Hoping to help veterans get access to health care, housing and other needs, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation is establishing an endowment to pay for free legal services.
The Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services will help Texas veterans “successfully integrate back into civilian life and secure the rights and benefits for which they risked their lives,” the Justice Foundation said in a news release. Texas has 1.67 million veterans, the second-largest veteran population in the country, according to the foundation.
“Obtaining access to free legal services can be critical for veterans to get the benefits and support they need for themselves and their families,” the news release said.
The endowment will not be able to pay to help every veteran in need, at least not for the foreseeable future, the Justice Foundation said. The endowment relies on donations, and a statement from the organization said it only began soliciting donations last week.
Last year, the foundation helped about 8,000 veterans, and, with the endowment, foundation leaders are hoping to “one day have sufficient funding to be able to serve the legal needs of all veterans.”
Legal issues are at the heart of five of the top 10 needs of homeless veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Jamail, for whom the award is named, was a larger-than-life plaintiff’s lawyer who made billions, building his reputation on little-guy-versus-big-company cases. Prior to his legal career, he served as a Marine.
Those seeking help from the Justice Foundation can call 1-800-622-2520 or visit TexasLawHelp.org.