Get Involved-Spotlight: Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas
Our Mission: Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (VLS) helps low-income clients access the civil justice system by providing volunteer attorneys who donate free legal advice and representation, and by supporting and training those attorneys.
What We Do: VLS was founded in May, 1981 as a 501©(3) non-profit organization to help low-income clients access the civil justice system. Our volunteer attorneys provide legal assistance with important issues ranging from preventing wrongful evictions and foreclosures, establishing disability benefits, preparing wills and other documents, establishing guardianships for the disabled and elderly, and assisting victims of domestic abuse obtain divorces and child custody. These interventions have a significant and lasting positive impact on the lives of our clients.
Last year, VLS volunteers served more than 4,000 people with free legal services. The value of this donated expertise is worth more than $4 million!
Volunteer Opportunities: Most volunteer opportunities are for licensed attorneys. However, we also have need for Spanish language interpreters at our evening advice clinics. As for a minimum time commitment, we will work with your availability, whether you have just a few hours or can make a longer commitment.
- Legal Advice Clinics: We hold free legal advice clinics on Monday and Wednesday evenings at local middle schools. Attorneys, interpreters, and others volunteer their time at these clinics to give advice to people with civil legal problems. Many attendees are then referred to VLS for more extensive legal help.
- Individual Representation: Volunteer attorneys represent individuals and their families in ways ranging from simple advocacy to courtroom litigation.
- Mediations: Serving as a mediator on a VLS case is a great way to be of service with just a half day commitment and without the relationship concerns that come with taking on a client.
- Ad Litem Project: Ad litem volunteers search for a missing respondent in an assisted pro se family law case before they are appointed as the respondent’s attorney ad litem. If you find them, VLS serves them. If not, you are appointed as ad litem on the same day that we prove up the case.
Support for Volunteers: VLS provides support and assistance to all volunteers, including training seminars, forms, access to consultants/mentors, malpractice coverage on VLS cases, office space, computer use, and free online research tools. We offer training and mentorship to attorneys so they can handle cases outside their area of practice. In fact, it’s a great way to develop new skills in diverse areas of the law.Get Involved!: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Anna K. Meyers, Associate Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 476-5550 X304.Learn more about us at http://www.vlsoct.org