Job Opportunities

For consideration, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org.

Accountant I - Mercedes

The Accountant I works under the direct supervision of the Accounting Operations Manager and the general supervision of the Chief Financial Officer. The primary responsibilities are:

  1. Assists in preparing necessary schedules required for annual audit.
  2. Codes vouchers, invoices and claims for payment.
  3. Has primary responsibility for preparing and entering data to the general ledger.
  4. Verifies computer printouts for accuracy.
  5. Pays travel, mileage, travel advance and out of pocket expenses.
  6. Prepares bank deposit slips.
  7. Responsible for all the accounting functions for TRLA pension plan including loans.
  8. Performs any other duties as required by the Chief Financial Officer.

Qualifications:

  1. A Bachelor’s of Business Administration Degree in Accounting or Finance, or equivalent work experience.
  2. Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel); strong computer skills.
  3. Bilingual in English and Spanish preferred.

Apply to TRLA

For consideration, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org.

Assistant Grants Manager--Mercedes

The Assistant Grants Manager assists the Grants Manager with the submission of grant reports, ensuring that TRLA is in compliance with requirements of its funders.  Specific duties include the following:  
  1. Maintains calendar of reporting deadlines, and is responsible for the timely preparation and submission of all non-financial reports to funders.
  2. Maintains files of grant reports, grants and contracts3. Updates funding sources of employees in the Client Tracking System
  3. Provides non-financial information to support grant applications
  4. Provides other support related to grants planning and management to Grants Manager.
  5. Helps develop systems for effectively and efficiently tracking all grant programmatic targets, outputs and goals.
  6. Attends all grant related trainings by funders.
  7. Assists in training of staff on grant and program requirements
  8. Provides support to Resource Development staff to develop targets and outputs for grant proposals.
  9. Works collaboratively with all staff to ensure grant deliverables timeline in order to ensure all grant deadlines are met.
  10. Performs other duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Excellent written, verbal, and computer communication skills
  • Ability to multi-task and remain flexible
  • Outstanding organizational skills with strong attention to detail
  • Knowledge of Excel, Word and Powerpoint
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Two years of relevant work experience
  • Ability to travel
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written and oral form
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience in legal field
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish

Attorney (Human Trafficking)-EJW CVJC Fellow

TRLA will host a fellow over two years as part of the Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps. The fellowship should begin on or about June 1, 2018 and end May/June 2020. The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps is a legal fellowship program designed to increase capacity and access to civil legal help for crime victims. A cohort of approximately sixty fellows are placed at nonprofit organizations across the country to provide direct representation to victims of crimes, including human trafficking, fraud/identity theft, campus sexual assault, and hate crime, and immigrant victims of crime with meritorious claims for immigration relief, and outreach to education to community partners. All fellows will incorporate crime victims’ rights enforcement into their practice and will receive training from the National Crime Victim Law Institute and other training and technical assistance providers. This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2017-MU-MU-K131, and private funding. The fellow will be supervised by TRLA and based in one of TRLA’s offices in Texas: http://www.trla.org/office. Preference given to candidates who can work from TRLA offices on the Texas-Mexico border. Fellowship Description The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow will:
  • Provide direct legal services to victims of labor and sex trafficking to address the range of civil legal issues that arise from their victimization, including, but not limited to, representation on applications for immigration relief and to recover civil damages arising from the trafficking
  • Provide representation and advocacy regarding crime victims’ rights
  • Conduct outreach and education activities, provide referrals, and leverage pro bono resources
  • Contribute to programmatic reporting required under the federal award
  • Collaborate with other Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellows
  • Actively participate in mandatory in-person training programs including two-day Crime Victims Justice Corps Victim Law Boot Camp training in June 2018 in Washington, DC; learning event at the end of the Fellowship; annual three-day Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in October/November 2018 and 2019 in Washington, DC; and training calls with the National Crime Victim Law Institute.
Qualifications The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
  • Licensed to practice law
  • A demonstrated commitment to public interest work and desire to assist crime victims
  • Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • An ability to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally competent legal assistance to crime victims/survivors
  • An ability to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts and with multiple organizations to facilitate comprehensive services to crime victims/survivors
  • Ability to begin the fellowship by on or about June 1, 2018 and serve for 2 years
  • Those with prior legal experience working with victims of trafficking, low wage immigrant workers, or immigrant survivors of criminal abuse are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Law school clinic, externship, summer or other relevant practice experience a plus
  • Proficiency in Spanish required
Salary and other support The Fellow will receive an annual salary, as well as the benefits described below: Health insurance provided and low-cost vision and dental plans; Life and disability insurance provided; parking provided; position-related travel reimbursement and bar dues provided. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid provides legal assistance to 23,000 low-income Texas residents per year. With 17 offices in central, south and west Texas, including the length of the Texas/Mexico border, TRLA attorneys work in 43 civil legal practice areas as well as providing public defender representation in eight rural South Texas counties. Begun in 1970, TRLA is the third largest legal aid organization in the U.S. Application Instructions: Please send a cover letter (specify which offices you are able to work from), resume, and two references to employment@trla.org. TRLA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status. Application Deadline: May 1, 2018, but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Attorney (Identity Theft-Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse)-EJW CVJC Fellow

