Attorney Recognized as Domestic Violence Advocate of the Year

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Adriana (second from right) with her family

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) attorney Adriana Rodriguez has been recognized by the City of Laredo and Webb County as their Domestic Violence Advocate of the Year.

The honor was given to her by the Webb County Domestic Violence Coalition, a group of local law enforcement agencies and community partners that work together to combat domestic violence. Continue reading

Celebrating 40 Years of the Legal Services Corporation

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Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)’s federal funders, the Legal Services Corporation, recently kicked off their 40th anniversary celebration by bringing together leaders from across the legal profession, private sector, and government in a three-day event to work toward fulfilling America’s promise of equal justice under the law. If you weren’t able to attend the event, we’ve compiled some of the best tweets to help you check out what you missed.

Check out the entire storify by clicking here.

Success Story: Rebuilding Her Life

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Yesica knew she was in a bad relationship. Her boyfriend had isolated her from nearly everyone she cared about and often threatened her, her family, and her friends. The violence was escalating and, one night, he sexually assaulted her. It was then that she knew she had to leave for good.

During their last violent encounter, as she tried to escape her boyfriend’s drunken rage, the police were called. Her boyfriend was arrested and Yesica and her daughter were taken to a local shelter. The following week, Yesica obtained a lifetime protective order from the County Attorney’s office. Continue reading

Announcing the Pro Bono Immigration Referral Network

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test2The sudden influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America has created a need for dedicated volunteers who can help with their immigration cases, including actions filed in state court. In response to inquiries from private attorneys looking for information on how they can help, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has developed a Pro Bono Immigration Referral Network to connect attorneys with volunteer opportunities.

TRLA primarily assists with T (Trafficking) and U (Victims of Crimes) Visas and we are always looking for resources for those cases. If your practice involves other forms of relief, please consider signing up and we will forward your information to the appropriate immigration legal services provider. Continue reading

Attorneys Recognized for Pro Bono Commitment to Victims of Violence

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TRLA’s Stella Hernandez (right) and Danielle Gonzalez present awards to this year’s honorees.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has honored twelve Texas attorneys for their commitment to providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The attorneys were  recognized at TRLA’s 14th Annual Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Cross-Training Conference in San Antonio, The three-day conference brings together legal aid attorneys and staff from Texas domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers to collaborate on best practices to help victims of violence. The attorneys received their awards at the conference’s closing luncheon on August 7th. Continue reading

Advocates Come Together for 14th Annual Shelter Conference

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Domestic violence survivor Yesica (right) thanks TRLA attorney Maricarmen Garza for helping her leave her abuser.

Last week week legal aid attorneys joined with advocates from Texas domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers for the 14th Annual Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Cross-Training Conference in San Antonio.

The advocates were welcomed to San Antonio by TRLA Executive Director David Hall and conference director Maricarmen Garza. Throughout the conference advocates heard presentations from state experts on issues including legislative advocacy, public housing, international child abduction, consumer advocacy, child support, and working with Child Protective Services. Continue reading

Success Story: An Adoption that Never Happened

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Donald was homeless, disabled, and trying to get an apartment through housing assistance. In order to apply for this program, he needed to show proof of his identity. But Donald was facing a problem. He had been in the foster care system until he was about six years old and placed with his aunt and uncle. Donald thought that his aunt and uncle had legally adopted him but all of his legal documents listed his last name at birth, not the last name he had been going by since his adoption. Without the right documents with the right name, Donald couldn’t apply for assistance.

Not knowing what to do, Donald turned to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid for help. Continue reading