Free Legal Advice in Houston: Low-Income Lawyers To Help You

free legal advice houston

Free Legal Advice in Houston: Low-Income Lawyers To Help You


Seeing hourly rates of $400 per hour would certainly scare off most people seeking legal assistance, but what if I told you there were places in Houston that will help you for free? 

These places I speak of are called legal clinics and there are lots of them in Houston.  

Free legal clinics are nonprofit agencies that offer legal help to people who typically cannot afford the cost of an attorney. Whether you need help with divorce, child support, immigration, or anything else there is a good chance you will find a free Houston legal clinic below to help you with your specific situation. 

Free Legal Advice in Houston

Below you will find a listing of agencies who provide legal aid in Houston to low-income clients. Some of these clinics will be free others will charge a nominal fee. 

You can also use the table below to find legal assistance in Houston. Type in the area of law you are seeking (immigration, child support, bankruptcy, etc) and you will see a listing of agencies to assist you.

NameContactAreas of Law/Services
ACLU website713.942.8146Civil rights, racial equality, LBGTQ, Immigration, Voting rights, free speech violations,
Houston Volunteer Lawyerswebsite 713.228.5826 1111 Bagby, Suite FLB300, Houston, TX 77002Legal clinics, Veterans, pro bono attorneys,
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) website713.228.0735 ext 102 712 Main St, Suite 2700, Houston, TX 77002Pro bono attorneys , family separation, counseling, immigration, asylum, visas, protection from deportation,
YMCA International Services 713.339.9015, 6300 Westpark, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77057Asylum, refugees, domestic violence, human trafficking, naturalization, citizenship, family reunification, refugee employment, civics classes, immigration,
Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts website713. 526.4876, 1540 Sul Ross, Houston, TX 77006Patent attorneys, copyright, trademarking, licensing, dispute resolution, legal help for artists,
Lone Star Legal Aid website800.733.8394Domestic violence, expungement, help enrolling children into Medicaid, bankruptcy, renters rights, unlawful termination, child support, family law, guardianship, foreclosure, housing, adoption, parental rights, landlord problems, IRS, veterans,
Advocate Legal Senior Center website832.393.4074, 3611 Ennis St, Houston, TX 77004Guardianship, geriatric, veterans benefits, SSI, Social security, senior housing, probate, estate planning, wills, trusts,
Texas Advocacy Project website800.374.HOPEDomestic violence, sexual assault, protective orders, Crime Victim's Compensation Program, divorce, legal clinics,
Central American Resource Center website713.665.1284, 6006 Bellaire Blvd, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77081DACA, visa, asylum, naturalization, citizenship, domestic violence, human trafficking, immigration,
Catholic Charities Immigrant Legal Clinic Website713.874.6750 or 713.595.4100Immigration, DACA, citizenship classes, refugee, asylum, visas, unaccompanied minors, family law, US passport services, legal clinics,
Texas Veterans Legal Assistance Project Website512.477.6600Military discharge upgrades, Probate, Bankruptcy, Housing, Employment, Family law
Expungement, Department of VA benefits
South Texas College of Law Houston Website713.646.2990 ext 2933Child Welfare, Estate Planning, Family Law, Guardianship, Probate, Veterans
University of Houston Law Center website713.743.2094, 4604 Calhoun Rd, Houston, TX 77204Pro bono legal clinic offering help to those with low-income.
Texas Southern University Legal Clinic Website 713.313.7275, 3100 Cleburne Street, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77004Criminal Law, Family Law Clinic,
Immigration Law Clinic, Wills, Probate, Guardianship
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website512.475.3800 Offers programs like foreclosure prevention, housing discrimination, utility assistance and more.
Houston Apartment Association website713.595.0300, 4810 Westway Park Blvd, Houston, TX 77041Resolves disputes between tenant and landlord. Provides consultation to renters, an online complaint form and resources for both landlords and renters. Housing, renters, landlords, evictions,
Texas Attorney General website800.621.0508Renters rights, housing discrimination, online consumer complaint form, housing, renters, landlords, evictions, crime victims compensation,

ACLU Texas

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas or ACLU is a civil rights organization that has been around since 1938. 