TRLA will host a fellow over two years as part of the Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps. The two-year fellowship should begin in June 2018. The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps is a legal fellowship program designed to increase capacity and access to civil legal help for low-income crime victims and to provide and to provide direct representation to victims of crimes, including human trafficking, fraud/identity theft, campus sexual assault, hate crimes, and immigrant victims of crime with meritorious claims for immigration relief, and outreach and education to community partners. All fellows will incorporate crime victims’ rights enforcement into their practice and will receive training from the National Crime Victim Law Institute and other training and technical assistance providers. This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2017-MU-MU-K131, and private funding. The fellow will be supervised by TRLA and based in one of TRLA’s offices in Texas: http://www.trla.org/office. Preference given to candidates who can work from TRLA offices located along the Texas-Mexico border. Fellowship Description The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow will:
  • Provide direct legal services to identity theft victims among vulnerable populations such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking survivors. Advocacy will include using consumer and tax law to assist victims with disputed consumer debts; banking theft; credit reporting problems; debt collection; disputing and eliminating tax liability; and any other negative consequence attributed to identity theft.
  • Provide crime victims’ rights enforcement
  • Train and educate victim advocates (rape crisis and domestic violence shelter advocates and family law practitioners) on how to address the economic challenges resulting from identity theft, including screening for other economic/financial abuse issues.
  • Provide resources and materials to educate domestic violence survivors on consumer issues and financial empowerment- such as prioritizing expenses, building credit, applying for loans, savings, etc.
  • Receive referrals from domestic violence and rape crisis centers or family law practitioners for more complex identity theft cases and provide direct representation, pro se assistance, or referrals to the private bar.
  • Contribute to programmatic reporting required under the federal award. Collaborate with other Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellows. Actively participate in mandatory in-person training programs including two-day Crime Victims Justice Corps Victim Law Boot Camp training in late June 2018 in Washington, DC; learning event at the end of the Fellowship; annual three-day Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in October/November 2018 and 2019 in Washington, DC; and training calls with the National Crime Victim Law Institute.
  Qualifications The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
  • Licensed to practice law
  • A demonstrated commitment to public interest work and desire to assist indigent clients
  • Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • An ability to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally competent legal assistance to crime victims/survivors
  • An ability to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts and with multiple organizations to facilitate comprehensive services to crime victims/survivors
  • Ability to begin the fellowship by the summer of 2018 and serve for 2 years
  • Those with prior legal experience working with victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and immigrant survivors of criminal abuse are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Law school clinic, externship, summer or other relevant practice experience a plus
  • Proficiency in Spanish preferred
Salary and other support The Fellow will receive an annual salary and the following benefits: Health insurance provided and low-cost vision and dental plans; Life and disability insurance provided; Parking provided; Position related travel reimbursement and bar dues provided, etc. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid provides legal assistance to 23,000 low-income Texas residents per year. With 18 offices in central, south and west Texas, including the length of the Texas/Mexico border, TRLA attorneys work in 43 civil legal practice areas as well as providing public defender representation in eight rural South Texas counties. Begun in 1970, TRLA is the third largest legal aid organization in the U.S. Application Instructions: Please send a cover letter (specify which offices you are able to work from), resume, and two references to employment@trla.org. TRLA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status. Application Deadline: May 1, 2018, but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Attorney-Disaster Assistance-EJW Fellow

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. has been selected to host a legal fellow over two years as part of the Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Corps. The fellowship must begin by June 1, 2018. The Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Corps is a cohort of approximately twenty Legal Fellows placed at nonprofit legal services organizations in Texas and Florida for a two-year fellowship term to provide direct services, educate community members, and leverage volunteer resources in order to ensure that low-income individuals directly affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have access to a range of legal services needed to stabilize and rebuild their lives. The legal fellow will be supervised by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. and will be based in South or West Texas. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. Fellowship Description: The Equal Justice Disaster Recovery Legal Corps Fellow will: • Provide legal services to residents of South and West Texas impacted by natural disasters, including representation in disaster-related legal matters such as: o FEMA appeals; o clearing title to real estate and/or manufactured homes; o insurance and other consumer issues; o disaster-related employment, landlord-tenant, and/or foreclosure cases; and o other legal matters arising from the impact of disasters on housing and the local economy. • Conduct outreach and education activities, and leverage pro bono resources • Participate in broader advocacy efforts seeking systemic improvement in the administration of assistance to disaster survivors • Collaborate with other Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Fellows • Collect and provide data on a quarterly basis relating to clients served, services provided, outcomes, and other information as requested by Equal Justice Works • Actively participate in mandatory substantive and skills-based training programs including: Disaster Recovery Legal Corps kick off training (early summer 2018) and learning event at the close out of the fellowship; annual three-day Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in Washington, DC in October/November 2018 and 2019; and the Equal Justice Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in May 2019 (note that travel and lodging costs for these trainings will be covered by Equal Justice Works)Qualifications: The ideal candidate will possess:• A demonstrated commitment to public interest work and desire to assist indigent clients
  • Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • An ability and desire to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts and with multiple organizations
  • Prior experience in managing independent projects or assignments
  • Ability to begin the fellowship by June 1, 2018
  • Those with legal experience in issues pertaining to disaster recovery services strongly encouraged to apply
  • Law school clinic, externship, summer or other relevant practice experience a plus
  • Proficiency in Spanish preferred
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas
  • 0 to 3 years experience preferred
Salary and other support: The Fellow will receive an annual salary, as well as health insurance and other benefits. Interested applicants should contact Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. with any follow-up questions. Other Benefits Provided by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. • TRLA offers 100% employer-paid medical, dental, life ($50,000), short-term and long-term disability benefits. • Dependent coverage is also available under the medical and dental policies • Low cost voluntary vision plan • 401(k) Profit-Sharing Retirement Plan • Loan Repayment Assistance Program • Paid time off • Continuing Legal Education opportunities • State Bar fee reimbursement • Position related travel reimbursement Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services and related education to low-income and disadvantaged residents living in the 68 counties of central, south, and west Texas, as well as migrant farm workers across the state. Our staff works relentlessly in service of our mission -- to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety, and stability of low-income Texans by providing high quality civil legal assistance and related educational services. Application Instructions: Interested candidates should email a letter of interest and resume as soon as possible to employment@trla.org with the subject line: Disaster Recovery Legal Corps Fellowship – [Your Last Name]. The letter of interest should clearly refer to the Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Corps Fellowship position. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. The Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Corps Fellow is scheduled to begin the term of service no later than June 1, 2018. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status. Application Deadline: As soon as possible, as the term of service is scheduled to begin no later than June 1, 2018

