San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 20th, 2011
First Hays community justice program clinic to focus on divorce

STAFF REPORT

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) and the Hays County Bar Association have established a new free legal clinic that will help low-income residents in need of a divorce. The Hays County Community Justice Program (CJP)  is accepting applications for assistance.

The first clinic is slated to be on Jan. 26 at 9:30 a.m. at the Hays County Justice Center, 110 East MLK Drive.

The Community Justice Program will aim at providing free legal services to low income families by pairing economically disadvantaged residents with volunteer attorneys and legal aid employees to help those in difficult situations. At the first clinic, CJP volunteers will focus on Hays County residents needing a divorce but unable to afford the associated expenses.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the legal community to help our low-income neighbors needing a divorce to move on with their lives,” said Lori Lynelle Gosnell, private attorney and CJP volunteer. “A lack of financial resources should not be a barrier to getting legal assistance, and those needing help really should take advantage of this opportunity.”

Said Pablo Almaguer, TRLA attorney and pro-bono coordinator, ““We are excited to be working with the Hays County Bar Association on this project. Making the Hays County CJP a permanent part of the community will go a long way in helping people in desperate situations.”

Residents eligible for free services need to be at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, income cannot exceed $27,563. Hays County residents interested in applying for legal help obtaining a divorce may contact Gosnell at (512) 392-5865 for more information about the application process and program criteria.

The TRLA was established in 1970 as a non-profit organization providing legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-country service area. The mission of TRLA is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services.

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