The University of New Mexico School of Law Viewbook

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GLANCE We’re small, student-centric, a great value, and we focus on what matters. Our student-focused approach to legal education is a key reason that students choose the UNM School of Law. Our 5.1:1 student-to-faculty ratio is one of the lowest in the nation and offers students the opportunity to engage in-depth with faculty without being a nameless face in the crowd. The rigorous curriculum, hands-on opportunities, nationally-ranked Clinical Law Program, extraordinary access to local attorneys and judges, and specialized programs and seminars all contribute to the professional development of students. Additionally, the UNM School of Law boasts one of the most diverse faculty and student bodies in the nation and prides itself on opening access to the legal profession.






DEGREES OFFERED Students who wish to enhance their JD by engaging in a related field of study may do so through a dual degree program. Juris Doctor (JD) JD/Master of Arts in Accounting JD/Master of Arts in Latin American Studies JD/Master of Public Administration

Consistently recognized as a Best Value Law School by preLaw Magazine

While only the above programs offer formalized dual degrees, students may earn their JD in conjunction with any graduate-level program offered at the University of New Mexico. With prior approval, up to 6 credits from another field of study may be credited to the required 84 credit hours of JD coursework. No credit may be given for work completed prior to matriculation in the JD program.


Our Unique First-Year Curriculum First-Year Required Curriculum Our first-year curriculum consists of required doctrinal classes, intended to provide the foundation for legal training. FALL - 15 credits

SPRING - 13 credits

Contracts I Criminal Law Elements of Legal Argumentation I Lab Torts

Civil Procedure I Elements of Legal Argumentation II Introduction to Constitutional Law Introduction to Legal Research Property I

What is Lab? Lab is designed to introduce students to the practice of law and begin development of their professional identity. Through this course, students learn the nature of the attorney-client relationship and how the rule of law and legal process impact their clients’ lives, as well as their own lives. Taking a practical, problem-centered approach, students are introduced to cultural competency, professionalism, ethics, case development and theory, fact investigation and development, client interviewing and counseling, lawyer well-being, and more. Other Requirements To graduate, JD students must complete a total of 84 credit hours. In addition to the first-year required curriculum, students must complete Applied Legal Research, Constitutional Rights, and Ethics. Students must also complete a writing seminar, a drafting course, and 6 credit hours of Clinic.

Law and Indigenous Peoples Program At the UNM School of Law, Indian Law is a prominent part of the curriculum, providing a wealth of opportunities for students to learn about the complex legal and political issues facing tribal nations in the modern era. The Law & Indigenous Peoples Program offers a wide variety of courses, including: • Criminal Law in Indian Country • Indian Water Law • Indian Children, Youth, and Families • Indian Law Appellate Advocacy • Jurisdiction in Indian Country • Tribal Appellate Advocacy

Indian Law Certificate Students who wish to specialize in Indian Law may earn a Certificate, gaining the advanced skills and expertise required in the competitive environment of Indian Law practice today. The Certificate requires completion of 21 credit hours of courses within the Law & Indigenous Peoples Program.

Southwest Indian Law Clinic Students may satisfy their Clinic requirement through the Southwest Indian Law Clinic (SILC). In SILC, students provide representation to Native clients in tribal, state, and federal courts. Students also work on special projects for tribes, pueblos, and community groups. Under the direction of Professor Sam Winder (Southern Ute Indian Tribe), SILC focuses on community-building, multicultural literacy, collaborative lawyering, and multidisciplinary problem solving. This Clinic is open to all students, and is required for those completing the Indian Law Certificate.

