Texas RioGrande Public Defender (TRGPD) seeks attorneys with a demonstrated commitment to rural, indigent defense and exceptional advocacy skills to serve in rural southwest Texas. TRGPD intends to increase its presence along the Texas-Mexico border by providing defense to those charged with a crime in Maverick, Dimmit, and Zavala Counties due to Operation Lone Star (OLS). OLS is a state initiative that attempts to militarize the border, criminalize those seeking asylum, and create a separate and unequal criminal justice system targeting migrants and refugees.   

TRGPD contracts with many rural Texas counties to provide public defenders in cooperation with the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. TRGPD’s Defenders are frontline advocates who have engaged in the movement to transform the criminal justice system and challenge the injustices faced by indigent defendants in rural south Texas for decades. OLS has brought on a whole new set of challenges and injustices, and TRGPD needs those interested in stepping up. TRGPD expects its public defenders to provide complete, vertical representation from intake to resolution, initial arrest to final appeal.    

TRGPD delivers client-centered legal services to address the unique needs and limited resources available to clients residing in rural and border communities.  Special initiatives within TRGPD include advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction, trauma-informed and mental health advocacy, assistance with applying for government aid and/or housing, and assistance with substance abuse as alternative solutions to incarceration. 

With caseload controls, staff investigators, mental health and substance abuse caseworkers, and a litigation budget, TRGPD is deeply committed to zealous, high-quality representation for its clients.  We offer the advantage of having robust staff support with a 2-1 attorney-to-support staff ratio and the flexibility and willingness to support employee growth.  

Beyond salary, benefits include law school loan repayment assistance, generous paid leave, healthcare insurance, retirement plan, and training & travel stipends. TRGPD Defenders train with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Gideon’s Promise, the National Association for Public Defense, and other associations that are committed to the transformation of indigent defense and criminal justice reform. 

TRGPD is committed to offering fair and equal employment opportunities to all job applicants and employees. We strictly prohibit any form of discrimination and harassment of any type based on race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.  

Applicants must be willing to relocate to Eagle Pass, TX. Compensation commensurate with experience, ranging from $100,000 - $140000 / yr + plus eligible for moving expenses and other incentives Nestled along the scenic Rio Grande, Eagle Pass, Texas, is a vibrant border town with a rich cultural tapestry and a tight-knit community spirit. Boasting a dynamic blend of Texan charm and Mexican influence, Eagle Pass offers an unparalleled backdrop for an attorney looking to make a difference. As the focal point of Operation Lone Star, an initiative aimed at bolstering border security, Eagle Pass presents a unique opportunity for attorneys passionate about defending the rights of individuals caught in the crosshairs of immigration and criminal law. With a steady flow of legal cases stemming from this operation, attorneys in Eagle Pass are at the forefront of advocating for justice and ensuring fair treatment for their clients. Beyond its legal significance, Eagle Pass captivates with its scenic beauty, offering outdoor enthusiasts ample opportunities for recreation along the picturesque Rio Grande. From exploring historic forts to savoring authentic Tex-Mex cuisine, life in Eagle Pass is rich with cultural experiences and community connections. For attorneys seeking a fulfilling professional journey amidst a backdrop of natural beauty and cultural diversity, Eagle Pass beckons as a place where their legal expertise can truly make a difference in the lives of those they defend under Operation Lone Star. Qualifications: Licensed to practice law in Texas or willing to take the next available Texas bar exam; At least three years of criminal litigation experience as a licensed attorney; Experience with appeals; Proficiency in Office and legal research software; and Professional fluency in Spanish (preferred). Preferred applicants will demonstrate an interest in providing justice to those who need it most, have worked in a public defender office, have strong academic credentials, and want to live and work in communities where our clients have the greatest needs. TRGPD is also looking for attorneys who aspire to become leaders both within our division and in the larger public defender community.
Job Contact
Kimberly Simmons
(210) 321-9865 info@trgpd.org