Attorney-Nashville (Labor Trafficking)-EJW CVJC Fellow

TRLA will host a fellow over two years as part of the Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps. The two-year fellowship should begin in June 2018. The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps is a legal fellowship program designed to increase capacity and access to civil legal help for low-income crime victims and to provide direct representation to victims of crimes, including human trafficking, fraud/identity theft, campus sexual assault, and hate crime, and immigrant victims of crime with meritorious claims for immigration relief, and outreach and training to community partners. All fellows will incorporate crime victims’ rights enforcement into their practice and will receive training from the National Crime Victim Law Institute. This program is supported by an award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Award Number 2017-MU-MU-K131, and private funding. The fellow will be supervised by TRLA and based in TRLA’s Nashville, Tennessee office: http://www.trla.org/office.   Fellowship Description The Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow will: • Provide direct legal services to farmworker victims of labor trafficking or other workplace crimes to address the range of civil legal issues that arise from their victimization, including, but not limited to, representation on applications for immigration relief and to recover civil damages arising from the trafficking or other crimes in the workplace • Provide representation and advocacy regarding farmworker crime victims’ rights in the workplace • Conduct outreach and education activities, provide referrals, and leverage pro bono resources • Contribute to programmatic reporting required under the federal award • Collaborate with other Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellows • Actively participate in mandatory in-person training programs including two-day Crime Victims Justice Corps Victim Law Boot Camp training in late June 2018 in Washington, DC; learning event at the end of the Fellowship; annual three-day Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training in October/November 2018 and 2019 in Washington, DC; and training calls with the National Crime Victim Law Institute Qualifications The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications: • Licensed to practice law • A demonstrated commitment to public interest work and desire to assist crime victims • Strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills • An ability to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally competent legal assistance to crime victims/survivors • An ability to work collaboratively in a variety of contexts and with multiple organizations to facilitate comprehensive services to crime victims/survivors • Ability to begin the fellowship by the summer of 2018 and serve for 2 years • Those with prior legal experience working with victims of trafficking, low wage immigrant workers, or immigrant survivors of criminal abuse are strongly encouraged to apply • Law school clinic, externship, summer or other relevant practice experience a plus • Proficiency in Spanish preferred   Salary and other support The Fellow will receive an annual salary, as well as the benefits described below: Health insurance provided and low-cost vision and dental plans; Life and disability insurance provided; Parking provided; Position related travel reimbursement and bar dues provided. Southern Migrant Legal Services (SMLS), a project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), opened its doors in Nashville in 2001. SMLS provides free legal services to migrant agricultural workers in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. TRLA provides legal assistance to 23,000 low-income Texas residents per year. With 18 offices in central, south and west Texas, including the length of the Texas/Mexico border, TRLA attorneys work in 43 civil legal practice areas as well as providing public defender representation in eight rural South Texas counties. Begun in 1970, TRLA is the third largest legal aid organization in the U.S.   Application Instructions:   Please send a cover letter, resume, and two references to employment@trla.org. TRLA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.   Application Deadline: May 1, 2018, but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Attorney-Staff Public Defender-South Texas

TRLA seeks an experienced, felony-qualified attorney for its Regional Public Defender offices in the Rio Grande Valley. With caseload controls, staff investigators and a solid litigation budget, the program emphasizes zealous advocacy in a rural environment. The program costs are split equally between the state and the participating counties.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, with 175 attorneys, is the largest civil legal services program in the nation, covering a 68-county service area in Southwest Texas. Indigent defense services through the TRLA non-profit corporation began approximately ten years ago, and have now been extended to 8 counties. The non-profit arrangement establishes a strong measure of independence for defender staff, backed by a firm with a strong national reputation for zealous advocacy.  TRLA provides its defender clients the full range of representation, both civil and criminal, including advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction.
The primary responsibilities are: • Serve as lead counsel of record in up to 50 felony cases, 100 misdemeanor cases, and 10 juvenile cases per year; • Mentor less experienced attorneys in the program; and • Try cases to a verdict. Qualifications: • Licensed to practice law in Texas or willing to take the next available Texas bar exam; • One year of criminal litigation experience or comparable academic or clinical experience in criminal law; • Have served as lead counsel in at least 5 felony trials before a jury; • Preference for an attorney who is professionally functional in the Spanish language; • Proficiency in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and legal research software; and • Completion of six hours of continuing legal education in criminal law within the twelve months preceding service as a Public Defender staff attorney.
To apply, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org

Current Law Students

Current law school students play an important role in all of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)’s branch offices. With a 68-county service area in Texas and an office serving migrant farmworkers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, TRLA offers numerous opportunities for current students to explore the world of legal aid.