Much of their work is focused on advocating, educating, and hosting events related to civil rights. They will, however, accept cases that are related to: 

  • Protecting civil rights
  • Racial equality
  • LBGTQ equality
  • Immigration rights
  • Voting rights
  • Free speech violations

This Houston legal aid program does not accept the following cases: 

  • Criminal defense
  • Divorce or child custody
  • Tax problems 
  • Workers comp
  • Landlord and tenant disagreements
  • The ACLU is not an attorney referral service

If you ever have questions regarding current events like protester’s rights, rights during COVID-19 pandemic, free speech, or anything else the ACLU has lots of Know Your Rights resources to help you easily understand these matters. 

To contact the ACLU you can visit their website, call them at 713.942.8146, or request legal assistance for any civil rights matter you may have. 

Houston Volunteer Lawyers (Houston Bar Association) 

Houston Volunteer Lawyers is one place you can see free legal advice in Houston. 

This organization is a part of the Houston Bar Association and they provide pro bono legal aid to clients. 

Eligibility to receive services are as follows:

There are some exceptions that Houston Volunteer Lawyers will accept: 

This organization does not accept  the following cases: 

  • Criminal
  • Traffic
  • Fee-generating cases

To apply for legal assistance you can download the Houston Volunteer Lawyers legal assistance application or complete the online form

To learn more about their monthly free Houston legal clinics or anything else contact them at 713.228.5826, visit their office at 1111 Bagby, Suite FLB300, Houston, TX 77002, or visit the Houston Volunteer Lawyers website

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) 

Kids in Need of Defense offers assistance to those needing legal aid in Houston regarding immigration, asylum, visas, protection from deportation, family separation, and other issues. 

Other services that this Houston legal aid agency provides are: 

If you work with an immigrant population and need guidance on resources available to unaccompanied migrant children or any relative legal matters contact KIND at 713.228.0735 ext 102 or visit their office at 712 Main St, Suite 2700, Houston, TX 77002. 

YMCA International Services

YMCA International Services offers legal help in Houston to those needing immigration assistance. 

Help is available to asylum seekers, domestic violence, crime victims, and survivors of human trafficking.  Other legal services that YMCA International can assist with include family reunification visas and help with naturalization applications. 

Note: Some consultations may require a $40 fee. 

Additional programs offer here are: 

  • Trafficked Persons Assistance Program – Case management and resources are offered to survivors of human trafficking
  • Refugee Employment Services – YMCA helps to quickly connect Houston refugees to jobs once they arrive in the country via their network of contacts. 
  • 10 Week Civics classes to prepare you for the naturalization exam. 
  • ESL classes
  • Refugee Scholarship Program – Money for school/training for those who are refugees. 

For more information about this Houston legal aid agency call them at 713.339.9015 or visit their office at 6300 Westpark, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77057. 

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts

TALA offers free legal assistance in Houston to artists and nonprofits. 

Services offered include: 

  • Patent attorneys in Houston to help inventors
  • Education programs for artist and in similar businesses
  • Copyright law
  • Trademarking
  • Licensing
  • Dispute Resolution

To qualify for TALA services you must complete an application for the Individual Artist Membership and your household be less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.  They also offer memberships for nonprofits

Essentially if you are an artist or inventor in Houston with intellectual property who needs legal advice Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts can help you. 

For more information call TALA at 713. 526.4876 or visit their location at 1540 Sul Ross, Houston, TX 77006. 

Lone Star Legal Aid

Lone Star Legal Aid is another local nonprofit that provides free legal advice in Houston. 

COVID-19 Resource Finder Tools 

You will find 3 useful tools that take all the guesswork out of connecting clients to resources related to COVID-19.

The way it works is you complete multi-question surveys that will ask you questions and then make recommendations based on your answers.  

You can find the following tools on the Lone Star Legal Aid website: 

  • Eviction Interview Tool – This questionnaire will help you better understand the eviction process and create documents for you to use in court. 
  • COVID-19 Benefits Tool – You will be asked a series of questions to determine which government benefits you qualify for. This includes benefits like paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, and more. 
  • Foreclosure Interview Tool – This survey helps you understand what forbearance and provides you with letters to send to your mortgage company. 

To find these 3 tools you will need to click on the COVID-19 Eviction and other Resources link. 

free legal advice in houston

Free Legal Advice Offered at Lone Star Legal Aid

Below you will find the types of legal matters Lone Star Legal Aid can assist you with. 

