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Legal Advice Free to Texas Veterans This Week

It is Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week, and military veterans with civil-law concerns won't have to look far for justice. Credit: southernfried/morguefile
It is Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week, and military veterans with civil-law concerns won't have to look far for justice. Credit: southernfried/morguefile
November 12, 2015

DALLAS – You might say this entire week is Veterans Day for current and former service members in Texas who have legal questions. Through Friday (Nov. 13), local bar associations, law schools and some private attorneys across the state are volunteering their time to advise veterans on matters of civil law.

Whether it's challenging a decision about medical care or benefits that have been denied, or getting advice about a family situation, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht says legal dilemmas can crop up during a deployment and filing a lawsuit isn't always necessary.

"Many times, this doesn't need to go to court," says Hecht. "The lawyer just writes a letter, makes a few phone calls, negotiates some of these problems away and matters are resolved. But it takes the help of a lawyer who knows how to do it."

This week, veterans in Texas can find free legal assistance online at texaslegalhelp.org, or by calling 800-622-2520 and selecting Option Two.

The Department of Veterans Affairs lists "legal issues" among the top needs of homeless veterans, and Texas has the second highest veteran population in the nation.

Chief Justice Hecht describes an all too common problem – a young woman, back from eight years of deployment, found her family life in shambles. When her husband became violent, she fled with their two children and ended up at a legal clinic.

"They helped her get protection from her spouse, get the family matters resolved, free of charge," says Hecht. "Just put yourself in that position – the legal problem would be overwhelming. And to get it resolved without further stressing your budget is just amazing."

Today and Friday, the Texas Legal Services Center also hosts live chats online, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. both days, so Texas veterans can ask questions. It is also at texaslawhelp.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - TX