Jim Harrington

TCRP Director and Attorney

Jim HarringtonBorn in Lansing, Michigan, Jim Harrington received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit, from where he also had earned a Master’s degree in philosophy.

After law school, Harrington worked ten years as Director of the South Texas Project in the Rio Grande Valley, along the Mexican border. His legal work involved asserting the rights of farm laborers and poor people in Valley, especially its colonias, where he handled litigation involving police brutality, discrimination, and farm worker organizing.

In 1983, Harrington became Legal Director of the Texas Civil Liberties Union in Austin, where he litigated cases involving privacy as a fundamental right, free speech, and equal rights for farm laborers to worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits. He also helped organize the evening East Austin pro bono clinic for low-income people.

In 1990, Harrington founded the Texas Civil Rights Project, a statewide non-profit foundation that promotes social, racial, and economic justice and civil liberty, through the legal system and public education, for low income and poor persons. The Project has a staff of 40 with offices in Austin, El Paso, San Juan, Houston, and Odessa. Harrington has handled cases involving grand jury discrimination, voting rights, free speech and assembly, and the rights of persons with disabilities.

2013 Austin Bar Association Video

Harrington was an adjunct professor at University of Texas Law School for 27 years and continues to teach undergraduate writing courses at the university in civil liberties and history-making trials. He volunteered nearly ten years as a Saturday coordinator for the ecumenical Micah 6 food pantry.

Harrington has served on human rights delegations to Honduras and Nicaragua, Chile, Israel and Palestinian territories, and Guatemala. He has visited Turkey twice as part of interfaith and judicial delegations.

Harrington is author of Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey: The Political Trials and Times of Fethullah Gülen and The Texas Bill of Rights: A Commentary and Litigation Manual, myriad law review articles, a broad assortment of op-ed pieces, and a half-dozen legal self-help manuals. He has traveled nationally and internationally, lecturing on his books or discussing civil society.

His most recent book, which he co-authored, is Three Mystics Walk into a Tavern: A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de León in Medieval Venice.

For Jim Harrington’s Resume click here [pdf 193 kb]

For more information about Jim’s availability, please email Rolando Perez at rolando.tcrp@gmail.com