Private Lawyer Referral Services in Travis County
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Apart from the public lawyer referral services that are available in Travis County, there are also a couple of private referral services that provide help to certain classes of people. The Austin Tenant's Council and the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid are both private institutions that provide referrals to attorneys for residents of Travis County.
The Austin Tenant's Council operates under the philosophy that everyone in Travis County has the right to have fair, safe, affordable housing. This group helps out thousands of individuals each year who have experienced hardship with their housing, as well as providing education in tenant's rights, housing discrimination, and landlord relations. However, the Austin Tenant's Council has no attorneys on staff, and all of their lawyer referral programs go elsewhere.
Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid is the partner of the Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas and handles most of the applications for free or reduced fee legal services in Travis County. This lawyer referral service can refer clients who meet certain criteria to attorneys in Travis County as long as the client's case falls into certain categories. This service will only refer cases that deal with civil rights, consumers, disability, disaster relief, elder law, employment, family and domestic violence, health, housing, immigration, migrant workers, military and veterans' affairs, public benefits, and wills & estates. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid cannot refer clients to an attorney if their case falls outside of these legal areas.
Clients must also meet certain eligibility criteria, such as being old or young, having a disability, or making less than a certain amount. The service does not make any guarantees that it will be able to refer you to an attorney who will take your case, nor does it provide any sort of satisfaction guarantee about the legal representation that you may get through their process.
Much of the funding for legal aid in Texas has been dried up by the recent natural disasters that have struck the state. Because of this, there are fewer attorneys to go around and more clients seeking help through legal aid societies like the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which all results in fewer and fewer people being able to be successfully referred.