Texas program to provide legal help to veterans goes national

Texas bar officials are aiming to take the program nationwide and offering their expertise to counterparts in other states. So far, about two dozen states have expressed interest in replicating the Texas program.

News Story (Texas)

Jeremy Schwartz
Austin American-Statesman
November 10, 2017

Tags: Pro Bono, Veterans

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF)


Austin attorney Nikki Maples remembers the first time she walked into the Austin Department of Veterans Affairs clinic as part of a new program to give free legal services to veterans.

Maples came from a military family — her ex-husband had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan — and she felt a powerful need to volunteer her time at the clinic. But she wasn’t prepared for the number of veterans lined up in the waiting room and down the hallway in dire need of legal help. Some were facing evictions. Others were involved in child custody battles. Still others had been wrongfully denied government benefits.

“At first, it was overwhelming,” Maples said. “But at the end of the day, I saw a lot of veterans smiling and I thought, ‘This is a really good thing.’ I’ll never forget that.”