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Legal Information: Online and In Person

Texas Law Help
" is a website dedicated to providing free, reliable legal information to low-income Texans. It is part of a broader effort within the national legal aid community to use technology, specifically the Internet, to enhance and expand the delivery of legal aid”. This website provides legal forms and information on a large number of topics; family issues such as divorce, child custody, and adoption, health and benefit issues, wills and estate planning, and bankruptcy. The “Legal Help Finder” can be searched by zip code, and the “Ask a Question” section provides answers to common questions. There is a Live Chat feature that is available Monday through Thursday, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM where you can chat with a lawyer or law student to get information and resources on your issue for free! If you qualify the lawyers can also provide free legal advice."

Texas State Law Library
205 West 14th Street Room G01
Austin, TX 78701
"The Texas State Law Library serves the legal research needs of the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Office of the Attorney General, other state agencies and commissions, and the citizens of the state”. Under the “Self-Help” tab you can find links to legal forms, answers to common questions, research guides, consumer information, and links to sites that can provided legal assistance. Resources are also available for more in-depth research."

Legal forms at the Texas City Library
The library offers, through the TexShare program, access to thousands of Texas Legal Forms from the Cengage Gale Legal Forms database. In addition to being able to search for legal forms in several ways, this website also provides general information on a variety of topics and definitions of legal terms.
This database can be accessed from library computers or at home from the library’s website. Just click on “Electronic Resources” “Databases” “Law”. If you are accessing this database from home you will be prompted to enter your library card number before you can continue.

This database can be accessed from library computers or at home from the library’s website. Just click on “Electronic Resources” “Databases” “Law”. If you are accessing this database from home you will be prompted to enter your library card number before you can continue.

Lone Star Legal Aid
Local Office:
800-551-3712 (toll free)
409-762-5739 (fax)
2200 Market Street Suite 301
Galveston, TX 77550
Open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm
Lone Star Legal Aid is a non-profit organization that provides legal services to low-income families and individuals. Their mission is to “protect and advance the civil legal rights of the millions of Texans living in poverty by providing free advocacy, legal representation, and community education that ensures equal access to justice”. You can apply for their assistance over the phone or in person, but you must meet their “financial and legal status eligibility requirements.” A list of the types of cases that they assist with can be found on the website, along with their requirements.

Texas Court Help
This website provides information about going through the court system and information about protective orders. Topics include how to find a lawyer, what court staff can and cannot do to help , how to get ready to go to court, and how to act in court. There are also links to other websites that may be helpful.

Galveston County Legal Library
Located at the Galveston County Justice Center
600 59th Suite 1600
Galveston, TX 77551
8 a.m-4:30 p.m. (except on county holidays)

State Bar of Texas
The State Bar of Texas website can be used by both law professionals and the public. You can find resources for the public under the "For the Public" heading. You can report problems with your attorney, decide whether you need an attorney in your situation, find legal information pamphlets on specific needs (responding to a subpoena, guide to immigration, Client-Attorney Privilege, and more), find disaster relief resources, and find information on becoming a lawyer (law schools, professional duties, etc).

Texas Legal Services Center
The Texas Legal Services Center is a non-profit legal office whose goal is to work "towards civil justice for all Texans - no matter their ability to earn."  This organization offers a variety of legal services, some of which are listed below.  There are income-based eligibility requirements for some of these services.

Texas Legal Hotline (for seniors)
Legal Hotline for Texans Over 60 or Medicare Recipients
“If you are 60 years of age or older and your income is not more than 125% of the federal poverty income limit and your assets are limited, Hotline attorneys can give you free counsel and advice by phone, point you to free legal forms, or refer you to government, non-profit or other free re-sources that can help.” Some of the legal matters they can assist with are wills, advance directives, power of attorney, home ownership, divorce, and Medicaid.
“Note: If you are a Medicare Beneficiary calling about a Medicare matter, the age requirement does not apply, and the income and asset limits do not apply.”

Texas Health Law Program
“The Health Law Program was specifically created to respond to the growing need for legal assistance with healthcare issues. We provide free legal services to Texans with modest incomes (at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) that have questions regarding healthcare issues. We can answer your questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), healthcare coverage after employment, denial of treatment, and end of life planning and directives.”

