Following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School that increased the community’s need for free civil legal aid services, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, or TRLA, on Monday announced the opening of a new civil legal aid office located in Uvalde. The new office is funded by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, which will support and sustain TRLA’s ability to promote access to justice by providing civil legal services in Uvalde and the surrounding rural communities.

“Texas RioGrande Legal Aid has been on the ground in Uvalde since shortly after the Robb Elementary tragedy, providing much-needed assistance to the community,” said former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Chair of TAJF Board of Directors Deborah Hankinson in a press release. “As Uvalde continues to heal, the new office will provide a strong presence in Uvalde, where Texas RioGrande Legal Aid can continue to provide support for families and community members in need of civil legal aid.”

Due to limited resources, the last time TAJF funded the opening of a new legal aid office was in the late 2000s. Opening the Uvalde office is an important expansion, as the need for legal aid services in remote and underserved communities is a pressing priority.

“We are thankful for the state funding awarded by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation to support and focus our efforts to help the Uvalde community,” said TRLA Executive Director Robert Doggett in a press release. “Reestablishing a physical presence in Uvalde will undoubtedly improve access to our services so many desperately need.”

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid is the state’s largest legal aid provider and is the second largest in the nation, serving 23,000 clients annually across 68 counties in southwest Texas.

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