TRLA Clerk

TRLA law clerks perform traditional research projects, interview clients and witnesses, assist with litigation related activities, and help develop cases. Generally, a clerk works with more than one attorney in practice areas of interest to the student. For more information, visit our clerks page.

Telephone Access to Justice

TRLA hires University of Texas and St. Mary's University law students for the Telephone Access to Justice Project (TAJ) in Austin and San Antonio. The part-time position offers the opportunity to develop practical legal skills and assist clients with a variety of legal problems. Law students who have completed their first or second year of law school and can work a minimum of 12-15 hours per week are eligible. For more information, visit our TAJ info page.

Law Clerks

TRLA law clerks perform traditional research projects, interview clients and witnesses, assist with litigation related activities, and help develop cases. Generally, a clerk works with more than one attorney in practice areas of interest to the student.

The best way for law students in Texas to find out more about TRLA and opportunities for law students is to attend the Public Service Career Day held at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in February of each year. Students sign up via their career services office in December to interview with TRLA. Several TRLA attorneys from throughout the service area attend, interview students, and discuss their experiences as TRLA attorneys and opportunities for law students.

Offices

There are several offices located through TRLA's service area that students can choose from:

Practice Areas

TRLA has organized its services around a variety of practice areas (39 in all) that address the range of problems confronting the low-income community. These areas include:

  • Economic & Social Justice
  • Domestic Violence & Family
  • Housing
  • Individual Rights
  • Labor & Employment
  • Public Benefits

The Application Process

Students interested in clerk opportunities should send a cover letter stating their office preferences and resume to Monica Bustamante at mbustamante@trla.org. Students interested in clerking at the Nashville office should send a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to Caitlin Berberich at CBerberich@trla.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get paid?

There are numerous funding opportunities available for summer clerks. Law schools generally have some summer fellowship funding available; students should check with their law school's career services office and public interest advisors about available resources. When TRLA has multiple students interested in sponsorship for a limited number of fellowships, such as the Texas Law Fellowships, priority is given to students interested in working in offices other than our Austin office. In addition, TRLA may obtain funding for some law clerk positions through various sections of the State Bar. Telephone Access to Justice Associates get paid an hourly wage.

Can I split my time with another organization?

Yes, a split summer can be accommodated in most situations.

Can these opportunities lead to full-time employment?

TRLA has ongoing hiring needs and has hired many attorneys over the last several years, many of whom are recent law school graduates who first came to TRLA as Telephone Access to Justice Associates or as law clerks. An interest in working in offices other than our Austin or San Antonio branches significantly increases opportunities for long-term employment.

Can I choose what office or practice areas I work in?

Clerks will be able to specify a preference in office location and practice areas. TRLA will attempt to honor these preferences as much as possible. Students should be aware that preferences to work in branch offices outside of San Antonio and Austin are easier to accommodate and can affect funding opportunities.

Do I need to know how to speak Spanish?

Because of the location of the service area, the ability to communicate in Spanish is preferred, but not required. For full-time attorney positions, if the applicant is not already fluent in the language, a commitment to become so is required.

For more information about these positions, contact:

S. Monica Bustamante Risk & Materials Manager/Recruitment Coordinator (915) 585-5100 or Fax (915) 544-3789 Email: employment@trla.org Download Employment Application (.doc)

Legal Secretary - Edinburg

Legal Secretary will be recruited, hired and assigned by the Branch Manager, and be subject to discipline or removal according to the standard employment policies applicable to all TRLA secretaries.   Responsibilities:
  • Drafting, editing, formatting and printing legal documents, correspondence and reports in Microsoft Word;
  • Scanning, faxing and filing documents;
  • Managing incoming and outgoing mail, faxes and telephone calls;
  • Managing case file records on the TRLA Client Tracking System, the custom-written case management system, as well as the hard copy files;
  • Managing and purchasing supplies, office equipment and furnishings; and,
  • Miscellaneous administrative duties, including time sheets for payroll, travel reimbursement requests, and docket maintenance.
       Minimum qualifications:
  • Proficiency in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word and Excel applications, and computer data entry;
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish;
  • Six months’ experience as a legal secretary.
     

Paralegal II

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s (“TRLA”) Legal Aid for Sexual Assault Survivors (LASSA) Project seeks a paralegal to provide support to attorneys providing civil legal services to survivors of sexual assault in the following Texas regions: ● Rio Grande Valley - Mercedes ● Corpus Christi ● Laredo DUTIES: The candidate must be self-directed, empathetic, and motivated. Among other duties, the paralegal will: ● Conduct intakes and interview clients ● Assist counsel on case work, as requested ● Communicate with clients and other attorneys, as requested ● Contribute to collaboration with community partners ● Assist in coordinating and supporting civil legal services REQUIRED: • Bilingual in English and Spanish. • Possess verbal, reading and writing skills PREFERRED: ● Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations ● Experience working with survivors of trauma ● Experience coordinating projects ● Family, Employment, and/or Immigration law experience ● Experience as a social worker/community advocate *** JOB DESCRIPTION: PARALEGAL II The primary duties and activities of a Paralegal II may include the following and any other case-related activities and duties consistent with assisting attorneys in the practice of law:  Conduct eligibility and substantive interviews in person and by telephone, which interviews may at times take place outside the regular office setting;  Provide basic information and referrals to applicants, including those ineligible for services;  Interview clients and witnesses;  Conduct follow-up of assigned cases, including investigating facts and researching law;  Serve process and subpoenas;  Prepare legal documents; Oversee legal clinics;  Notarize legal documents;  Attend and participate in community group meetings and educational forums to conduct intake and make community legal education presentations;  Prepare legal educational materials;  Translate;  Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including data entry into client database and other requirements;  Prepare administrative reports required by TRLA;  Any other duties required by the branch or team manager. Qualifications: 1. Bilingual in English and Spanish. 2. Possess verbal, reading and writing skills

