Director, Texas Civil Rights Project
Jim Harrington received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit. He worked then as the Director of the South Texas Project in the Rio Grande Valley. His legal work was mostly involved asserting the rights of farm laborers and poor people in Valley. He moved to Austin in 1983 to become Legal Director of the Texas Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc. Where he handled ground-breaking cases involving free speech, privacy, and equal rights for farm workers. In 1990, Harrington founded the Texas Civil Rights Project, a state-wide community-based, non-profit civil rights foundation that promotes social, racial, and economic justice and civil liberty, through the legal system and public education, for low income and poor persons. Harrington has handled numerous landmark cases involving grand jury discrimination, police misconduct, privacy, voting rights, free speech and assembly, and the rights of persons with disabilities.
During his thirty-one years as a lawyer, Harrington has sought redress in state and federal courts in order to protect individual rights and liberties. Harrington has received numerous awards and honours for his public service and assistance to the poor. He is author of The Texas Bill of Rights: A Commentary and Litigation Manual, myriad law review articles, and various book reviews. Harrington has served on human rights delegations to Honduras and Nicaragua (1984), Chile (1987), Israel and Palestinian territories (1988), Guatemala (1992 and 1998), and Mexico (Chiapas 1999). He also is an adjunct professor at University of Texas Law School and he has also taught at St. Mary’s University School of Law.