Paralegal II–Beeville

TRLA-Beeville has an opening for a Paralegal II.  The primary duties and activities of a Paralegal II may include the following and any other case-related activities and duties consistent with assisting attorneys in the practice of law:

  1. Conduct eligibility and substantive interviews in person and by telephone, which interviews may at times take place outside the regular office setting;
  2. Provide basic information and referrals to applicants, including those ineligible for services;
  3. Interview clients and witnesses;
  4. Conduct follow-up of assigned cases, including investigating facts and researching law;
  5. Serve process and subpoenas;
  6. Prepare legal documents;
  7. Oversee legal clinics;
  8. Notarize legal documents;
  9. Attend and participate in community group meetings and educational forums to conduct intake and make community legal education presentations;
  10. Prepare legal educational materials;
  11. Translate;
  12. Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including data entry into client database and other requirements;
  13. Prepare administrative reports required by TRLA;
  14. Any other duties required by the branch or team manager.

 Qualifications:

 

  1. Bilingual in English and Spanish.
  2. Possess verbal, reading and writing skills.

Legal Secretary–Mercedes

Legal Secretary will be recruited, hired and assigned by the Branch Manager, and be subject to discipline or removal according to the standard employment policies applicable to all TRLA secretaries.
The candidate should be detailed-oriented, punctual, self-driven, able to work on multiple assignments at once, and sympathetic towards low-income persons.  Work schedule is Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., plus additional hours if occasionally requested to meet deadlines.
Responsibilities:
  • Type, file, and handle clerical office matters for the several paralegals and attorneys to whom the secretary is assigned;
  • Manage incoming and outgoing mail, faxes, and telephone calls;
  • Assist in overflow work to ensure smooth office operations;
  • Translate documents and/or act as interpreter when needed;
  • Maintain client files and applications and complete assigned work on case files within the required time frame;
  • Coordinate schedules and maintain case requirements calendar of casehandlers, including contacting existing clients, schedule interview, and convey messages;
  • Drafting, editing, formatting and printing legal documents, correspondence, and reports in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Publisher, including preparing standard pleadings for review by attorneys;
  • Managing and purchasing supplies, office equipment and furnishings; and,
  • Miscellaneous administrative duties, including time sheets for payroll, travel reimbursement requests, and docket maintenance.
Minimum qualifications:
  • Proficiency in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word and Excel applications, and computer data entry;
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish, both written and spoken;
  • Minimum of two years secretary experience;
  • Type minimum of 45 words per minute;
  • Licensed to notarize documents or willing to become licensed;
  • Preferred experience in a law office or an Associate’s degree as a paralegal;
Application deadline and process:  For consideration, submit a cover letter, resume and list of two professional references to employment@trla.org or fax (915) 544-3789. The position is currently open; applications will be considered on a rolling basis as they are submitted until the position is filled.

Licensed Social Worker-Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi or Rio Grande Valley

TRLA has an opening for a Licensed Social Worker.
Duties and Responsibilities:
On behalf of sexual assault victims, services are intended to assist clients in obtaining the economic and social/basic resources they need to stabilize their lives, regain independence, and break the cycle of abuse/violence.  TRLA social workers will work collaboratively with TRLA attorneys to help sexual assault victims become safe and self-sufficient. Specific duties include the following:
  1.  Conduct intakes for the LASSA team as needed, assess the client’s individual needs related to the sexual assault, including the development of a safety plan.
  2. Render appropriate services based on the client’s individual needs, addressing empowerment, privacy concerns, and safety planning.  Such services include assistance understanding and applying for Crime Victims Compensation and appealing when assistance is denied, information and referral for community-based services, crisis intervention, safe housing options and peer support.
  3. Assess the client’s need for civil legal services and schedule appointments with the assigned TRLA attorney for clients requiring such assistance.
  4. Provide counseling support  and referral services.
  5. Work with the LASSA Project Director to train victim advocates at partner shelters and crisis centers on the legal options and public benefits available to victims of sexual assault.  Train TRLA staff to conduct safety planning and best practices for clients suffering from trauma.
  6. Participate in TRLA outreach efforts.
  7. Prepare reports as requested by the Branch Manager, Sexual Assault Team Manager and/or Social Work Team Manager, and perform other related duties as assigned by the supervisor of the Social Work Team.

