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UNM Law Connect
October 2021
MSL Student Deanna Creighton Advocates for Housing Stability
MSL student Deanna Creighton’s proposal for a round table discussion at the Education Law Association’s 67th Annual Conference (Oct. 20-23, 2021) was accepted. Her proposal, “Establishing the Connection between Housing Stability and the Right to Education for At-Risk Students in a Post-Yazzie/Martinez World,” building off the ruling of Yazzie v. State of New Mexico and Martinez v. State of New Mexico, states that NM has a duty to ensure that highly mobile students have stable housing throughout their academic career.  Deanna has partnered with Associate Dean Serge Martinez to create the non-profit Amparo to help reduce housing instability. 
Clinic Students Host Expungement Hotline for the Community
During the last week of September, students in the Law Clinic partnered with the Peake Law Firm to host a free hotline encouraging New Mexicans to reach out with any questions about possibly clearing their records. The students were inspired by the National Expungement Works’ Week of Action and Awareness, whose mission is to help citizens remove the stigma that comes from a charge or conviction for a criminal offense. Visiting Professor Madelyn Finucane spoke with local media about the hotline and the Clinic's Expungement Project.
Two Faculty & 1 Student Appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights – Advisory Committee for New Mexico
Professor Marc-Tizoc González, Professor Vinay Harpalani, and 1L Sydney Tellez were recently appointed to a four-year term on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights – Advisory Committee for New Mexico. According to the Commission’s website,
“Advisory Committees have recently examined water affordability, school discipline disparities, policing practices, mental health and the criminal justice system, legal financial obligations, fair housing, hate crimes, voting rights, maternal health, and solitary confinement. In addition to advising the Commission, Advisory Committee reports have contributed to policy changes at the national, state, and local levels.”

Thanks to you all for representing our law school and
for serving the people of New Mexico!
Professor Suzuki Contributes Chapter to DEI Publication
Professor Carol Suzuki contributed a chapter on incorporating diversity issues into Torts class discussions for Integrating Doctrine and Diversity (Carolina Academic Press 2021). This new book is designed to assist law school faculty who want to include matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their courses, with a focus on subjects traditionally taught in the first-year curriculum.  

Professor Suzuki is a co-author of Tort Law and Practice, the case book used in all 1L Torts classes at UNM, which features a Diversity and Inclusion Materials index.
Professor Emeritus Christian Fritz Publishes Article on the Founding Fathers

Professor Fritz was asked by the New Mexico Humanities Council to publish a piece exploring the beliefs that the Founding Fathers wanted the Constitution to protect and how Americans can continue their work by participating in the democratic process.
In the article, titled “America’s Constitution: A Machine That Does Not Run By Itself,” Fritz explains that continually striving for meaningful equality is a key to America’s constitutional democracy. He concludes, “(The Constitution) is a dynamic, living document that would necessarily change as the people exercised their right to vote, to hold their elected representatives accountable, to engage in grass-roots activity, and to protect their rights from tyranny. Read the full article here.  
Paul Figueroa
Verónica Gonzales-Zamora
Marc-Tizoc González
Margaret Montoya
Vinay Harpalani
LatCrit 2021
Five faculty members—Paul Figueroa, Verónica Gonzales-Zamora, Marc-Tizoc González, Vinay Harpalani, and Margaret Montoya—presented at the Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory conference in early October. Professor Emerita Margaret E. Montoya is one of the founders of LatCrit. Read all about LatCrit here.