Paralegal II - Dilley

      In 2014, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began subjecting mothers and their children who seek asylum in the United States to mandatory detention in private prisons. Rather than providing immediate refuge and protection, the government ships families who flee unspeakable violence to jails far from metropolitan areas in Dilley, Texas and Karnes City.
     In response to the government’s inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers, four non-profit organizations, collectively known as the CARA Pro Bono Project (CARA), joined forces to assure detained families have access to pro bono legal services and to end the practice of family detention. CARA’s work ignited a national movement of advocates and allies committed to standing alongside detained families to defend their rights to due process and international protection as refugees.
     Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is one such ally. TRLA seeks to ensure all families detained in violation of international, federal, and state law within our services receive the support they desperately need to protect their personal safety and the safety of their children. To this end, TRLA is hiring full-time staff to guarantee uninterrupted access to free legal services for the growing number of women and children who are detained in Dilley, Texas at the South Texas Family Detention Center (STFDC).
     STFDC is the nation's largest private prison for immigrant mothers and their children. It is located 70 miles southwest of San Antonio and currently houses over 2,000 women and children, including children who are only one year old. CARA’s Pro Bono Project in Dilley (the Dilley Pro Bono Project) has maintained a small team of on-site lawyers and paralegals who facilitate CARA’s non-traditional model of legal services with the goal of providing every woman and child meaningful legal representation.
     The Dilley Pro Bono Project recruits teams of volunteers nationally who commit to arriving in Dilley on a Sunday, attending a mandatory orientation, and providing legal services to families throughout the week. After an exhilarating and exhausting week, the team leaves the following Saturday, and a new team arrives to take over their caseload and carry the work forward. CARA’s radical model of providing services to refugees in the United States has received national attention and support. You can learn more about CARA’s incredible work at http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/How-to-crowdsource-a-refugee-ri
     TRLA is partnering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project to provide services at STFDC. TRLA seeks a paralegal for its Family Detention Project who will support TRLA’s efforts to provide civil legal services to detained women and children in partnership with the Dilley Pro Bono Project. The position will initially be based in Dilley, Texas.
Duties:
     All candidates should possess a sense of urgency to end family detention and protect asylum-seekers from deportation, empathy, and the ability to stay calm and collected in the midst of crisis. The paralegal’s work with detained families inside STFDC will include, but not be limited to, the following duties:
  • Complete intakes with new clients;
  • Develop specialized knowledge of asylum law and expedited removal;
  • Prepare individuals for an interview with a USCIS Asylum Officer;
  • Prepare individuals who seek Immigration Judge review of a negative decision by an Asylum Officer;
  • Support clients who request release on bond after a positive credible or reasonable fear determination;
  • Draft declarations;
  • Gather evidence, including country conditions, that supports an individual’s eligibility for asylum;
  • Prepare filings for court;
  • Communicate with stakeholders, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;
  • Communicate with clients and their loved ones;
  • Collaborate with current community partners and form new partnerships;
  • Create legal educational materials;
  • Support and collaborate with local and national volunteers;
  • Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records;
  • Prepare administrative reports;
  • Provide translation and interpretation; and
  • Provide legal information and referrals.
Required Qualifications:
  • Fluency in English and Spanish
  • College degree
  • Excellent oral and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends and accommodate an irregular work schedule
  • A proven commitment to supporting vulnerable immigrant populations
Preferred:
  • Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma
  • Experience coordinating or participating in volunteer-based projects
How to Apply and Related Timelines:
For consideration, applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and three references with “Paralegal Position - Family Detention Project” in the subject line, to the following individuals: To: Monica Bustamante, Recruitment Manager, at employment@trla.org “cc”: Shalyn Fluharty, Director – Family Detention Project, at sfluharty@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.

Paralegal II--Beeville

TRLA-Beeville has an opening for a Paralegal II.  The primary duties and activities of a Paralegal II may include the following and any other case-related activities and duties consistent with assisting attorneys in the practice of law:
  1. Conduct eligibility and substantive interviews in person and by telephone, which interviews may at times take place outside the regular office setting;
  2. Provide basic information and referrals to applicants, including those ineligible for services;
  3. Interview clients and witnesses;
  4. Conduct follow-up of assigned cases, including investigating facts and researching law;
  5. Serve process and subpoenas;
  6. Prepare legal documents;
  7. Oversee legal clinics;
  8. Notarize legal documents;
  9. Attend and participate in community group meetings and educational forums to conduct intake and make community legal education presentations;
  10. Prepare legal educational materials;
  11. Translate;
  12. Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including data entry into client database and other requirements;
  13. Prepare administrative reports required by TRLA;
  14. Any other duties required by the branch or team manager.
 Qualifications:  
  1. Bilingual in English and Spanish.
  2. Possess verbal, reading and writing skills.

