Where to Find Free Legal Services in North Texas

Can’t afford a lawyer?

I could lecture all day long about the benefits of having an experienced lawyer give you advice and representation, but that doesn’t change the financial realities. If you can’t afford to pay a private attorney, then you need to look at other options.

For criminal cases – if you can show the court that you are poor, then the court will appoint a lawyer to represent you (Hint – if you posted bail, then you probably won’t qualify)

For family matters – if you need a protective order for family violence, the district attorney’s office will represent you. To get court-ordered child support, contact the Attorney General’s office. For other family law matters, check with Denton County Friends of the Family, Safe Haven of Tarrant County, and the Family Place (Dallas).

For all types of matters – Legal Aid of North West Texas, Southern Methodist University School of Law Legal Clinic, Catholic Charities of Dallas, Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Legal Hotline for Older Texans, and Legal Line – Dallas Bar Association.

Also check on Denton county.com/social services.asp. Some of those entities provide legal advice.

For personal injury matters, condemnation cases and certain employment matters – some attorneys will take these on a contingent basis. You won’t pay out-of-pocket for legal fees, but your recovery on damages will be reduced by a percentage.

Need a free legal form? Check on the State website for statutory forms, such as living wills and powers of attorney. To incorporate or form an LLC, the State website has a walk-through automated form. The law school websites usually have free references that contain legal forms. The Denton County Law Library has books and computer access to forms.

Beware – you may get the services and forms for free, but there is a steep price in quality and time that you will end up paying. Expect long lines, waiting lists and attorneys who don’t have the time, experience or willingness to follow-up on your case or extract all of the facts. Most free legal services are available only if you meet the financial guidelines. Forms that advertise that they fit everyone’s case will actually fit no-one’s, and aren’t guaranteed to meet the requirements of the law. Even statutory forms are drafted with the expectation that they will be customized and explained by a lawyer.

Denton County Friends of the Family
Safehaven of Tarrant County
Family Place – Dallas
Southern Methodist University School of Law
Catholic Charities of Dallas
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
Legal Hotline for Older Texans
Denton County Law Library
Denton County District Attorney

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