Legal Aid for Youth

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Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) provides legal assistance to youth who are having problems in school, have been charged with a crime, are experiencing homelessness, or are in foster care.

TRLA’s Juvenile Justice Team helps youth charged with a crime in a Justice of the Peace (JP) or municipal court, including Class C misdemeanor offenses such as truancy/failure to attend school, assault, disruption of classes, and disorderly conduct. The team works with students on issues including sealing juvenile records, emancipation, and sex offender deregistration.

TRLA’s Special Education Team represents students with disabilities who are not receiving appropriate instruction and services from their school district. TRLA works to ensure that all children with special needs receive a free and appropriate public education.

TRLA’s Education Team represents students with problems concerning matters such as school discipline (including alternative school placement and expulsion), school admissions, bilingual education and migrant education.

The Texas Foster Youth Justice Project helps current and former foster youth understand their legal rights and provides support as youth age out of the foster care system. To reach this Project, call 1-877-313-3688.

TRLA also helps youth experiencing homelessness with legal issues related to housing, securing CPS documents, and public benefits.

For legal help with these issues call 1-888-988-9996.

Online Application

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid is collaborating with the Educational Opportunities Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to provide greater access to education and special education legal services for students and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The Lawyers’ Committee has created an online intake form and a hotline to connect applicants quickly and efficiently to legal advocates.

The hotline number is 844-PREP-4-US (844-773-7487) and the online form (in both English and Spanish) is available HERE.

Parents and students can find out more about the collaboration HERE.

Qualifying applicants financially eligible for legal services may be referrred for advice or representation to the education and special education attorneys at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Other applicants may be assisted by the Lawyers’ Committee or connected to private attorneys and other legal professionals.