Paralegal III -- Harlingen

A paralegal is needed to work in the Harlingen office of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.  The successful candidate must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and must be bilingual.  The Paralegal will represent low-income clients in various legal matters and assist attorneys in all aspects of their cases.   A strong belief in the concept of equal justice for poor persons is paramount to this position.   The paralegal duties include the following:  
  • Conduct eligibility and substantive interviews in person and by telephone for applicants with legal issues. Interviews may at times take place outside the regular office setting;
  • Provide basic information and referrals to applicants, including those ineligible for services;
  • Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including data entry into client database and other requirements, such as timekeeping;
  • Provide direct representation of clients in administrative or judicial proceedings as Person-in-Charge of individual cases;
  • Provide litigation support and other support to attorneys as directed;
  • Maintain a client caseload, exercising independent professional judgment under the direction and supervision of an attorney on all aspects of each individual case
  • Operate under the supervision of a Team Manager or Branch Manager;
  • Interview clients and witnesses;
  • Conduct follow-up of assigned cases, including investigating facts and researching law;
  • Serve process and subpoenas;
  • Prepare legal documents;
  • Notarize legal documents;
  • Attend and participate in community group meetings and educational forums to conduct intake and make community legal education presentations;
  • Prepare legal educational materials;
  • Translate;
  • Prepare administrative reports required by TRLA;
  • Any other duties required by the Branch or Team Manager.
Qualifications:  
  • Must be bilingual in English and Spanish;
  • Degree in relevant field preferred;
  • Excellent oral and writing skills;
  • Word processing, Internet, and office skills required;
  • Have valid driver’s license and available transportation;
  • Possess verbal, reading and writing skills in English and Spanish sufficient to communicate fluently with clients and to translate lengthy written documents, primarily from Spanish to English
         

Paralegal III – Public Benefits Team - Austin

TRLA’s Public Benefits Team represents clients in administrative proceedings before the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  TRLA has an opening for a paralegal to join this team in TRLA’s Austin office.   The primary duties and activities of this position may include the following:
  1. Provide direct representation of clients in administrative or judicial proceedings as Person-in-Charge of individual cases
  2. Maintain a client caseload, exercising the independent professional judgment required of an advocate on all aspects of each individual case
  3. Operate under the supervision of a Team Manager or Branch Manager
  4. Conduct eligibility and substantive interviews in person and by telephone, which interviews may at times take place outside the regular office setting;
  5. Provide basic information and referrals to applicants, including those ineligible for services;
  6. Interview clients and witnesses;
  7. Conduct follow-up of assigned cases, including investigating facts and researching law;
  8. Serve process and subpoenas;
  9. Prepare legal documents;
  10. Notarize legal documents;
  11. Attend and participate in community group meetings and educational forums to conduct intake and make community legal education presentations;
  12. Prepare legal educational materials;
  13. Translate;
  14. Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including data entry into client database and other requirements, such as timekeeping;
  15. Prepare administrative reports required by TRLA;
  Qualifications:  
  1. Fluency in English and Spanish, both written and oral;
  2. Verbal, reading, and writing skills sufficient to comprehend administrative law  manuals and to adequately advocate on behalf of clients;
  3. Ability to travel

Staff Attorney - Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Area

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s (“TRLA”) Legal Aid for Sexual Assault Survivors (LASSA) Project seeks attorneys to provide civil legal services to survivors of sexual assault in the following Texas regions: ● Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area In appropriate circumstances the attorneys will provide extended civil services to survivors who have been victims of sexual violence, including harassment, assault, abuse, or trafficking. The attorney will screen clients for eligibility, provide direct legal services to those determined to be eligible, and will collaborate closely with community partners, including domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. DUTIES: The candidate must be self-directed, empathetic, and motivated. Among other duties, the attorney will: ● Interview survivors and conduct trauma-informed intakes ● Evaluate eligibility for TRLA services and civil legal remedies ● Establish and maintain relationships with community partners, including shelters and rape crisis centers ● Assist in coordinating and supporting civil legal services in the region ● Assist and counsel individuals seeking civil legal assistance ● Coordinate with community partners to develop safety plans for survivors ● Prepare and conduct community outreach REQUIRED:
  • JD from accredited university.
  • Bar Admission in any US state. Licensed to practice law in highly Texas preferred, but will consider applicants licensed in other states.
  • Fluent in English and Spanish, written and spoken
PREFERRED: ● Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations ● Experience working with survivors of trauma ● Experience coordinating community services/partners JOB DESCRIPTION STAFF ATTORNEY The position of staff attorney is a professional position with duties and activities of an extremely diverse nature which are commensurate with the provision of legal services to eligible individuals and groups. A staff attorney works under the supervision of the branch manager of the office to which assigned, as well as under one or more team managers. The primary duties and activities of the staff attorney may include the following and any other such duties and activities as are related to the practice of law by an attorney:
  1. Practices civil law for eligible clients in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the applicable state and consistent with office standards of practice;
  2. Supervises and/or works with legal paraprofessionals as assigned;
  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 the Team to which assigned.
  5. Participates in community legal education as directed by the Executive Director, Branch Manager or Team Manager. Prepares educational materials and/or makes public presentations on relevant topics as assigned and participates in TRLA and/or office outreach efforts.
  6. 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.
  7. Commensurate with experience, consults, guides and answers questions of other staff members.
  8. Fulfills all requirements necessary to remain in good standing with the State Bar and the Supreme Court of the applicable state, including but not limited to, compliance with the minimum requirements for Continuing Legal Education.
  9. Attends and/or coordinates clinics or other events as requested by the Branch or Team Manager.
  10. Maintains relationships with other programs and agencies as requested by the Branch or Team Manager, including, but not limited to, attending meetings of such programs and/or agencies.
Qualifications
  1. Licensed to practice in the applicable state or be willing to apply and take the applicable Bar exam at the next available opportunity.
  2. Preference given to those persons bilingual in English and Spanish.

