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.