On behalf of victims of domestic violence.  The social worker’s time will be spent on these activities:

1.  Provide clients with information about the Texas Crime Victims Compensation Fund and assist them with completing applications and obtaining funds as well as appeals to denial of funds.  Assist clients in developing individual safety plans to promote the safety and security of both the client and the client’s family.  Inform clients about the benefits of obtaining a protective order when needed.  Accompany clients to court hearings as an advocate. Assist clients with locating resources in the community including housing, job training, GED classes, utility assistance, and other financial aids available to victims to promote their stability.  Assist clients with obtaining health insurance, food stamps and other benefits, by making referrals to social service agencies when needed.  Perform comprehensive assessment of clients’ needs.

2. Provide crisis counseling and support to victims and make outside counseling referrals for victims and their family members.

3. Develop and maintain working relationships with other groups serving victims of domestic and sexual violence including area shelters and by serving on local family violence task force committees and other victim services committees addressing victim needs.  Maintain a list of resources for appropriate client referrals including parenting classes, drug and alcohol classes, etc.

4. Participate in TRLA outreach efforts, including attending evening legal clinics and/or other public service events.  Prepare reports as requested by the Branch Manager, Family Law Team Manager and/or Social Work Team Manager, and perform other related duties as assigned by the Family Law Team Manager and/or supervisor of the Social Work Team.

5. Provide litigation assistance to TRLA Family Law staff attorneys by sharing current research in relevant areas such as family violence, mental health, substance abuse and chemical dependency issues.

6. Perform outcome evaluations after a case has been closed which includes collecting and analyzing client satisfaction data as requested.

 Qualifications:

  1. Master of Science in Social Work (preferred), LPC, or Bachelor’s in Social Work
  2. Licensed through the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners.
  3. Good writing skills;
  4. Bilingual in Spanish and English;
  5. Have transportation available, including valid driver’s license and automobile insurance;
  6. Experience in working with victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault preferred;
  7. Computer skills

Development Coordinator–Austin

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) is looking for a grants coordinator to help support civil legal and indigent defense representation for low-income residents of South, Central, and West Texas, in a region stretching from Brownsville to El Paso on the border and including San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Alpine and all the towns, cities, and countryside in between. TRLA is one of the largest and most respected legal aid organizations in the country, providing representation to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, farmworkers, the disabled, veterans, people wrongfully evicted from their homes, the elderly, and children born in this country but denied birth certificates. Help maintain and expand the ability of TRLA’s 160 attorneys to represent low-income Texans by working to raise funds from federal, state, and local agencies, from private and corporate foundations, and from the many individuals who provide ongoing support for this crucial work.
Duties and Responsibilities:   The Development Coordinator, reporting to the Development Director, raises general operating and program-specific funding by:
  1.  Drafting high-quality letters of inquiry and proposals to foundations, corporations, and government agencies;
  2. Gathering and preparing all ancillary materials to accompany grants (budgets, bios, charts, statistics, etc.);
  3. Identifying and researching prospective funders;
  4. Corresponding with private funders in preparing grant proposals;
  5. Working with program staff to derive content for proposals;
  6. Working with current and potential funders to explore areas of potential funding support;
  7. Meeting with development staff of partner non-profits around potential collaborative efforts;
  8. Managing and maintaining the donor database (eTapestry), including the timely recording of gifts and mailing of receipts;
  9. Implementing a donor stewardship plan, including handwritten thank you notes and thank you calls to individual donors; assisting the Development Director with the holiday appeal and other campaigns, including the development of mail solicitations and email/social media appeals;
  10. Assisting the Development Director with organizing small and large meetings to elicit private attorney support; and
  11. Other duties and responsibilities as determined by her or his primary supervisor.
Minimum Qualifications: 
            • Strong written, verbal, and computer communication skills, including working knowledge of Excel;
            • Ability to multi-task and remain flexible; ability to work with a number of individuals, all with various needs and deadlines;
            • Outstanding organizational skills with strong attention to detail;
            • Bachelor’s degree;
            • Two years of grant writing and/or development experience with proven success in raising funds for nonprofit organizations preferred;
            • Experience managing a donor database preferred;
            • Some legal knowledge preferred.
To apply, send a letter of interest, resume, a writing sample and contacts for at least two references to: employment@trla.org.

