Attorney Openings

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid seeks civil lawyers and defenders with a passion for aggressively representing low-income clients. We provide free legal services to low-income people facing most forms of civil legal problems, including bankruptcies and foreclosures, divorces and custody arrangements, labor and employment problems, consumer fraud, wills and estates, accessing public benefits, and litigating for civil and environmental rights. Our attorneys specialize in more than than 45 civil legal Practice Areas. TRLA represents low-income clients in 68 counties in Southwest Texas and farmworkers throughout the state. TRLA’s Southern Migrant Legal Services (SMLS), which is based in Nashville, Tennessee, operates in six other southern states.

TRLA hires attorneys on an ongoing basis. For more information about specific positions and about how to apply, please scroll through the listings below.


staff attorney and management positions

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid provides traditional civil legal services and operates many other programs including a public defender program (Texas Rural Defender Service) in ten counties, a family detention center assistance program, located within the largest immigrant family detention center in the U.S., and a migrant farmworker program that brings mass actions on behalf of farmworkers throughout Texas and six other southern states. TRLA seeks new attorneys mainly in rapidly growing border cities and rural communities, where low-income workers and new immigrants face incredible challenges. Management positions are available for experienced attorneys. TRLA has offices in Alpine, Austin, Beeville, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Del Rio, Dilley, Eagle Pass, Edinburg, El Paso, Hallettsville, Harlingen, Mercedes, Nashville, Rio Grande City, San Antonio, Sinton, and Victoria.

With 185 lawyers, TRLA operates one of the largest legal services programs in the country and is nationally recognized for high quality, zealous advocacy for its clients. Attorneys will specialize in one or more of the 45-plus practice area teams addressing important issues such as civil rights, criminal defense, denial of the ability to vote, defense of border wall acquisition, disaster assistance, environmental justice, housing rights, family violence, consumer rights, farm labor, international child abduction, access to benefits, sexual assault, LGBTQ issues, and employment discrimination.

TRLA fully supports its advocates to bring creative, complex litigation in state and federal court, while also appreciating the need to provide services to individual clients. Flexibility is key as TRLA encourages advocates to explore all avenues and bring the fight where the advocate sees fit.

Compensation and benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent fringe benefits package including law school loan repayment. (Spring graduates from law school typically start being paid the first week of June, but report to work after the bar exam in July. TRLA provides reimbursement for the bar application fee and bar preparation course to new employees who haven’t take the bar exam yet.)

Qualifications and preferences:

  • Must be licensed to practice law in Texas, able to waive into the Texas bar, or willing to take the next available bar exam. (Exceptions include attorneys working for our migrant farmworker program, or primarily in immigration may be licensed in another state.)

  • Preferred applicants have demonstrated an interest in providing justice to those who need it most, have strong academic credentials, are functionally fluent in Spanish, and want to live and work where the greatest need is in the TRLA service area (i.e., not Austin or San Antonio).

Application process:

  • Step One -- Click here to apply.

  • Step Two -- Selected applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview, or an in-person interview depending on a variety of factors.

  • Step Three -- Depending on the circumstances, some selected applicants will be invited to visit some specific TRLA offices and meet with staff, and tour the local community. TRLA will provide travel, accommodations and food throughout the visit.

  • Step Four -- Selected applicants will be offered a position (if an offer is made in the winter to a law student the offer often remains open until mid-April near the deadline to apply to take the bar exam).

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an equitable workplace.


Staff Attorney, Southern Migrant Legal Services (SMLS) a Migrant Farmworker Program - Nashville, TN

Southern Migrant Legal Services (SMLS), a project of TRLA, offices in Nashville, Tennessee and seeks attorneys with a passion for aggressively representing low-income migrant agricultural workers. SMLS provides employment-related legal assistance to low-wage temporary and immigrant workers throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. SMLS enforces migrant and seasonal agricultural workers’ core employment rights, including (but not limited to) workers’ rights under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the H-2A Regulations of Immigration and Nationality Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and contract law. SMLS is a project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

Compensation and benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent fringe benefits package including law school loan repayment. (Spring graduates from law school typically start being paid the first week of June, but report to work after the bar exam in July. TRLA provides reimbursement for the bar application fee and bar preparation course to new employees who haven’t take the bar exam yet.)

