Attorney Openings

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid seeks civil lawyers and defenders with a passion to aggressively represent low income clients and to provide legal services primarily throughout our 68-county service area in Southwest Texas, and our migrant farmworker program operating throughout Texas and six southern states from the office in Nashville, Tennessee (called Southern Migrant Legal Services or SMLS). A description of both is below along with the application process. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid hires attorneys on an ongoing basis.


staff attorney and management positions

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid provides traditional civil legal services as described below, but has many other programs including a public defender program (Texas Rural Defender Service) in ten counties, a family detention center assistance program (within the largest immigrant family detention center in the US), 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 40-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 to aggressively represent 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.