Jim Harrington

TCRP Director and Attorney

Jim HarringtonJim Harrington, a human rights attorney with nearly four decades of experience, is founder and director of the Texas Civil Rights Project. He graduated from the School of Law at the University of Detroit, from where he also holds a Masters in philosophy. He has taught at the University of Texas School of Law as an adjunct professor for twenty-six years. Harrington has handled landmark civil rights cases, written and published widely, and served on human rights delegations in different areas of the world.

Jim Harrington was born in Lansing, Michigan, and received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit, from where he also had earned a Master’s degree in philosophy (1969).

After graduation from law school, Harrington worked ten years as Director of the South Texas Project in the Rio Grande Valley. Much of his legal work there involved asserting the rights of farm laborers and poor people, especially Valley colonias. He handled major lawsuits involving police brutality, grand jury discrimination, and farm worker organizing.

Harrington moved to Austin in 1983 to become Legal Director of the Texas Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc., where he litigated ground-breaking cases involving free speech, privacy, and equal rights for farm laborers to worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits. He also helped organize the East Austin pro bono clinic.

In 1990, Harrington founded the Texas Civil Rights Project, a statewide community-based, non-profit foundation that promotes social, racial, and economic justice and civil liberty, through litigation and public education, for low income and poor persons. Harrington has handled landmark cases involving privacy, voting rights, free speech and assembly, and the rights of persons with disabilities and overseen the publication of twelve reports on human rights in Texas.

Additionally, Harrington helped direct the Americans with Disabilities Act National Backup Center for two years, and traveled to more than twenty states and U.S. territories organizing ADA litigation and enforcement campaigns like those he organized in Texas.

2013 Austin Bar Association Video

Harrington is author of Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey: The Political Trials and Times of Fethullah Gülen, The Texas Bill of Rights: A Commentary and Litigation Manual, “¡Alto a la Impunidad! Is There Legal Relief for the Murders of Women in Ciudad Juárez?,” myriad law review articles, and a wide assortment of op-ed pieces and book reviews.

Harrington also served as 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, as well as a summer course in civil liberties for international college students.

Harrington has served on human rights delegations to Honduras and Nicaragua (during the contra war), Chile (during Pinochet regime), Israel and Palestinian territories, Guatemala, and México (Chiapas), and visited Turkey as part of an interfaith group.

He has received numerous awards for public service and assistance to the poor and coordinates the Saturday morning ecumenical Micah 6 food pantry in Austin.

For Jim Harrington’s Resume click here [pdf 161 kb]

For more information about Jim’s availability, please email Eva Sikes at eva.tcrp@gmail.com