  • Presented “Civil Procedure Update” at the NM Judicial Conclave
  • Presented as an expert witness in a high-profile formal rulemaking hearing on oil and gas pollution in front of the state’s Environmental Improvement Board. The hearing was on a rule the NM Environmental Department proposed to regulate ozone precursor from oil and gas infrastructure.
  • Presented the 2021 Bringing the Rockies to the Bayou Guest Lecture at Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center
  • Presented CLE presentation on Oil and Gas Interests in Estate Planning and Probate Administration to the annual Rocky Mountain regional meeting of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel
  • MC'd the 2021 Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner
  • Presented “And Justice for All – Impact of Bias in Decision-Making” at the NM Judicial Conclave
  • Spoke at the virtual Atlantic Festival discussing how activist and lawmakers can use the cultural momentum from 2020 to influence change in the criminal justice system and work toward eliminating racial disparities 
  • The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s Women in Criminal Justice Task Force, led by Prof. Ahranjani, published a report titled “Pulling Back the Curtain”. The report explores the challenges in hiring, retention, and promotion of women criminal lawyers.
Terry & deGraauw, PC Voted Best Places to Work
Alumnae Kathryn Terry (’04) and Jennifer deGraauw (’07), founded Terry & deGraauw, PC in 2013. The compassionate and supportive environment the two have cultivated over the years has earned them the top rank in Albuquerque Business First’s Best Places to Work 2021 in the “small category.” They encourage continual education for their staff, and prioritize health and wellness. Terry has taught Community Property at the Law School for many years and will start teaching a new course in collaborative family law next year.
Benjamin Cross Appointed to 9th Judicial District Court
Benjamin Cross (’06) was appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (’87) to be the newest judge for the 9th Judicial District Court. Cross worked as an attorney for the 9th Judicial District Court for 10 years. During his time, he oversaw the court’s mediation and self-represented litigant programs. Congratulations Judge Cross!

Xochitl Torres Small Confirmed Under Secretary for Rural Development
The Senate confirmed former New Mexico Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small ('15) to be under secretary for rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Congratulations!
Katie Wray Appointed to NM Court of Appeals
Class of 2007 alumna, Katherine Wray, was appointed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals by fellow alumna Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Wray worked for years in private practice, most recently at Wray Law, PC. She was also previously a contractor for the 2nd Judicial District Court. Congratulations Judge Wray!
David Urias Nominated for U.S. District Court
President Joe Biden nominated David Urias (’01) as a U.S. District Court judge in New Mexico. For the past 13 years, Urias has been practicing at Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward. Previously, he acted as staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in San Antonio. Congratulations Judge Urias!
Professor Emeritus and Former Dean Ted Parnall

Former Dean and Professor Emeritus Ted Parnall has been a member of the School of Law community for more than 50 years. After graduating from UNM School of Law in 1963, he practiced law in New York City with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison before returning to New Mexico to serve as a law professor and dean. During his legal career, he contributed his expertise in business law to initiatives around the globe, and worked with the World Bank, the United Nations development program, USAID and other organizations to help strengthen legal systems and train lawyers in more than a dozen countries in Africa and Asia. In 2013, his son Bert Parnall and friend and former student Mel Eaves ('71), in collaboration with Mary Ann Eaves, Marta Parnall, David Parnall, and Charles Parnall ('07), established “The Kathryn and Ted Parnall Scholarship for Law as an Instrument of Economic Growth and Social Development”. This scholarship is intended for a student who understands that law is more than a means of dispute resolution, and that it can be an important tool for both domestic and international economic development and a more equitable restructuring of the social order. Ted was also a recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award, which honors notable accomplishments and dedicated service to the school and the greater community.
Kathy and Ted’s son Charles is a member of the UNM Law Class of 2007, and their son David, graduated from the University of California/Davis School of Law in 2006.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and generous donors for helping us celebrate our distinguished honorees and honor Dean Fred Hart at the Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner on Friday Oct. 15. Thanks to all of you, the UNM School of Law Alumni/ae Association raised more than enough money to support both full- and partial-scholarships for our future Lobos!

Fred Hart Memorial
Thursday, April 7, 2022
5:30 PM
UNM School of Law Forum

Join us in celebrating the life and contributions of Dean Fred Hart.

The delay reflects our hope that by the time Spring rolls around, COVID restrictions will be more flexible.

To share your memories about Dean Hart, please visit our memorial page: