As I get ready for the holiday season, I wanted to give a public recognition to an organization devoted to providing legal services to those who don’t have the money to access our public justice system. The Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program (www.hvlp.org) serves people whose income exceeds most legal aid organizations, but who cannot afford a private attorney.
The HVLP screens clients and matches them with volunteer attorneys in the area. According to the HVLP’s website, it screened 20,873 potential clients in the first half of 2011, and referred 1,185 cases to volunteer lawyers during the same time.
On a personal note, one of my most rewarding cases came to me through volunteering for the HVLP. I represented a Spanish-speaking couple who had been taken advantage of by a local business. We ultimately obtained a jury verdict and collected the judgment for the full amount of their loss.
I hope that other lawyers will find the time to volunteer during 2012. I know that I plan to participate!