Tribal Law Journal The Tribal Law Journal is dedicated to discussing the internal laws of Indigenous nations. Areas of focus for the Journal include case notes and comments, issue papers, tribal legal profiles, and articles submitted by legal scholars and tribal law practitioners. Students can begin working on the Journal in their 2L year.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law The UNM School of Law strives to prepare students to be leaders who will participate in the key decisions that affect the environment, either as employees within various federal, state, tribal, and local agencies who have regulatory authority over natural resources and the environment, or with the private entities and non-profit organizations that appear before them. Our nationally-ranked Natural Resources & Environmental Law Program offers a wide variety of courses, including: • Animal Law • Energy Law • Environmental Law • Land Use Regulation Planning • Natural Resources Law • Oil and Gas Law • Water Law Natural Resources & Environmental Law Certificate Students who wish to specialize in Natural Resources & Environmental Law may earn a Certificate, establishing a solid foundation for practicing in Natural Resources Law or Environmental Law. The Certificate requires completion of 21 credit hours of relevant coursework. Armed with this foundation, our graduates have earned employment with the US Interior Solicitor’s Office, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and various state agencies.

Natural Resources & Environmental Law Clinic Students may satisfy their Clinic requirement through the Natural Resources & Environmental Law Clinic. Under the direction of Professor Gabe Pacyniak, students provide a wide variety of legal services, including appearances in administrative, legislative, and judicial proceedings. Students provide representation to underrepresented individuals, community-based groups, non-profit organizations, and tribal governments, with the goal of improving public health and protecting and preserving the land and natural resources. This Clinic is open to all students, and is required for those completing the Natural Resources & Environmental Law Certificate.

Natural Resources & Environmental Law Journal The Natural Resources & Environmental Law Journal is policy-oriented and seeks to overcome the isolation of scholars in various disciplines who are concerned with natural and environmental resources. The Journal is guided by its formative principle of interdisciplinary collaboration in solving resource-related problems. Contributors come from various disciplines, represent many countries, and provide numerous approaches to the complex issues raised by the need to balance resource development and environmental concerns. Students can begin working on the Journal in their 2L year.


ONE OF THE NATION’S BEST CLINICAL PROGRAMS “The UNM School of Law’s enduring commitment to practical legal training and participation in the legal system while still in law school means that, for more than 50 years, every student has participated in our nationally-ranked Clinic. The law school dedicates significant resources to making sure that every student gets hands-on experience as a lawyer under the expert supervision and constant support of our experienced clinical faculty: graduates are primed for immediate success as lawyers because they have already had experience representing clients during law school. Students in the UNM School of Law Clinical Law Program advocate for real clients in real cases and provide free legal assistance to some of New Mexico’s most marginalized and underserved communities. Our Clinic is one of the largest legal service providers in New Mexico, serving our clients in federal, state, and tribal courts across a wide array of practice areas. With the recent addition of a new Clinic van, we are able to take our students and our mobile law office to provide legal services to communities across New Mexico.”

SERGE MARTINEZ Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and Professor of Law

Clinical Law Program All students at the UNM School of Law complete a 6-credit Clinic course in their 3L year. Students gain real-world experience by assisting clients in one of our 5 Clinic sections: • Child and Family Justice Clinic • Community Lawyering Clinic • Economic Justice Clinic • Natural Resources & Environmental Law Clinic • Southwest Indian Law Clinic

Hands-On Training Moot Court and Mock Trial Learn to control the courtroom by participating in academic competitions. • Hone your trial advocacy skills by participating in the National Mock Trial Competition. • Moot court competitions are designed to teach students how to produce a cohesive appellate brief and master the appellate argument.

Journals UNM publishes 3 student-run journals. • Natural Resources Journal • New Mexico Law Review • Tribal Law Journal

Experiential Courses The courses below combine lectures and class discussion with real-world lawyering. Several offer the opportunity to represent actual clients under the close supervision of faculty or practicing attorneys. • Appellate Law in Practice • Appellate Decision Making • Criminal Law in Practice • DWI and Domestic Violence Prosecution in Practice • Evidence and Trial Practice

Externships Externs gain valuable practical skills in a real-world setting while working with a supervising attorney. As an extern, you confront actual legal problems and analyze the various roles that lawyers or legal institutions play in their communities. • Agency Externships • Alternative Dispute Externships • Judicial Externships • Semester in Washington D.C. NATIONWIDE LEADER IN PUBLIC INTEREST EMPLOYMENT