Advocacy for Victims of Crime, and Education (AVOICE)
1-844-303-7233 (SAFE)
“This is a statewide project that provides free direct legal representation and referrals to victims of violent crime and provides education about crime victim’s rights. If you are a victim of -- or feel you may be at risk of -- domestic violence, sexual abuse or assault, stalking, cyber-stalking, or any other form of violent crime, we can offer you legal advice, safety planning, pro se (self-representation) assistance, and legal representation. We also assist victims with applying for crime victim compensation claims. Client applications are reviewed based on financial eligibility and other requirements."

Family Helpline
“The Family Helpline for Strong Families and Safe Children answers parents and caregivers questions about Child Protective Services (CPS) issues. We can walk you through the CPS process and refer you to local resources that benefit children, families, and the community at large.”

Texas Veterans Legal Assistance Project
1-800-622-2520 (select option 2)
“The Texas Veterans Legal Assistance Project is a statewide project dedicated to providing legal assistance at no charge to low-income veterans, their spouses, their dependents, and surviving spouses of deceased veterans. We welcome most civil (non-criminal) legal questions, including those that relate to military benefits, federal/state public benefits, disability benefits, employment, and bankruptcy. We also provide consumer protection from creditors and creditor abuses such as predatory lending, deceptive trade practices, and debt collection violation.”

"At FindLaw, we're making the law more accessible to people who need it each day and connecting them to legal professionals who can help. FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, is the world's leading provider of Internet marketing solutions for law firms and online legal information for consumers and small businesses. For more than 18 years, FindLaw has provided consumers with the legal information they seek, helped law firms efficiently grow their practices, and helped the legal system perform better overall." The FindLaw website has sections on better understanding the law, finding a lawyer, a "FindLaw Answers" forum where people can ask individual questions, and on finding legal forms.

American Bar Association, American Medical Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons: Consumer's Tool Kit for Advanced Care Planning
Good advanced planning for health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation: about values, priorities, the meaning of one's life, and quality of life. To help you in the process, this tool kit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources.

Texas Advanced Directives Documents
The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services website offers pdfs of Advanced Directive documents that can be printed out and filled out.

Local, State, and U.S. Codes (and Other Legal information)
Texas City Code of Ordinances
The Texas City Code of Ordinances are available to look at online (through the American Legal Publishing Corporation). Just click on the "View Code" link to get started. You can move down through the list of ordinances, or you can perform a search for a specific ordinance (or type of ordinance) in the search box at the top of the page. There is a small description of each ordinance provided below the "City Charter" section of the website.

Texas Administrative Code
Available through the Office of the Secretary of the State
This website contains the Administrative Code for the state of Texas. There is also a link (at the bottom of the page) for the Texas Register, which "serves as the journal of state agency rulemaking for Texas." You can read current and past issues of the Register, which are available online in both PDF and HTML formats.

TRAIL-Texas Record and Information Locater (available through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
"The Texas Records and Information Locator (TRAIL) service provides access to Texas state government information contained in electronic publications. TRAIL facilitates ready access to the information for Texas citizens and other users." Just type what you are looking for into the search box (for example "sales tax").

Texas Constitution and Statues
This site provides access to the full text of the Constitution of the State of Texas.

United States Code
Offered by Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, this is the Table of Contents for the U.S. Code (just click on the section you want to read about for more information). There is also a U.S. Code Toolbox that focuses on specific topics within the code, a legal dictionary and encyclopedia, and a "Find a Lawyer" section to the website.

United States Constitution
Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute also offers the ability to look through the U.S. Constitution, and it also offers a Constitution Toolbox to help explain what it means.

U.S. Public and Private Laws
"Public and private laws are also known as slip laws. A slip law is an official publication of the law and is competent evidence admissible in all state and Federal courts and tribunals of the United States. Public laws affect society as a whole, while private laws affect an individual, family, or small group." Each session of Congress is offered, just click on the session, then either "Public" or "Private Law." Then choose "PDF" or "Text" next to the law you would like to learn more about.

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