Texas RioGrande Legal Aid under new leadership in 2018

MERCEDES — The head of a nonprofit organization that provides pro-bono legal services to low-income residents is stepping down next month.

Robert Doggett will be replacing David Hall as the executive director for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid effective Jan. 6. Hall, credited as a leader who “pioneered delivery of legal assistance” to the organization’s clients, is considered an instrumental figure in developing TRLA.

For more than 40 years, Hall has helped lead efforts to grow the nonprofit into an operation that serves 25,000 Texans annually, according to a news release.

“We are fortunate to have someone like Robert take on leadership of TRLA,” Hall said in the release of his successor, whose work has been recognized within his profession and in local communities throughout Texas. “He has been a powerful, tireless advocate for low-income Texans, acting as counsel or co-counsel in cases that have benefited not only our individual clients but also their larger communities. Under his leadership, TRLA will continue its trajectory as an aggressive defender of the people often least able to defend themselves.”

Doggett is a general counsel who has litigated precedent-setting cases for TRLA and other legal aid groups for 27 years, the release states.

Headquartered in Mercedes with 22 additional offices spread throughout much of the state, TRLA’s legal services are available in 68 Texas counties and include migrant and family law as well as social justice issues. Other practices include labor and housing rights, as well as economic and individual rights, among additional services.

“TRLA is an exemplary legal services program because of the dedication, passion and talent of its staff,” Hall said in the release. “I am leaving with full confidence that those attributes will sustain this program for decades to come as a zealous force for the communities it serves.”

Doggett said accepting the executive directorship is “a great honor and greater responsibility.”

“David has cut the path for us for 40 years, and I intend to help keep us on it,” Doggett said in the release.