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Board of Director (multiple positions)


Texas RioGrande Public Defender (TRGPD), a non-profit organization providing high-quality legal representation to indigent clients in South Texas, seeks qualified individuals to serve on our Board of Directors. In rural counties where resources are scarce, Texas RioGrande Public Defender brings together dedicated, creative attorneys and support staff to achieve justice for indigent clients at no cost to them. Our wide network of talented advocates with diverse expertise and skills allows us to collaborate and provide our clients with the kind of legal representation otherwise unavailable in our service area. We are at the forefront of defending the disadvantaged and protecting individual rights in rural communities. We are a crucial voice in our clients’ lives, fervently advocating for fairness, full consideration, and freedom as the full power of the government is aligned against them.


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. TRGPD holds contracts to provide public defense services to Bee, Live Oak, McMullen, Refugio, Goliad, and Willacy counties and also provides defense to indigent defendants charged under Operation Lone Star. 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.


TRGPD hopes to establish a Board that reflects a diverse set of skills, expertise, and perspectives to effectively guide and support the organization. We’re looking for individuals with varied backgrounds and life experiences to serve several key roles and become valuable contributors to the Board. Prospective candidates to be considered are:

  1. Criminal defense lawyers, specifically individuals who can provide valuable insights into the legal challenges faced by public defender’s offices and guide legal strategies in Texas;
  2. Community representatives who can help ensure that our office remains accountable to the community we serve and help build bridges between the office and the public;
  3. Former clients or family members of clients to provide a unique perspective and help ensure TRGPD remains client-centered;
  4. Non-profit professionals who have experience in nonprofit administration and management and can bring valuable knowledge of best practices for public defender offices;
  5. Diversity and inclusion advocates to ensure diversity on the board and assist TRGPD in promoting the values of diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization;
  6. Data collection and analysis professionals to assist TRGPD to define how we are currently performing and help identify areas of growth, while also guiding TRGPD to be transparent; or
  7. Fundraising experts who understand the Texas Legislature and the services we provide outside of our Sixth Amendment obligations to guide TRGPD in the most effective ways to bring in additional monies to support our mission.



Essential Functions

  • Attend and participate in meetings of the Board of Directors
  • Participate in development and execution of strategic plans
  • Assist with membership recruitment and retention
  • Formulate, review and oversee policies and procedures that govern the organization
  • Actively participate on ad hoc and standing committees of the Board of Directors
  • Participate in developing, approving and maintaining awareness of various TRGPD budgets and public defender service contracts
  • Recommend revisions to board policies and bylaws
  • Participate in annual board self-assessment
  • Adhere to all TRGPD policies and procedures, i.e. conflict of interest, confidentiality, etc.
  • Maintain awareness and adherence to the Bylaws
  • Promote TRGPD and its mission
  • Maintain appropriate relationships with other public defender offices, non-profit organizations, the community and funders
  • Ensure effective communication with TRGPD staff, volunteers and the communities TRGPD serves
  • Identify potential donors and facilitate relationships  between them and TRGPD
  • Attend and represent TRGPD at community events
  • Aid in Grant Research and Writing



New Board members are elected by the current Board of Directors and serve until resignation, death or removal. This is a volunteer position. 

To Apply: 

Please submit a TRGPD Board Member application and letter of interest.




Submission Deadline: 
March 4, 2024
Organization Information: 
Texas RioGrande Public Defender Mercedes, TX 78750
United States