Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Posted by OPI at 1:06 PM in Pro Bono Honors Pledge

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If you’ll be in Texas over the break, check out the opportunity below.  

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has 15 offices with 300 staffers in 69 Texas Counties and several more counties in some southern states where Texas migrant farm workers go to work.

TRLA needs help with a large "mass action" case in which it represents 79 indigent families against a dealer of manufactured homes who defrauded or deceived them in the sale of homes to them.  TRLA is preparing for a large jury trial later next year.  Right now TRLA is preparing complaints to send to a Texas state agency for reimbursement from a state fund.  TRLA needs to get a jury award on the case before it can submit the claim to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA).

The work would entail reviewing the client file, filling in an administrative complaint form, drafting transmittal letters to both the client and to TDHCA, and filing the complaint to avoid tolling the administrative statute of limitations before TRLA gets the jury award. TRLA will file an amended administrative complaint after obtaining a jury award.  The range of complaint amounts varies from $7,000 to $32,000. There is a plethora of tv and press reports which tell more of the story.  Google "Jo Leigh Ares" aka "Park Girl" for the South Texas area to find these reports.

The volunteers would work in San Antonio.  TRLA’s clients are down in the Rio Grande Valley about 300 miles from San Antonio.  The TDHCA is in Austin.

Ideally, the law students should be proficient in Word and Excel plus Lexis. Spanish speaking ability would be great but not required.  Business experience would also be great but not required.  Before starting, the student would spend about 6 hours just reading a training manual and learning our computer system. Interested students should e-mail Raúl Noriega with a resumé at RNoriega@trla.org

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