Staff Attorney - Laredo

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid has recently been funded by the Jones Day law firm to help it provide pro bono legal services to refugees detained in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement jail in Laredo, Texas.  TRLA seeks a bilingual Staff Attorney to work with asylum applicants, most of whom are women from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. They are fleeing from the highest levels of violence in the Western Hemisphere, but after a perilous journey are promptly jailed upon crossing the Rio Grande and seeking asylum. The vast majority of the detainees have suffered traumatic experiences, including sexual assaults, robbery, extortion, and other acts of violence, in Central America or on the trip north. During their confinement in the Laredo facility, the inmates are subjected to a “credible fear interview” before a USCIS asylum officer, the first step in the asylum process. Almost none of the refugees are able to navigate the process without the professional assistance of trained lawyers and paralegals.
Jones Day, a major international law firm, has undertaken focused pro bono representation of the detainees in the Laredo facility. The firm will be bringing partners, associates and support staff from offices all over the nation to provide extended representation to asylum applicants from the initiation of the process to its ultimate conclusion. The emphasis in Laredo is on the first step in that process – passing the credible fear interview. Follow-up representation will be pursued by Jones Day lawyers from its 18 US offices. The firm has asked TRLA, the general legal services provider in Southwest Texas, to support its pro bono efforts by providing on-the-ground services inside the facility.
Duties:
All candidates should possess a sense of urgency to protect asylum-seekers from deportation, empathy, and the ability to stay calm and collected in the midst of crisis. The Staff Attorney’s work with detained families inside the Laredo facility will include, but not be limited to, the following duties:
  • Develop specialized knowledge of asylum law and expedited removal;
  • Support Jones Day lawyers and staff in their representation of Laredo detainees;
  • Make know-your-rights presentations in Spanish to groups of detainees who are seeking asylum in the United States;
  • Represent individuals who will (1) participate in a credible or reasonable fear interview with a USCIS Asylum Officer, (2) seek Immigration Judge review of a negative decision by an Asylum Officer, and (3) request release on bond after a positive credible or reasonable fear determination.
  • File relevant complaints with the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties;
  • Communicate with stakeholders, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;
  • Collaborate with current community partners and form new partnerships;
  • Participate in community legal education. Prepare educational materials, make public presentations, and participate in TRLA outreach efforts;
  • Participate in other activities related to poverty law, including publication, permissible legislative and rule-making activities, media relations in accordance with TRLA policy and applicable laws and regulations;
  • Supervise and/or work with legal paraprofessionals and volunteers;
  • Assure compliance with grantor rules, restrictions and grant conditions;
  • Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records;
  • Prepare administrative reports;
  • Provide legal information and referrals; and
  • Fulfill all requirements necessary to remain in good standing with the State Bar and the Supreme Court of the applicable state, including but not limited to, compliance with the minimum requirements for Continuing Legal Education.
Required Qualifications:
  • Licensed to practice law. If not licensed to practice law in Texas, willing to apply
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends and accommodate an irregular work schedule
  • A proven commitment to supporting vulnerable immigrant populations
Preferred:
  • Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma
  • Experience coordinating community services, working with community partners, and/or participating in volunteer-based projects
How to Apply and Related Timelines:
For consideration, applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and three references with “Attorney Position - Family Detention Project” in the subject line, to the following individual: To: Monica Bustamante, Recruitment Manager, at employment@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.  

Staff Attorney--Dilley, Texas

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) seeks a Staff Attorney to work with Central American and Mexican refugee families held in a private prison in the rural South Texas community of Dilley, Texas. The families, most often a mother and one child, are fleeing from the highest levels of violence in the Western Hemisphere, but after a perilous journey are promptly jailed upon crossing the Rio Grande River. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has contracted with Corrections Corporation of America to detain up to 2,400 refugees at any given time in a compound located about 75 miles south of San Antonio.
     The vast majority of the detainees have suffered traumatic experiences, including sexual assault, robbery, extortion, and other acts of violence, in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, or on the trip north. During their confinement in the Dilley facility, the inmates are subjected to a “credible fear interview” before a USCIS asylum officer, the first step in the asylum process. Almost all of the refugees are unable to navigate the process without the professional assistance of trained lawyers and paralegals.
      In response to the government’s inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers, four non-profit organizations, collectively known as the CARA Pro Bono Project (CARA), joined forces to assure detained families have access to legal services and to end the practice of family detention. CARA’s work ignited a national movement of advocates and allies committed to standing alongside detained families to defend their rights to due process and international protection as refugees. Volunteer lawyers from all over the country come to Dilley to join a small group CARA staff for an intense week of pro bono services. For a short video about CARA’s work, see: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/How-to-crowdsource-a-refugee-ri
     Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. began assisting the CARA staff in 2016. TRLA is one of the largest legal services programs for the poor in the country. Its 180 lawyers provide civil and criminal representation to the indigent residents of South and West Texas, including representation in immigration matters. TRLA seeks to augment resources in the jail in Dilley by hiring staff attorneys to sustain this critical work in the coming year.
Duties:
     The Staff Attorney will work with detained families at the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas. The attorney will screen clients for eligibility, provide direct legal services, and collaborate closely with existing pro bono efforts. The candidate must be self-directed, creative, and motivated.  Among other duties, the attorney will:
  •  Develop specialized knowledge of asylum law and expedited removal; • Interview detained families and conduct intake; • Evaluate eligibility for relief from removal; • File motions for custody redetermination; • Assist and counsel individuals seeking asylum, including preparing for credible fear interviews and Immigration Judge review of a negative decision by an Asylum Officer; • Communicate with stakeholders, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; • Collaborate with current community partners and form new partnerships; • Participate in community legal education. Prepare educational materials, make public presentations, and participate in TRLA outreach efforts; • Supervise and/or work with legal paraprofessionals and volunteers; • Maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records; and • Fulfill all requirements necessary to remain in good standing with the State Bar and the Supreme Court of the applicable state, including but not limited to, compliance with the minimum requirements for Continuing Legal Education.
 
