents facing eviction due to ongoing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn.
Family law cases are by far the greatest number of requests received by HVL. Pro bono attorneys provide legal assistance with divorce, child custody, support, and other family law matters. Thanks to the many years of experience and expertise possessed by HVL staff attorneys in the Family Unit, pro bono attorneys can count on very knowledgeable mentors as they handle family law cases.
HVL helps with disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including audits, appeals, collection matters, and federal tax litigation. Clients can also receive help responding to IRS letters and in correcting IRS account problems. The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic is funded in part by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) but HVL is independent from the IRS, the U.S. Tax Court, or any other Federal or State governmental agency. A taxpayer’s decision to use the services of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic does not affect his or her rights before the IRS.
The LITC clinic does not generally provide tax return preparation.
A partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), the Medical Legal Partnership integrates legal services into health care delivery. This partnership helps address the patients’ social needs and tackles the broader social determinants of health in the community. Although all civil legal issues handled by HVL are offered to the patients at TCH, the one seen most frequently is the need for guardianship of a child who has turned eighteen and is incapable of making medical decisions.