The Common Law

Need Legal Advice? – Call LegalLine - Austin's Free Legal Hotline

Need Legal Advice? Call LegalLine – Austin's Free Legal Hotline

Do you face a general legal issue that makes you want to learn more about your rights? Are you worried about the expense of contacting an attorney and whether you can afford help with general legal questions?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, it's important that you know about an innovative program in Austin called LegalLine. The public is invited to call LegalLine for free legal advice to basic legal questions or for referrals to the appropriate service or agency for further assistance. Best of all, calling LegalLine is absolutely free!

LegalLine addresses general legal questions dealing with most areas of the law, including divorce and family-law matters, consumer issues, auto accidents, criminal matters, bankruptcy issues, real estate, and business-law issues. Volunteer attorneys licensed in the state of Texas will assist with the basic legal questions. The volunteer attorneys are community-minded lawyers who give their time to provide assistance with general legal questions (rather than charge their normal billable rates which are often hundreds of dollars per hour). If no attorney is available to answer your particular question, LegalLine will attempt to find an attorney to return your call later.

LegalLine is generally open for calls on the first Tuesday of each month between the hours of 5:30pm and 7:30pm. You can call LegalLine at 472-8303. In preparation for the People's Law School, a free event on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the UT Law School that provides basic legal information and educates people about their legal rights, LegalLine will also take calls the evening of Thursday, Feb. 26.

The LegalLine program is a public service sponsored by the Austin Young Lawyers Association (www.ayla.org) and the Austin Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas. Check out the ALRS website (www.austinlrs.org) for more information on LegalLine or the upcoming People's Law School event.

Please submit column suggestions, questions, and comments to thecommonlaw@austinchronicle.com. Submission of potential topics does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information submitted is subject to being included in future columns.

Marrs, Ellis & Hodge LLP, www.jmehlaw.com.

The material in this column is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. For advice on your specific facts and circumstances, consult a licensed attorney. You may wish to contact the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas, a non-profit public service of the Austin Bar Association, at 512-472-8303 or www.austinlrs.com.

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