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.  This special unit works collaboratively to assist Harris County residents facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn.

Beginning in February 2021, Houston Volunteer Lawyers began a partnership with the four Harris County Courts at Law to ensure low-income tenants were able to exercise their legal rights when facing eviction. Houston Volunteer Lawyers thanks the following partnering law firms who provide pro bono representation to clients at reoccurring eviction dockets so that families are able to remain housed during the pandemic: Arnold & Porter, Baker Botts, Blank Rome, Fish & Richardson, Gibson Dunn, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Locke Lord, Morgan Lewis, Norton Rose Fulbright, O’Melveny, Reed Smith, Vinson & Elkins, and Wilkie Farr. Pro bono attorneys have assisted hundreds of families remain housed. Please let us know if you or your firm would like to get involved. Email probono@hvlp.org

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 Tax 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 government, both Federal and State, 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.

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.

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