Texas RioGrande Public Defender (TRGPD) seeks a Managing Attorney to assist in the management and administration of the Operation Lone Star Team. The Managing Attorney assists the Operation Lone Star Legal Team Director in planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the staff assigned to Operation Lone Star Defense.

TRGPD serves indigent defendants in several rural Texas counties, all south of San Antonio. Operation Lone Star is a state initiative that attempts to militarize the border, criminalize seeking asylum, and create a separate and unequal criminal justice system targeting migrants. Attorneys on the Operation Lone Star Team will work under the supervision of the Team Director to provide clients with high-quality representation from intake to resolution, including advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction.

TRGPD’s attorneys 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 over a decade. We provide complete, vertical representation from intake to resolution. Except for cases involving a conflict of interest or the death penalty, TRPD attorney’s represent persons accused of crimes from 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 in rural South Texas. Attorney 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.


• Receives direction from the Team Director and the TRGPD Executive Director.

• Assists in administering the programs and operations of Operation Lone Star and managing staff.

• Works in partnership with the Team Director to implement keys strategies and initiatives to achieve Operation Lone Star goals and objectives

• Maintain a caseload that includes high level felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile cases;

• Manage cases from intake to final resolution, including pretrial, trial, appeals, and additional motion practice, as needed;

• Work with the Team Director to identify systemic issues within their service area;

• Mentor and train newly licensed attorneys within Operation Lone Star, by assisting in case file reviews, developing trainings, attending court hearings with young attorneys, and serving as lead counsel or co-counsel on trials with new lawyers, as needed;

• Maintain a supportive and positive work environment for their team; and

• Contribute to the progress and development of TRGPD as a whole.

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 may live in or near Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Harlingen, or Eagle Pass. Preference for candidates willing to live in Central Texas, closer to the border. QUALIFICATIONS AND PREFERENCES: Licensed to practice law in Texas or willing to take the next available Texas bar exam; • At least five years of criminal litigation experience as a licensed attorney; • At least 3 trials before a jury as lead counsel; • Demonstrated management and leadership skills; • Proficiency in Office365, legal research software, and other case management systems; and • Professional fluency in Spanish preferred, but not required. Preferred applicants will demonstrate a commitment to indigent defense and criminal justice reform; have worked in a public defender office; have exceptional advocacy, management, and leadership skills; are solution oriented and creative in their ideas on how to solve systemic issues within the criminal justice system; are passionate about the development and training of the new generation of the indigent defense attorneys; and want to live and work in communities where TRGPD clients have the greatest needs. TRGPD is also looking for attorneys that aspire to become leaders both within the organization and in the larger public defender community.
Job Contact
Kimberly Simmons
(210) 321-9865 info@trgpd.org