Attorneys Representing Victims of Violent Crimes Awarded $30,000 Grant to Supplement Travel Budget
AUSTIN, TX, May 2019—Texas Legal Services Center has been awarded $30,000 by the Texas Bar Foundation to supplement much-needed travel funds for attorneys working with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes. The Austin-based attorneys travel statewide to represent those clients whose safety depends on a successful court outcome. In 2018, the crime victims team handled 462 cases—92 of which (14%) required travel.
"We're able to help the majority of our clients through non-traditional methods—like legal hotlines, online chat, and video conferencing. All are excitingly economical, yet those models don't work for every civil legal situation," says Karen Miller, Executive Director of Texas Legal Services Center. "When a client's safety hinges on a court order, our attorney needs to be there—in court with their client—and travel costs come with that."
Holistic victim support initiatives launched in 2017, led to an increase of cases requiring travel. These initiatives included a successful outreach campaign, reinforcing the role of legal advocates, and conducting more thorough trauma-informed interviews. "We're providing more comprehensive representation to victims so that they are supported through all systems, civil and criminal," explains Erin Martinson, Managing Attorney with Texas Legal Services Center. "Continuing that mission required additional travel funds and the [Texas Bar] Foundation stepped in to keep our attorneys on the road, representing and litigating for their clients."
About the Texas Bar Foundation
Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably-funded bar foundation.
About Texas Legal Services Center
Texas Legal Services Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve the underserved by making civil justice accessible to every Texan, no matter their ability to earn. Through advice, referrals, counseling, representation, and advocacy—the organization helps Texans navigate the complexities of the civil justice system.
Meghan Lee, Communications
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