Qualifications:
Required Qualifications:
  •  JD from accredited university. • Licensed to practice law. If not licensed to practice law in Texas, willing to apply • Bilingual in English and Spanish • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends and accommodate an irregular work schedule • A proven commitment to supporting vulnerable immigrant populations Preferred: • Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations • Experience working with survivors of trauma • Experience coordinating community services, working with community partners, and/or participating in volunteer-based projects.
How to Apply and Related Timelines:
     For consideration, applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and three references with “Attorney Position - Family Detention Project” in the subject line, to the following individuals:
To: Monica Bustamante, Recruitment Manager, at employment@trla.org “cc”: Shalyn Fluharty, Director – Family Detention Project, at sfluharty@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.

Staff Attorney/LASSA Project - Corpus Christi

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s (“TRLA”) Legal Aid for Sexual Assault Survivors (LASSA) Project seeks attorneys to provide civil legal services to survivors of sexual assault in the Corpus Christi office.
In appropriate circumstances the attorneys will provide extended civil services to survivors who have been victims of sexual violence, including harassment, assault, abuse, or trafficking.
The attorney will screen clients for eligibility, provide direct legal services to those determined to be eligible, and will collaborate closely with community partners, including domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers.
DUTIES:
The candidate must be self-directed, empathetic, and motivated.  Among other duties, the attorney will:
● Interview survivors and conduct trauma-informed intakes ● Evaluate eligibility for TRLA services and civil legal remedies ● Establish and maintain relationships with community partners ● Assist in coordinating and supporting civil legal services in their region ● Assist and counsel individuals seeking civil legal assistance ● Coordinate with community partners to develop safety plans for survivors ● Prepare and conduct community outreach
REQUIRED: ● JD from accredited university. ● Bar Admission in any US state. Licensed to practice law in Texas highly preferred, but will consider applicants licensed in other states. ● Fluent in English and Spanish, written and spoken PREFERRED: ● Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations ● Experience working with survivors of trauma ● Experience coordinating community services/partners

Staff Attorneys - Civil Division: Rio Grande Valley/Border Region

Staff attorneys are needed at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, to provide civil legal services to indigent clients throughout its 68-county service area in Southwest Texas. The area includes rapidly growing border cities, rural communities, and large metropolitan areas like Austin and San Antonio. With 120 lawyers, TRLA operates one of the largest civil legal services programs in the country and is nationally recognized for high quality, zealous advocacy for its clients. The attorneys will specialize through one or more of the 40+ practice area teams addressing such disparate issues as immigration, domestic violence, farm labor, international child abduction, sexual assault, LGBT issues, civil rights, and employment discrimination.  Depending on the practice area or the community, the attorney might litigate complex cases in federal courts, engage in transactional work for colonia residents, or develop a litigation-oriented practice in the state courts in the region.  The border offices provide services to substantial numbers of migrant farm workers and other low-wage workers, the vast majority of whom are Hispanic and Spanish-speaking. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent fringe benefits package, including law school loan repayment.

Qualifications:

  • 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
  • Preference for lawyers who are functionally fluent in Spanish at a professional level
  • Maintain  continuing legal education requirements
For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume and references to mbustamante@trla.org and on the subject line indicate the preferred position and city.

TRLA Veteran Advocacy Project-- Rio Grande Valley

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid seeks an attorney to provide civil legal services to veterans. The attorney will be located in the Rio Grande Valley The attorney will provide extended civil services to veterans and their dependents in a wide range of civil legal matters including housing, probate, benefits, consumer, employment, homelessness, and family law The attorney will provide direct legal services to those who are eligible under grantors' rules, and will collaborate closely with community partners, including veteran service organizations, Department of Veteran Affairs medical facilities, and service providers for veterans living in homelessness.
DUTIES:
The candidates must be self-directed, empathetic, and motivated.  Among other duties, the attorney will:
  • Evaluate clients' claims and assess civil legal remedies.
  • Represent clients in all stages of litigation and in all forms of advocacy.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with community partners.
  • Support civil legal services for veterans throughout the 68-county TRLA service area, as well as in 114 Northwest Texas counties where the veteran or family member is the survivor of sexual assault.
  • Provide counsel to individuals seeking civil legal assistance.
  • Prepare and conduct community outreach.
REQUIRED:
JD from accredited university. Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, or willing to take next Texas Bar Exam. PREFERRED:
  • Dedication to and experience in serving low-income populations.
  • Experience working with veterans.
  • Experience working with community services/partners.
  • Fluent in English and Spanish, written and spoken.
 To apply, email a cover letter, resume and references to employment@trla.org.