Texas Legal Aid Providers Launch Pro Bono Portal
Thanks to the generous support of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
Through the generous support of the Legal Services Corporation, we are proud to announce two important online tools through the new Texas Disaster Legal Help portal to help Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey. Developed through a partnership between Lone Star Legal Aid (LSLA), Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT) and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), these tools will be available statewide and apply to any disaster situation experienced by Texans.
Together the agencies have developed a volunteer portal for attorneys designed to improve the mobilization of pro bono volunteers during and in the immediate aftermath of a disaster; leveraging technology to meet legal needs in emergencies more effectively. The portal will also connect pro bono volunteers to carefully tailored educational and training materials so attorneys can learn about the different laws impacting Texans during a disaster, and will have a “chat” room so volunteers can ask questions of mentors at our agencies.
Each agency will also post available cases, clinics, and training opportunities to the portal, and attorneys across the state can help as they are able. Pro bono volunteers can also look forward to the Texas Disaster Legal Help Podcast which will feature in-depth discussions about volunteer experiences providing services during a disaster. Finally, volunteers can also visit the webpage for news, blog posts, and the Pro Bono Spotlight where pro bono volunteers share their experiences – in their words.
There is also a statewide disaster survivor portal that Texans can use for help during and after a disaster. The initial launch focuses on topics that Hurricane Harvey survivors are still experiencing, such as clearing title to your home, avoiding foreclosure, and dealing with contractor fraud and liens. Subsequent updates will broaden the list to include family law issues, tenant problems after storm or other damage, and more. Materials are available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, and we’ll soon be allowing visitors to call or text the portal with their phones.