The Hays County Community Justice Program held its first free legal clinic on January 26 in Hays. This clinic focused on clients who need a divorce but are unable to afford an attorney. Limited funding for legal aid programs in Texas force most offices to turn away all divorce cases unless the case involves domestic violence that has occurred in the previous three months.
The clinic is a new collaboration between Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Hays County Bar Association. In this partnership, the legal aid attorneys work with private volunteer attorneys at the clinic to provide free legal assistance to low-income families.
Lori Gosnell, a private attorney in San Marcos, said she decided to launch the clinic because she receives daily calls from people who need a divorce but can’t afford an attorney. “I had no one to send them to,” she said. “Texas RioGrande Legal Aid made it really easy to start this program. This program is great because it allows attorneys to do pro bono work with a minimal time commitment.”
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