Legal Information: Online and In Person

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Texas Law Help
“TexasLawHelp.org 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.” The website has legal forms, interactive forms (uncontested divorce, identity theft, protective orders), legal directory (can narrow down by area), plenty of information about different kinds of legal issues (including some short videos), and a chat feature that allows you to speak with a lawyer for quick questions (Monday through Friday 10 am to 3 pm).

Texas State Law Library
844-829-2843
205 West 14th Street Room G01
Austin, TX 78701
The Texas State Law Library has a lot of great tools and information for individuals looking for legal information. You can find specific forms (the self-help section is a good place to start), e-books, databases (such as Stevenson’s Legal Forms), specific laws and rulings (including those from the Texas Congress, Attorney General, and Governor), and more. Access to the e-books and databases will require a library card. As a Texas resident, you can sign up for a card on the website, and it will only take about 15 minutes to receive it (through your email). You can call the library to get assistance for certain things, but just like the librarians here, they cannot answer questions about the law (only how to find sources/information).

Cengage Gale Legal Forms (then click on "Legal Forms")
The library offers, through the TexShare program offered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Gale, access to thousands of Texas Legal Forms. You can search for a specific form in the search box or follow the links at the bottom of the page to get to the form you need. The database also offers an Attorney Directory and Tax Forms.

Lone Star Legal Aid
Local Office:
409-763-0381
800-551-3712 (toll free)
409-762-5739 (fax)
2200 Market Street Suite 301
Galveston, TX 77550
Lone Star Legal Aid is a non-profit organization that provides legal services to low-income families and individuals. 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 will give you information about making your way through the court system, but it is important to remember that the information provided is basic, general information only and may not cover everything that is involved in your case. The information on this website is not legal advice, and does not take the place of talking to a lawyer.” The website does offer plenty of helpful information and videos on the court system, what to expect during proceedings, finding forms, ways to search for attorneys, and more.

Galveston County Legal Library
Located at the Galveston County Justice Center
409-765-2601
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 Hotline (for seniors)
Legal Hotline for Texas
800-622-2520
“For over 20 years, the Legal Hotline for Texans has given free legal advice, self-help publications, and referrals to Texans over the age of 60 and Texans who receive Medicare. Eligibility Guidelines: To receive services, you must be over the age of 60 or a Medicare recipient.”

Thurgood Marshall School of Law Resource and Referral Guide
This resource guide from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University provides a list of legal clinics and legal advocacy groups in the Houston area.

Texas Health Law Program
866-979-4343
“The Health Law Program provides free legal services to low-income Texans with questions regarding health care issues. These issues may include Affordable Care Act matters, Medicare and Medicaid matters, payment plans for healthcare bills, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Family and Medical Leave Act, private insurance, prescription drug coverage, denial of treatment, and end of life planning and advance directive matters. The Health Law Program can provide a range of legal assistance from basic advice and counseling to more extended services.”

Advocacy for Victims of Crime, and Education (AVOICE)
888-343-4414
“AVOICE provides free direct legal representation and referrals to victims of violent crime, and education about victim rights. AVOICE lawyers offer legal advice, safety planning, pro se assistance, and legal representation on matters which arise from the underlying crime (such as obtaining a protective order, a divorce, a child custody modification, and defending clients in landlord/tenant disputes). AVOICE advocates also assist victims with applying for crime victim compensation claims, and monitoring cases until that compensation is paid.”

FindLaw
“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.