Founded in 1970 to represent Texas farmworkers, TRLA has grown into the nation’s second largest legal aid provider and the largest in Texas.
TRLA provides free civil legal services to residents in 68 Southwest Texas counties, and represents migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout the state and in six other southern states. TRLA also operates public defender programs that serve at least 10 Texas counties, representing low-income and indigent people accused of felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile crimes. TRLA serves about 23,000 clients each year. However, more than 2.6 million residents of Southwest Texas are considered eligible for TRLA services, a ratio of almost 21,000 potential clients per legal aid lawyer. As a result, thousands of low-income Texans still lack access to civil legal representation.