Paralegal II – Dilley

      In 2014, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began subjecting mothers and their children who seek asylum in the United States to mandatory detention in private prisons. Rather than providing immediate refuge and protection, the government ships families who flee unspeakable violence to jails far from metropolitan areas in Dilley, Texas and Karnes City.
     In response to the government’s inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers, four non-profit organizations, collectively known as the CARA Pro Bono Project (CARA), joined forces to assure detained families have access to pro bono legal services and to end the practice of family detention. CARA’s work ignited a national movement of advocates and allies committed to standing alongside detained families to defend their rights to due process and international protection as refugees.
     Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is one such ally. TRLA seeks to ensure all families detained in violation of international, federal, and state law within our services receive the support they desperately need to protect their personal safety and the safety of their children. To this end, TRLA is hiring full-time staff to guarantee uninterrupted access to free legal services for the growing number of women and children who are detained in Dilley, Texas at the South Texas Family Detention Center (STFDC).
     STFDC is the nation’s largest private prison for immigrant mothers and their children. It is located 70 miles southwest of San Antonio and currently houses over 2,000 women and children, including children who are only one year old. CARA’s Pro Bono Project in Dilley (the Dilley Pro Bono Project) has maintained a small team of on-site lawyers and paralegals who facilitate CARA’s non-traditional model of legal services with the goal of providing every woman and child meaningful legal representation.
     The Dilley Pro Bono Project recruits teams of volunteers nationally who commit to arriving in Dilley on a Sunday, attending a mandatory orientation, and providing legal services to families throughout the week. After an exhilarating and exhausting week, the team leaves the following Saturday, and a new team arrives to take over their caseload and carry the work forward. CARA’s radical model of providing services to refugees in the United States has received national attention and support. You can learn more about CARA’s incredible work at http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/How-to-crowdsource-a-refugee-ri
     TRLA is partnering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project to provide services at STFDC. TRLA seeks a paralegal for its Family Detention Project who will support TRLA’s efforts to provide civil legal services to detained women and children in partnership with the Dilley Pro Bono Project. The position will initially be based in Dilley, Texas.
Duties:
     All candidates should possess a sense of urgency to end family detention and protect asylum-seekers from deportation, empathy, and the ability to stay calm and collected in the midst of crisis. The paralegal’s work with detained families inside STFDC will include, but not be limited to, the following duties:
  • Complete intakes with new clients;
  • Develop specialized knowledge of asylum law and expedited removal;
  • Prepare individuals for an interview with a USCIS Asylum Officer;
  • Prepare individuals who seek Immigration Judge review of a negative decision by an Asylum Officer;
  • Support clients who request release on bond after a positive credible or reasonable fear determination;
  • Draft declarations;
  • Gather evidence, including country conditions, that supports an individual’s eligibility for asylum;
  • Prepare filings for court;
  • Communicate with stakeholders, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;
  • Communicate with clients and their loved ones;
  • Collaborate with current community partners and form new partnerships;
  • Create legal educational materials;
  • Support and collaborate with local and national volunteers;
  • Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records;
  • Prepare administrative reports;
  • Provide translation and interpretation; and
  • Provide legal information and referrals.
Required Qualifications:
  • Fluency in English and Spanish
  • College degree
  • Excellent oral and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends and accommodate an irregular work schedule
  • A proven commitment to supporting vulnerable immigrant populations
Preferred:
  • Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma
  • Experience coordinating or participating in volunteer-based projects
How to Apply and Related Timelines:
For consideration, applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and three references with “Paralegal Position – Family Detention Project” in the subject line, to the following individuals:
To: Monica Bustamante, Recruitment Manager, at employment@trla.org
“cc”: Shalyn Fluharty, Director – Family Detention Project, at sfluharty@trla.org
The consideration of candidates is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled. The position is available immediately, although the start date is somewhat negotiable.

