Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)’s Community Justice Program officially inaugurated its newest project this past June with the goal of pairing local private attorneys with El Pasoans in need of free legal help.
The Community Justice Program aims to help alleviate the high demand for free legal services by encouraging private attorneys to volunteer their time to help those in desperate situations. Because there is only one legal aid attorney for every 11,000 low-income Texans, TRLA has to turn away one-third of the people that ask for help. The Community Justice Program tries to eliminate that problem locally.
“Volunteer private attorneys are vital to meeting the legal needs of low-income El Pasoans,” said TRLA attorney and private attorney involvement coordinator Pablo Almaguer. “Without their support, there are many people in crucial situations who would not get the help they need.”
The inaugural clinic took place at the 65th Judicial District Court. At the clinic, low-income residents were matched with volunteer attorneys who began to guide them through the legal process to resolve their issues.
Added Almaguer, “This is just the start of a program that we hope will significantly impact the good work we do for El Pasoans in need.”
The clinic is made possible with funding from the El Paso Bar Foundation and the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Local attorneys interested in volunteering to work with the Program should contact TRLA’s local pro bono coordinator at 915.585.5115.