Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas
What is Volunteer Legal Services (VLS)?
Volunteer Legal Services is a nonprofit organization that helps provide free legal advice and representation to people with civil legal matters who cannot afford an attorney.
What kinds of legal cases can VLS help with?
VLS can help with civil cases only. We cannot help with criminal, immigration, or contested probate matters.
What is the process for obtaining attorney representation with VLS?
VLS has very limited resources and strict eligibility guidelines, so we cannot guarantee attorney representation to everyone who applies.
First, you must attend a legal clinic sponsored or hosted by VLS, often with our partner organization, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA).
If you attend one of our Full Legal Clinics, attorneys will be present to give you advice regardless of your income eligibility. If you attend one of our Intake Legal Clinics, where the VLS Outreach Coordinator sets up an informational table in a community center, an attorney usually will not be present–the Intake Legal Clinics are generally for people who may not be able to attend our Full Legal Clinics on Mondays & Wednesdays, but would still like to find out if they are eligible for our services.
At both the Full and Intake Legal Clinics, you will need to fill out an Intake Form with your basic information including, but not limited to: your name, address, phone number, birthday, and income information. (You may bring this form with you to the legal clinic, already filled out, which will make the process go much more quickly.) You may also fill out additional forms or questionnaires specific to your legal issue.
The VLS or TRLA representative will then determine your eligibility based on a variety of different factors, including your income. They may have additional questions for you.
If you are first determined to be eligible based on clinic criteria, your forms and information will then be taken back to either VLS or TRLA offices and screened further for eligibility. This should take no longer than about 1 week. Then, you will receive either a letter or a phone call regarding your case. Letters will include a number to call and more instructions about the process.