  • Civil Matters – Services for post-conviction reentry to society. This can include obtaining proper ID, getting criminal records, expungement of your record, truancy violations, etc. 
  • Kids Health Insurance – Connects children to Medicaid and CHIP health insurance if you meet income requirements. Contact 713.652.0077 ext 8103 for more information on this Houston legal assistance program. 
  • Consumer – Fraud, breaches of contract, debt collection abuses, unlawful repossessions, bankruptcy, predatory lending, student financial aid program abuses
  • Crime Victim Unit – Helps to recover from crimes like robbery, assault, bullying, ID theft, elder abuse, domestic violence, cyber crimes, and more. 
  • Disaster Relief –  Helps you understand flood insurance, renter’s rights, how FEMA works, and more. 
  • Employment– Find assistance with discrimination claims, unlawful termination, safety at work, etc. 
  • Family law – This includes divorce, child abuse, child support, parental rights termination defense, adoption, and guardianship 
  • Foreclosure Prevention Project – Provides assistance preventing or delaying foreclosure, offers advice, possible representation in court
  • Health Care –  Help navigating legal issues surrounding Medicaid, Medicare, nursing home problems, private insurance, denial at an ER, and more. 
  • Housing – Eviction defense, utilities shut off, property tax problems, landlord breach of duty to repair, housing discrimination
  • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic – Representation for low-income clients when dealing with IRS audits, appeals, and collections. 
  • Military & Veterans Unit – Assists veterans with bankruptcy, VA benefits, employment, housing, child support, wills, divorce, and more. 
  • Neighborhood Problems – Find free legal advice in Houston for municipal services, public utilities, code enforcement
  • Public Education – Truancy, discrimination, enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 
  • Welfare and Income – Guidance on TANF, SSI, food stamps, disability, unemployment, workers comp

For assistance, you can call Lone Star Legal Aid at 800.733.8394

Advocate Legal Senior Center

Advocate Legal Senior Center is another place you can find free legal advice in Houston.

They provide multiple services although their primary focus is guardianship. If you need help obtaining a guardianship in Houston for a senior who has a physical or mental disability they can help you. 

Here are other areas of law they can help with: 

  • Housing – Reverse mortgages, Section 8, eviction defense, utility shut-offs, help finding an apartment, guidance on 55 and older communities, housing discrimination, and more. 
  • Government Benefits – Helps understand the navigation process with Medicare, Social Security Income and, Social Security Disability, VA benefits, and other government programs. 
  • Public Benefits – Conducts needs assessments for SNAP or food stamps, TANF/welfare, and Medicaid
  • Geriatric Care – Advocate Legal Senior Center offers Geriatric case managers to help you deal with aging issues. This assistance can include advice, advocacy, and referrals to local programs. 
  • Texas Probate and Estate Planning – Find help with wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advanced Medical Directives, Heirships, Dependent Administrations, Probate as a Muniment of Title
  • Guardianship Classes in Houston – Find more information about the Guardianship/Conservatorship Program.

For questions, you can call 832.393.4074, visit the Advocate Legal Senior Center website or their office at 3611 Ennis St, Houston, TX 77004. 

Texas Advocacy Project 

Texas Advocacy Project is a legal agency that focuses on issues like domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Here are a few of the legal services offered here: 

  • Emergency Protective Orders – These are essentially 31-91 day “stay-away” orders to protect victims and give them the time formula a safety plan. 
  • Resources To Keep You Safe  – Texas Advocacy Project can help you connect to Crime Victim’s Compensation Programs to help you relocate if necessary. 
  • Assisted Pro Se – These services will help you with legal documents for divorces and protective orders
  • Legal Representation –  Free domestic violence lawyers to help with child support and more. 
  • Free Virtual Legal Clinics – You can learn about topics from your computer like protective orders, divorce, child custody, visitation, property settlement, etc. 

To apply for legal services you can complete the Texas Advocacy Project online intake form. For questions, call them at 800.374.HOPE

 

Central American Resource Center 

This nonprofit provides immigrant legal services in Houston. Some of those services include: 

  • Asylum applications and representation
  • Naturalization/Citizenship assistance
  • DACA help
  • T and U visa assistance
  • Help with domestic violence and human trafficking
  • Help to complete forms and more

For more information, you can call the Central American Resource Center at 713.665.1284 or visit their office at 6006 Bellaire Blvd, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77081.

