POSITION AVAILABLE: Investigator, NDS Texas (Laredo)

NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE has created NDS Texas, a new client-centered, holistic public defense office to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border by providing criminal defense representation and Padilla consultations to individuals arrested by Texas law enforcement along that border through Operation Lone Star. 

NDS represents non-citizen clients who are charged with crimes and who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, client advocates, and team administrators. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes. NDS is committed to addressing the comprehensive legal needs of clients. NDS Texas is funded by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.

NDS Texas opened in January 2022 in San Antonio, and a second office will open in Houston in August or September 2022. This position is based remotely in Laredo, and the Investigator will work in a six-county area around Laredo. Periodic travel to San Antonio and Houston, the jails, and other locations along the border will be required. Most legal proceedings will initially occur via Zoom.


  1. Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client‐centered, community‐based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence by providing vigorous representation with energy and enthusiasm to clients.
  2. Work closely with team members in preparing clients’ cases.
  3. Conduct the team’s investigative work, including:
    • Identifying, locating, and interviewing witnesses;
    • Visiting, photographing, and diagramming locations;
    • Obtaining documents, reports, and other materials from a variety of sources;
    • Preparing investigative reports and trial exhibits;
    • Reviewing discovery, video, and documents received from the prosecution.
  4. Testify at trial.
  5. Document investigative work in the case management system.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will bring:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, racial equity, and social justice issues, and a substantive understanding of the biases impacting our clients.
  1. An ability to quickly build relationships with people of varying identities, income levels, races and ethnicities.
  2. A high level of organization and administrative skills to handle a high caseload and multi-task in a very fast-paced environment.
  3. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  4. Energy, enthusiasm, and ingenuity to gather and develop information from a broad spectrum of sources, ranging from community residents to county, state, and federal agencies.
  5. An ability to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  6. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
  7. Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply. Spanish language fluency is strongly preferred.

Compensation: Compensation is commensurate with experience and is in adherence to the NDS compensation scale. Exceptional benefits package includes full medical and dental for employee and family, retirement, life and AD&D insurance, paid vacation, holiday, and sick time.

How to Apply:

Interviews are being held on a rolling basis, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to texashiring@neighborhooddefender.org with the subject line, “Texas Investigator.”

For more information about NDS, please visit our website at www.neighborhooddefender.org.

Neighborhood Defender Service is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. NDS values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non‐ conforming, and gender fluid people.