Attorney Openings

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid seeks civil lawyers and public 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. Attorneys in the civil division specialize in more than than 45 civil legal Practice Areas. We also have a public defender division operating in ten rural counties of the state with more on the way. Overall, TRLA represents low-income clients in 68 counties in Southwest Texas, victims of sexual assault in additional counties in Northwest Texas, and farmworkers throughout the entire state. TRLA’s Southern Migrant Legal Services (SMLS), which is based in Nashville, Tennessee, assists migrant farmworkers in six additional southern states.

TRLA hires attorneys on an ongoing basis. For more information on how to apply for an attorney or management position see below.


Managing Attorney for Housing Justice Project

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) seeks a Managing Attorney to launch an innovative San Antonio Housing Justice Project. The Housing Justice Project will employ a diverse range of advocacy strategies and tools to combat the displacement of vulnerable residents in gentrifying areas, including residents of mobile home communities and older apartment complexes who are subject to unsafe housing conditions, landlord abuses, and redevelopment pressures.

 The Managing Attorney will lead a small team of attorneys and outreach staff in developing this new, collaborative project. The project will employ a wide range of advocacy tools, including litigation, coalition building, and transactional lawyering. The project’s focus includes:

  • Advocating for systemic changes to living conditions in mobile home parks and apartment complexes.

  • Supporting low-income neighborhood leaders on issues including fair housing, affordable housing, community development, and public infrastructure.

  • Monitoring public policies, neighborhood changes, actors, and trends in San Antonio that are reshaping access to opportunity in neighborhoods.

  • Supporting mobile homeowners and tenants’ associations to address collective concerns and issues.

  • Representing mobile homeowners and tenant associations in purchases of their properties, bringing collective actions against landlords, negotiating community benefits agreements, and additional creative strategies and actions, as needed to help residents enact change and improve their living conditions.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent fringe benefits package including law school loan repayment.

Qualifications and Preferences

Required:

  • Licensed to practice law in Texas, able to waive into the Texas bar, or willing to take the next available bar exam to become licensed in Texas.

  • At least three years of legal experience in relevant practice areas, including experience with litigation, community engagement, and coalition building.

  • Functionally fluent in Spanish.

  • Demonstrated experience in shaping and leading a collaborative project.

  • Self-starter and creative problem-solver.

  • Dedication to economic, social, and racial justice.

  • Experience working with clients of diverse backgrounds including people experiencing poverty

  • Excellent oral and written advocacy skills.

     

Application process:

1)      Click here to apply.

2)      Selected applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview or an in-person interview.

3)      Selected applicants will be offered a position.

staff attorney and managing Attorney 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 some 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.