Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) seeks a staff attorney to specialize in farmworker advocacy; the position is based in El Paso, TX but will involve a multi-state docket including cases throughout the Southwest. TRLA is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit corporations providing free civil legal services to eligible low-income persons. TRLA’s farmworker practice provides free employment-related legal services to low-wage migrant and seasonal agricultural workers in Texas, as well as in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. TRLA has over 30 years of experience in zealous and effective advocacy on behalf of migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Most of TRLA’s farmworker work is employment litigation in federal court. TRLA’s prior litigation has included claims under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal H-2A program, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state contract, wage-and-hour, tort, and worker’s compensation disputes. Attorneys also represent workers in federal and state administrative processes, including filing complaints with the U.S. Department of Labor, and filing immigration petitions (such as T and U visa applications) on behalf of victims of trafficking or other workplace crimes.
Preference will be given to applicants with a demonstrated commitment to public interest law on behalf of low-income persons, especially in workers’ or immigrants’ rights, and with Spanish-language fluency. TRLA gives new lawyers substantial litigation and outreach responsibilities from day-one, but new staff practices under the close guidance of seasoned TRLA farmworker attorneys, who typically second-chair litigation. TRLA staff collaborates closely with those in TRLA’s other 15+ offices, including participating in outreach and litigation in various parts of Texas and other states.
Duties will include serving as lead counsel in all aspects of civil litigation, from conducting outreach and performing client intakes, investigating and evaluating new intakes, collaborating with regional partners and government agencies, and handling all matters of representation in administrative and court forums. Extensive overnight travel for outreach or cases is often required, although TRLA pays per diem and other travel-related expenses. The strongest candidates will also have superior writing, analytical, and organizational skills; litigation experience is also preferred but not required.
Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Texas, be licensed in a state with which Texas could grant reciprocal admission, or be willing to take the next available Texas bar exam.
TRLA is an equal opportunity employer that seeks a diverse workforce. TRLA offers a benefits package that includes medical, dental, and disability coverage; life insurance; a retirement plan; and a law school loan forgiveness plan. TRLA has a unionized workforce.