Legal Director

Posted by
American Bar Association
Harlingen, TX
Published 23 days ago

ProBAR’s Legal Director leads a diverse and growing team of passionate advocates who serve detained adults and unaccompanied children on the frontlines of immigration. Whether directing provision of legal services under our funding agreements, analyzing changes to immigration law and policy, or developing legal advocacy strategies, the Legal Director has an opportunity to apply their expertise in service to the best interests of our clients in an evolving immigration landscape. The Legal Director also plays an invaluable role in shaping the development of the department’s attorneys and support staff and overseeing recruitment, training, and supervision activities to ensure a strong, resilient, and cohesive team.



Incentives Offered: 

· Sign-On Bonus offered to licensed attorneys*

· Additional bonuses offered for continuous service at 2 year, 3 year, & 4 year service anniversaries*

· Relocation stipend offered for in-state and out-of-state relocation*

 *Restrictions Apply 



Job Summary/ General Purpose of Job 

Directs the work of ProBAR’s Legal Department which provides legal representation and other legal services to detained adults and detained unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley Texas border region. This position will require regular involvement with individuals living in difficult circumstances and who may have experienced trauma. This position is based in Harlingen, TX, and requires local and regional traveling, including visiting detention facilities and meeting with detained individuals. 


Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities (listed in order of importance and/or time spent)

  • Directs the Legal Department in the provision of legal services to detained immigrants including adults and unaccompanied children. Develops legal strategies, including contributing to analyzing public policy issues in Texas and nationwide.
  • Develops legal strategies to implement immigration legal changes, including overseeing federal litigation efforts.
  • Ensures correct execution of legal programs, including legal orientations and direct representation. This role has a strong component of implementing grant-funded projects within the Legal Department and of collaborating with ProBAR leadership to ensure grant stewardship.
  • Communicates regularly with appropriate leadership regarding issues related to the provision of legal services within the department. Assists management in the provision of reports and information to funders as required.
  • Ensures compliance with current funding requirements as to provision of representation and other legal services.
  • Directs the recruitment, direction, training and work activities of the Legal Department . Seeks and develops opportunities for training on relevant issues and areas to further the work of department. Maintains stakeholder relationships to facilitate and promote Legal Department’s work.
  • Supervises and mentors supervising attorneys and supervising paralegals .
  • Reports to ProBAR’s Director of Programs and collaborates with other directors on program strategy to ensure high-quality services and representation for immigrant children and adults
  • Directly supervises supervising attorneys and supervising paralegals.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Required Education, Qualifications, Experience

  • Possession of a Juris Doctorate or Master of Law (LLM) from an ABA accredited law school.
  • Licensed to practice law and member in good standing of any State Bar .
  • At least four years ’ of proven experience practicing immigration law related to detained adults and detained child respondents in removal proceedings .
  • At least two years of proven experience leading and inspiring talented and diverse teams, including attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants
  • Demonstrated success interviewing, hiring, onboarding and training staff, with particular attention to attorneys and supervising attorneys
  • Proven experience ensuring cross-functional team collaborations, leading diverse teams, and promoting a positive work atmosphere in a fast-paced and detailed-oriented environment.
  • Strong sense of prioritization, including meeting deadlines and ensuring project implementation
  • Intermediate proficiency with online research and Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, OneDrive, Teams)
  • Proven experience with conducting virtual meetings, training, and observations on software such as Zoom, Teams, etc.
  • High-level proficiency in English, including strong writing skills
  • Fluency in Spanish, including the ability to converse in Spanish with staff and clients
  • Possesses an understanding of, and experience with, leading bi-lingual and bi-cultural teams
  • Must have reliable transportation to travel between office and off-site work locations.
  • This position requires the ability to travel to and enter care provider facilities funded by the office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services which provide housing and services to unaccompanied children. This position will require the provision of legal services to unaccompanied children in such care provider facilities. In accordance with the federal regulation, background check will be required for this position.

Preferred Education, Qualifications, Experience

  • Licensed to practice law in the state of Texas .
  • Prior non-profit experience, particularly involving immigration detention
  • Federal litigation experience
  • Advanced English and Spanish speaking and writing skills.
  • Non-profit sector experience
  • Prior work experience with children, particularly from Central America and including indigenous language speaking populations .

Physical Requirements 

Typical office environment with frequent visits to immigration detention facilities and immigration court.

Extent of Travel Required in the Job

 As a normal course of business, this job will typically require travel of up to 10% of the time. 

Benefits Offered

· Medical and prescription insurance      

· Dental insurance

· Vision insurance                                   

· Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

· Voluntary life insurance                        

· Short and long term disability insurance

· Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  

· Prepaid Legal Plan

· 401(k)                                                   

· Paid company holidays

· Personal time off                                  

· Vacation time off

· PSLF Participant

The Organization

ProBAR empowers immigrants through high-quality legal education, representation, and connections to services. ProBAR serves immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley border region with a particular focus on the legal needs of adults and unaccompanied children in federal custody. Founded in 1989 as a project of the American Bar Association, ProBAR’s office is located in Harlingen, TX. For more information about ProBAR, please visit our website:


The Location:

ProBAR is located in the Rio Grande Valley, a thriving region that boasts a rich culture, affordable cost of living, subtropical climate, and beautiful natural areas to enjoy. Recent growth has brought the RGV unprecedented investments in higher education and scientific research. Three local airports connect RGV residents to destinations around the country while Mexico is only a short drive away. The region's delicious food, world-class nature parks, and the beaches of South Padre Island provide ample opportunities to relax and recharge! 

COVID-19 Response:

ProBAR leadership has responded proactively to support the health and wellbeing of our staff and the individuals we serve. We are currently providing the majority of our legal services remotely while telecommuting. During this period of remote work, we continue to accept applications and interview for open positions.


The Application Process:

Submit an online application including your cover letter and resume.

Hiring range based on experience: $95,740.00 to $107,113.00

ProBAR’s Legal Director leads a diverse and growing team of passionate advocates who serve detained adults and unaccompanied children on the frontlines of immigration. Whether directing provision of legal services under our funding…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Education
    J.D. Required
  • Professional Level


USD 95,740 - USD 107,113

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in Spanish, including the ability to converse in Spanish with staff and clients.

Fluency in Spanish, including the ability to converse in Spanish with staff and clients.


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Harlingen, TX
Associated Location
202 S 1st St, Harlingen, TX 78550, USA

How to Apply

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.