BORDER JUSTICE INITIATIVE The Border Justice Initiative (BJI) was created in 2019 in response to the ongoing and escalating humanitarian crisis at the border. BJI provides students interested in Immigration Law with hands-on opportunities to ensure the legal system’s just treatment of immigrants at our southern border, with a particular focus on representation for women, children, and families. The Border Justice Intensive is a service-learning course immersing students in the ever-changing legal and human needs of communities at the New Mexico and Texas borders with Mexico, and providing an in-depth understanding of the collection of collaborative organizations necessary to serve these communities. Students learn from and work with legal, medical, and other non-profit providers, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Derechos Humanos Integrales en Acción, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and Hope Border Institute. Students also observe immigration court proceedings. BJI also works as a conduit to place students and graduates with various organizations to ensure immigrants have access to legal services. Students may earn a summer stipend to participate in the Border Justice Externship course, working directly with one of our partner organizations. In 2022, Jorge Rodriguez (class of 2022) was named as the inaugural Border Justice Fellow, placed with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas.

Legal services provided to over 174 people

SEMESTER IN D.C. Work full-time for credit at a governmental agency or non-profit organization in D.C. and take a seminar taught by UNM School of Law faculty, where you learn from and interact with judges, practicioners, and national political leaders. During the Semester in D.C., students work 35 hours per week in an area government agency, non-profit or other approved organization under supervision of a licensed attorney. There is a mandatory weekly 3-hour class component taught by a law school professor at a location to be determined each semester. In addition, students are paired with attorney mentors who meet with students, set up networking opportunities, social events, and provide invaluable guidance. The Washington D.C. metro area boasts the largest group of UNM School of Law alumni outside the state of New Mexico. These alumni are incredibly engaged with the UNM School of Law and have been instrumental in ensuring that students feel welcome, easily acclimate to the city, and receive ample support while participating in the Semester in D.C. Our students and alumni leave a distinctly New Mexican mark on national policies and legal developments.


ENCHANTMENT With over 300 days of sunshine each year and a mild climate, Albuquerque is perfect for hiking in the Sandia Mountains, biking along the Rio Grande, taking a ride on the tram, and strolling through the plaza. Our museums, galleries, performance spaces, sporting events, cafes, resturaunts, wineries, breweries, and concert venues ensure there are abundant ways to enjoy life beyond the classroom.

New Mexico’s 8 alpine and 3 nordic ski areas provide exceptional skiing and snowboarding and a wide range of enjoyable lodging options.

In the fall, the smoky, sweet smell of fresh roasted green chile permeates the air. All year long, our state question is “Red or Green?”

The Sandia Mountains provide more than just a gorgeous view. Enjoy hiking, biking, or riding the Sandia Tram.









Albuquerque hosts the world’s largest hot air balloon fiesta in October. It is also home to many trails, and the Rio Grande flows though the heart of the city. You can enjoy gorgeous views and temperate weather year-round as you immerse yourself in the unique culture New Mexico has to offer.

MADRID SUMMER LAW INSTITUTE The Madrid Summer Law institute is a 4-week, 5-credit summer law program in Madrid, Spain. Classes meet Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., giving students ample opportunity to experience life in Europe. The U.S. administration of the program takes place at the UNM School of Law at The University of New Mexico, and all classes are offered at the Facultad de Ciencas Jurìdicas y Sociales at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. The Madrid Summer Law Institute offers classes on European Union law and international and comparative law. Courses are taught in English and by faculty from both the UNM School of Law and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.

“The Madrid program inspired me to pursue a career in international trade law. The faculty and guest speakers covered subject matter ranging from international commercial transactions to the European Union political structure and the impact of Brexit. The course material was complemented by visits to the European Union Parliament and Madrid Bar Association. Aside from the academics, I developed life-long friendships with fellow students and faculty during weekend trips, traditional spanish lunches, and cultural events.”


UNM School of Law 1117 Stanford NE Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001 Phone: 505-277-0958

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