Qualifications and preferences:

  • Preferred applicants have demonstrated an interest in providing justice to those who need it most.

  • Preference will also be given to applicants with a commitment to workers’ rights and social justice, have strong academic credentials, are functionally fluent in Spanish, have an ability to establish trusting relationships with low-income clients, and have experience working with diverse populations including non-English-speaking and migrant communities.

Application process:

  • Step One -- Click here to apply.

  • Step Two -- Selected applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview, or an in-person interview depending on a variety of factors.

  • Step Three -- Depending on the circumstances, some selected applicants will be invited to visit the SMLS office in Nashville and possibly other TRLA offices and meet with staff, and tour the local community. TRLA will provide travel, accommodations and food throughout the visit.

  • Step Four -- Selected applicants will be offered a position (if an offer is made in the winter to a law student the offer often remains open until mid-April near the deadline to apply to take the bar exam).

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an equitable workplace.


Attorney/MANAGER – MEDICAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES - SAN ANTONIO

Medical Legal Assistance for Families (MLAF) in San Antonio gives legal aid lawyers an exciting opportunity to work with pediatricians to improve the health and well-being of indigent children and their families. MLAF is based on a national medical-legal partnership model and is the first program of its kind in Texas. MLAF places lawyers in a pediatric clinical setting to facilitate the provision of legal services crucial to vulnerable patient-families. MLAF takes a holistic approach to help families to overcome some social determinants that can harm their children’s health or preventing them from thriving.

MLAF’s partners are Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., Baylor College of Medicine and CHRISTUS’ The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. MLAF is located on the campus of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, in downtown San Antonio. TRLA’s San Antonio office is minutes away.

Low-income families who have a patient cared for at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio or at the nearby Pediatrics Department of the School of Medicine, UTHealth San Antonio are eligible for MLAF services. MLAF’s priority areas are education, public benefits, housing and guardianship for young adults.

In addition to providing legal services to indigent families, MLAF assists in educating Pediatrics residents about the importance of legal services to the health of children and how doctors can work with lawyers to improve their ability to help their patients.

TRLA is seeking a lawyer to represent clients and lead MLAF. The lawyer’s primary duties and activities include:

1. Practices civil law for eligible clients in accordance with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and consistent with office standards of practice;

2. Supervises and works with MLAF’s paraprofessionals;

3. Complies with all case reporting requirements, including timekeeping, case activities, legislative and rulemaking, private attorney involvement, community education presentations, etc;

4. Keeps current on the state of the law and procedures within areas of law ordinarily handled by MLAF;

5. Leads MLAF, including staff and coordinating health care partners;

6. Teaches and guides pediatric residents and other health care professionals about the harmful impact of poverty on children’s health and how legal and health care professionals can work together to overcome some social determinants of poor health outcomes for children and their families;

7. Participates in other activities related to poverty law, including publication, permissible legislative and rulemaking activities, media relations in accordance with TRLA policy and applicable laws and regulations;

8. Commensurate with experience, consults, guides and answers questions of other staff members;

9. Fulfills all requirements necessary to remain in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Supreme Court, including but not limited to, compliance with the minimum requirements for Continuing Legal Education; and

10. Maintains and fosters relationships with MLAF partners and other programs and agencies as required to lead and develop MLAF, including, but not limited to, convening and attending meetings of such programs and/or agencies.

REQUIRED:

• 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

• Maintain continuing legal education requirements

PREFERRED:

• Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations

• Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills

• Dedication and experience working with a medical-legal partnership, especially in a senior role

• An ability and desire to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts and with multiple organizations and professionals, including health care professionals and trainees

• Experience working with cases in MLAF’s priority areas

• Ability to work in a complex environment with many moving parts

• Ability to supervise and develop a small staff

• Clear vision and ability to move MLAF forward

• Preference for lawyers who are functionally fluent in Spanish at a professional level

Click here to apply

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an equitable workplace.