Staff Attorney/Bi-National Project on Family Violence – location within TRLA’s service area

TRLA is seeking an experienced attorney to join its Bi-National Project on Family Violence (“BNP”), a unique and innovative project that provides legal assistance to low-income family violence survivors whose cases involve international custody disputes. Perpetrators of family violence often rely on control tactics to harm their intimate partners. They threaten their partners that they will take away their children and hide them forever if the victim doesn’t comply with their demands.  Sometimes the perpetrators follow through on their threats and abduct the children to another country. Sometimes the survivors flee with their children across international borders, seeking refuge from the abuse for themselves and their children.
The BNP provides legal assistance to survivors whose children have been taken across an international border by the abusive parent and to survivors who have fled to Texas with their children.  Most of the BNP cases are based on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and are brought in both state and federal courts.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

The candidate must be self-directed, empathetic and motivated. Among other duties, the attorney will:
• Provide holistic legal services to low-income domestic violence survivors whose cases are complicated due to one party residing in another country. Such services primarily include representation of clients in cases involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in both state and federal court throughout TRLA’s service area, but may also include representation in immigration and custody matters;
• Coordinate all aspects of a client’s case including client communication, relevant research, development and implementation of case plan;
• Maintain a working knowledge of relevant laws and significant policies and trends in Hague cases as well as Texas family law;
• Interview survivors and conduct trauma-informed intakes;
• Evaluate clients’ claims and assess civil legal remedies;
• Maintain client databases and caseload, as determined by supervisor;
• Work collaboratively with Project members and with members of TRLA’s family and immigration teams
• Become familiar with family law and Hague procedures in Mexico;
• Provide advice and counsel to eligible clients as needed and appropriate;
• Evaluate client eligibility for TRLA services and civil legal remedies;
• Maintain a caseload and be available to serve as co-counsel and/or back-up for Bi-national Project attorneys;
• Maintain coordinated communications among team members on case developments, co-counsel assignments, and developments in the law;
• Establish and maintain relationships with community, national and international partners;
• Fulfill all requirements necessary to remain in good standing with the State Bar and the Supreme Court, including but not limited to compliance with the minimum requirements for Continuing Legal Education.

Qualifications:

Required: 
• JD from accredited university;
• Licensed to practice law in Texas, able to waive into the Texas bar, or willing to take the next available bar exam, in that order of preference;
• 2-5 years litigation experience;
• Fluent in English and Spanish, written and spoken;
• Ability to work independently and as a part of a team;
• Ability to travel.

Preferred:
• Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations;
• Experience working with survivors of trauma and/or domestic violence;
• Family law litigation experience.

How to Apply and Related Timelines:

For consideration, applicants should email a cover letter, resume and three references with “BNP Attorney Position” in the subject line to Monica Bustamante, Recruitment Manager, at mbustamante@trla.org.
The consideration of candidates is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled. The position is available immediately, although the start date is somewhat negotiable.

Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent fringe benefits package, including law school loan repayment.

Legal Secretary – Austin

TRLA-Austin has an opening for a Legal Secretary.  The Legal Secretary will be recruited, hired and assigned by the Branch Manager, and be subject to discipline or removal according to the standard employment policies applicable to all TRLA secretaries.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  • Drafting, editing, formatting and printing legal documents, correspondence and reports in Microsoft Word;
  • Scanning, faxing and filing documents;
  • Managing incoming and outgoing mail, faxes and telephone calls;
  • Managing case file records on the TRLA Client Tracking System, the custom-written case management system, as well as the hard copy files;
  • Managing and purchasing supplies, office equipment and furnishings; and,
  • Miscellaneous administrative duties, including time sheets for payroll, travel reimbursement requests, and docket maintenance.

 

           Minimum qualifications:

 

  • Proficiency in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word and Excel applications, and computer data entry;
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish;
  • Six months’ experience as a legal secretary.

 

 

 

 

TRLA Veteran Advocacy Project–San Antonio or Rio Grande Valley

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid seeks an attorney to provide civil legal services to veterans. The attorney will be located in San Antonio or the Rio Grande Valley

The attorney will provide extended civil services to veterans and their dependents in a wide range of civil legal matters including housing, probate, benefits, consumer, employment, homelessness, and family law

The attorney will provide direct legal services to those who are eligible under grantors’ rules, and will collaborate closely with community partners, including veteran service organizations, Department of Veteran Affairs medical facilities, and service providers for veterans living in homelessness.

