Around four years ago, a push was organized to help veterans get free, in-person legal advice and services. A little over 3 years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic took a grip on the world. That caused this veteran's plan to be sidelined for a while...but now, it's back.

Texas veterans can visit free, in-person legal clinics during June in several locations throughout the state. The clinics are the first phase of a renewed initiative by the Texas Access to Justice Commission, in cooperation with legal service providers and local bar associations, to provide civil legal assistance to veterans throughout the state.

Volunteer attorneys will offer advice and counsel on legal issues including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, tax law, property issues, and disability benefits for veterans. With more than 1.5 million veterans residing throughout the state, Texas is home to the nation’s largest veteran population.

“It is my dream and my calling to help take care of our troops, including serving their legal needs,” retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Alfred A. Valenzuela, co-chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission veterans committee, said. “I salute the Texas attorneys who are contributing to the well-being of our veterans by volunteering to offer pro bono advice and counsel to those in need.”

One of these free assistance clinics will be held in Lufkin at the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Facility which is located at 2206 North John Redditt Drive. The event will take place from 9 a.m. until noon.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person legal clinics were held in a number of Texas cities, giving veterans the opportunity to meet one-on-one with volunteer attorneys.

“Post-COVID, we are renewing our efforts to provide free civil legal services to all Texas veterans who qualify for this assistance,” Terry Tottenham, co-chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission veterans committee and former president of the State Bar of Texas, said. “The need is now more apparent than ever. Texas lawyers answered the call when we initiated Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans in 2010, and they are doing so again.”

The legal clinics are open to all U.S. veterans, as well as spouses of deceased veterans, and no appointment is necessary. All veterans can receive one-on-one legal advice from volunteer attorneys at the clinic. Veterans who need additional legal representation in civil matters and qualify financially can apply for pro bono legal services at the clinics.

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