Attorney Staff Public Defender – Rio Grande Valley and Bee

TRLA seeks an experienced, felony-qualified attorneys for its Rio Grande Valley and  Bee County offices and surrounding areas. With caseload controls, staff investigators and a solid litigation budget, the program emphasizes zealous 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 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 zealous 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 is being added to the program in the fall.

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.


  • 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 3 felony trials before a jury;
  • Experience with appeals;
  • 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.

Click here to apply.