DUTIES:

The candidates must be self-directed, empathetic, and motivated.  Among other duties, the attorney will:

  • Evaluate clients’ claims and assess civil legal remedies.
  • Represent clients in all stages of litigation and in all forms of advocacy.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with community partners.
  • Support civil legal services for veterans throughout the 68-county TRLA service area, as well as in 114 Northwest Texas counties where the veteran or family member is the survivor of sexual assault.
  • Provide counsel to individuals seeking civil legal assistance.
  • Prepare and conduct community outreach.
REQUIRED:

JD from accredited university.
Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, or willing to take next Texas Bar Exam.

PREFERRED:

  • Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations.
  • Experience working with veterans.
  • Experience working with community services/partners.
  • Fluent in English and Spanish, written and spoken.
 To apply, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org.

Attorney-Staff Public Defender, Rio Grande City, Corpus Christi

The TRLA Texas Rural Defender Service seeks an experienced, felony-qualified attorney for its office serving Duval and Jim Hogg Counties. The Starr Regional Public Defender Program, from its office in Rio Grande City, serves Starr, Jim Hogg and Duval Counties. This position may be located in the TRLA office in Corpus Christi, but serving clients charged with crimes or juvenile offenses in the Hebbronville/San Diego area. With caseload controls, staff investigators and a solid litigation budget, the program emphasizes zealous, holistic advocacy in a rural environment. The program costs are split equally between the state and the participating counties.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, with 175 attorneys, is the largest federally-funded civil legal services program in the nation, covering a 68-county service area in Southwest Texas. Indigent defense services through the TRLA non-profit corporation began approximately ten years ago, and have now been extended to 8 counties. The non-profit arrangement establishes a strong measure of independence for defender staff, backed by a firm with a strong national reputation for vigorous advocacy. TRLA provides its defender clients the full range of representation, both civil and criminal, including advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. A mental health component has recently been added to the program.

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and provides a comprehensive range of employee benefits, including health care coverage, law school loan repayment benefits, continuing legal education and training, and a 401k pension program.

The primary responsibilities are:

• Serve as lead counsel of record in up to 50 felony cases, 100 misdemeanor cases, and 10 juvenile cases per year;
• Mentor less experienced attorneys in the program; and
• Try cases to a verdict.

Qualifications:

  • Licensed to practice law in Texas or willing to take the next available Texas bar exam;
  • One year of criminal litigation experience or comparable academic or clinical experience in criminal law;
  • Have served as lead counsel in at least 5 felony trials before a jury;
  • Preference for an attorney who is professionally functional in the Spanish language;
  • Proficiency in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and legal research software; and
  • Completion of six hours of continuing legal education in criminal law within the twelve months preceding service as a Public Defender staff attorney.

To apply, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org

Attorney-Staff Public Defender, Rio Grande City

The TRLA Texas Rural Defender Service seeks an entry-level attorney for its office serving Starr County. The Starr Regional Public Defender Program, from its office in Rio Grande City, serves Starr, Jim Hogg and Duval Counties. This position will be located in the TRLA office in Rio Grande City. With caseload controls, staff investigators and a solid litigation budget, the program emphasizes zealous, holistic advocacy in a rural environment. The program costs are split equally between the state and the participating counties.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, with 175 attorneys, is the largest federally-funded civil legal services program in the nation, covering a 68-county service area in Southwest Texas. Indigent defense services through the TRLA non-profit corporation began approximately ten years ago, and have now been extended to 8 counties. The non-profit arrangement establishes a strong measure of independence for defender staff, backed by a firm with a strong national reputation for vigorous advocacy. TRLA provides its defender clients the full range of representation, both civil and criminal, including advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. A mental health component has recently been added to the program.

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and provides a comprehensive range of employee  benefits, including health care coverage, law school loan repayment benefits, continuing legal education and training, and a 401k pension program.

The primary responsibilities are:

 

  • Serve as lead counsel of record in up to 228 misdemeanor cases per year;
  • Assist more experienced lawyers in felony and juvenile cases; and
  • Try cases to a verdict.

 

Qualifications:

 

  • Licensed to practice law in Texas or willing to take the next available Texas bar exam;
  • Preference for an attorney who is professionally functional in the Spanish language ;
  • Proficiency in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and legal research software; and
  • Completion of six hours of continuing legal education in criminal law within the twelve months preceding service as a Public Defender staff attorney.

 

To apply, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org