Frequently Asked Questions
Legal Access Initiative
Volunteering at TAP is a rewarding opportunity to give back to the community and learn a lot in the process. The attorneys and staff who work here are always willing to teach and are genuinely committed to finding solutions to domestic violence. As a hotline volunteer, I enjoy having one-on-one contact with the people TAP serves because I hear the relief in their voices that someone is here to help. This is a wonderful organization with great people who strive to make a difference in women's lives.
The Legal Access Initiative (LAI) is designed to assist state-funded crisis intervention agencies in Texas to develop, modify or expand available legal services for victims of domestic violence. Its goal is to increase communication and collaboration between agency legal advocates and legal services providers in an effort to maximize available resources.
LAI is focused on three categories of legal services: legal advice, legal representation, and assisted pro se representation in civil actions. Through interviews with agency advocates, LAI assesses which of the three areas are in most need of attention by examining the accessibility, responsiveness and effectiveness of each service available. Through a moderated list serve, technical assistance manuals and regional seminars, advocates identify best practices in serving domestic violence victims through their local legal systems. If an agency chooses to join LAI as a client for consulting services, a plan of action is developed that may include reestablishing, improving or creating new relationships with prosecutors, legal aid, and local bar association projects as well as developing an agency-specific attorney referral program. If proven successful, pilot programs developed with the help of LAI can be replicated for use throughout the state.
If you are a legal advocate providing services in a state-funded domestic violence shelter or outreach agency and are interested in joining the LAI list serve, participating in a regional seminar or becoming a LAI client, contact JJ Lara, LAI Director at email@example.com.