Ask Maria “Lulu” Villanueva for a picture of herself and she’ll reply that she doesn’t have one. “I’m always the one
taking the pictures,” she chuckles. As the clinics coordinator for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in San Antonio, Villanueva is often behind the scenes. For the last eight years, she’s been the one that makes sure the several legal clinics that TRLA puts on go off without a hitch.
“Her tireless efforts and dedication in coordinating the client part of the Community Justice Program have greatly contributed to the program’s success and its expansion,” says TRLA San Antonio Branch Manager Ann Zaragoza. “Lulu has always made herself available to provide to others who operate or are considering operating similar programs in other areas guidance or assistance.”
Among other things, Villanueva creates clients files, coordinates client attendance, and prepares preliminary
pleadings for attorneys who volunteer with the Community Justice Program. The CJP is a collaborative effort by TRLA, the San Antonio Bar Association, and the San Antonio legal community to provide free legal services to those who cannot otherwise access the legal system. Several CJP clinics are held each month, often dealing with uncontested matters such as divorce, children’s court cases, veterans issues, wills, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant issues.
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