Catholic Charities Immigrant Legal Assistance

Catholic Charities offers a legal aid clinic in Houston called the St. Frances Cabrini Center. Some of the services they provide include: 

  • Help Renewing DACA
  • Citizenship Clinic –  You can find Houston citizenship attorneys to help you complete the application and answer any questions. 
  • Cases involving naturalization, refugee or asylee adjustment, help with visas, unaccompanied minors, and deferred action
  • Cases related to employment immigration, family law or U.S. Passport services are NOT accepted 
  • The Immigrants Right Hotline (833.468.4664) is open Monday through Friday and can help you with legal advice also. 
  • You can find even more help via the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

The intake fee for legal assistance is $50. 

Note: Older refugees, crime victim cases, and those with income below 125% of the Federal Poverty Level do not pay this fee. Check their website or call them to ensure this is still accurate. 

For questions, you can visit the Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Assistance website or call them at 713.874.6750 or 713.595.4100

Texas Veterans Legal Assistance Project

TVLAP provides free legal advice in Houston for veterans.

Here are some of the services offered:  

  • Military discharge upgrades
  • Probate
  • Bankruptcy
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Family law
  • Expungement
  • Department of VA benefits

To qualify for services you must be a Texas resident, a veteran (or spouse), and your household income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 

For legal help, you can visit the Texas Veterans Legal Assistance Project website or call them at 512.477.6000

 

South Texas College of Law Houston

This Houston Law School offers legal representation to low-income clients. 

Areas of that that they can potentially help you with include: 

  • Child Welfare
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Guardianship
  • Probate
  • Veterans

To see if you qualify for free legal aid, visit the South Texas College of Law website or call them at 713.646.2990 ext 2933

University of Houston Law Center

This Houston legal clinic offers pro-bono assistance to low-income clients in Harris County. 

Visit the UH Law Center website, their office at 4604 Calhoun Rd, Houston, TX 77204, or call them at 713.743.2094 for more information. 

Texas Southern University Legal Clinic

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law offers legal assistance in the following areas: 

  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law Clinic
  • Immigration Law Clinic
  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Guardianship

For more information, visit the Texas Southern website, call them at 713.313.7275 or drive over to the school at 3100 Cleburne Street, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77004. 

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs 

TDHCA is a state agency that focuses on helping residents by providing education and programs related to housing, community needs and energy assistance programs. 

Specific programs offered through Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs are: 

  • Foreclosure Prevention – This Texas foreclosure assistance program helps you to understand your options and work with your mortgage company on a solution to keeping your home. You can call them at 888.995.4673 for more information.
  • Housing Discrimination – Whether this program can help yo u to understand your rights as a tenant and provide guidance if you have been discriminated against by a landlord.  You can reach them at 888.452.4778 for more details. 
  • Utility Assistance – This program can direct you to places that will assist you with utility assistance in Houston.  Dial them at 877.399.8939 to find help paying bills in your area. 

For more details on the programs offered visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website or call them at 512.475.3800

 

Houston Apartment Association

Houston Apartment Association acts as a liaison between landlords and tenants. If you have a dispute with your landlord HAA is an organization that can help you come to a resolution. 

In addition to this they also provide: 

For more information, visit the Houston Apartment Association website, their main office at 4810 Westway Park Blvd, Houston, TX 77041 or call them at 713.595.0300

Texas Attorney General – Tenant Rights 

On the Texas AG website you can find easy to understand summaries about your rights as a tenant and an online consumer complaint form if you feel those rights have been violated.

This 37-page Texas Tenant’s Rights Handbook offers lots of information regarding security deposits, lockouts, evictions and more. 

For more information, visit the Texas Attorney General website,  call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800.621.0508 or file a Consumer Complaint online

Conclusion

Your goal may be to call one of these Houston pro bono attorneys and have them represent you in court, although depending on their schedule they may not be able to do this.

An alternative to this is to simply seek “one-time” legal guidance from places like legal clinics in Houston.  At these events, you can sit down with a lawyer, ask your questions, and receive free legal advice on exactly what you should do next to solve your problem. 

You don’t know what you don’t know and this is especially true regarding the law, therefore if you need representation consider contacting one of these legal aid offices above. 

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