Attorney-Staff Public Defender

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Job location
310 E Mirasoles
Rio Grande City, TX 78582
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA)
Street address: 
301 S. Texas Avenue
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The TRLA Texas Rural Defender Service seeks an experienced, felony-qualified attorney for its office serving Duval and Jim Hogg Counties. The Starr Regional Public Defender Program, from its office in Rio Grande City, serves Starr, Jim Hogg and Duval Counties. This position may be located in the TRLA office in Corpus Christi, but serving clients charged with crimes or juvenile offenses in the Hebbronville/San Diego area. With caseload controls, staff investigators and a solid litigation budget, the program emphasizes zealous, holistic 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 federally-funded 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 vigorous 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. A mental health component has recently been added to the program.

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and provides a comprehensive range of employee benefits, including health care coverage, law school loan repayment benefits, continuing legal education and training, and a 401k pension program.

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.


• 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: 

To apply, email a cover letter, resume and references to [email protected]

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Commensurate with experience, plus an excellent fringe benefits package.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, December 15, 2017