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January 2022
The Child & Family Justice Clinic offered a free legal clinic on November 11, 2021 at the Transgender Resource Center (TGRC) to assist with name change cases. Clinic Professor Sarah Steadman and five Clinic students — Huong Nguyen, Douglas Alsup, Billy Trabaudo, Bree Barnett and Annie Swift — aided approximately 25 trans and non-binary individuals.

As part of the process, the students drafted a protective motion for pro se individuals to use in any New Mexico court. The motion asks the court to waive publication of the name change for safety reasons because publicizing the change could risk outing trans and nonbinary individuals and expose them to harm.

“Our core mission of the Child & Family Justice Clinic is to serve our diverse marginalized community members, including our transgender and non-binary community,” Professor Steadman said.

To learn more about the name change partnership, read here.
The New Mexico Law Review Announces New Editorial Board
Molly Samsell

Managing Editor:
Carson Thornton González

Diversity Editor & Historian:
Ryan Sanchez

Professional Articles Editors:
Cody Barnes
Santiago Piza Cossio
Claudia Joanna Velasquez

Manuscript Editors:
Annika Cleveland
Hannah Shotwell
Oliver Stephanz
Jeff Vescovi

Source & Cite Editors:
Mark Blosser
Rhys Llewellyn

Student Articles Editors:
Emilee Greenhouse
Alexis Salas
  • Presented “Against Actual Malice” CLE to the First Judicial District Bar Association
Bidtah Becker appointed as Deputy Secretary for Environmental Justice
California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed UNM Alumna Bidtah Becker ('00) to Deputy Secretary for Environmental Justice. A member of the Navajo Nation, she has served as the head of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources. She was previously with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, where she was instrumental in developing the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project. Previously, President Obama appointed her to serve as a trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture. Congratulations!
Judge Catherine Begaye
Judge Alma Roberson
Judges Catherine Begaye and Judge Alma Roberson spoke on podcast
Retired Judge John Romero spoke with Judge Begaye ('04) and Judge Roberson ('12) on the State Bar of New Mexico's podcast, SBNM is Hear. The episode focuses on their careers, work in the children's court, and how they navigate the high emotions in their work. Judge Begaye is the state's only Native American district court judge and Judge Roberson previously worked at the public defender's office.
Todd Araujo Named General Counsel of the Mohegan Tribe
UNM School of Law alumnus Todd Araujo, who graduated with an Indian law certificate in '97, has been named general counsel for the Mohegan Tribe. In this role he will advise the tribe and its business enterprises. He has represented tribes and tribal entities for nearly 25 years. Previously, he served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Alaska and as the deputy director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice. Congratulations!
UNM Law Alumni Honored with State Bar of NM Volunteer Attorney Program
2021 Annual Awards
Congratulations to Allan Wainwright ('82), Mark Standridge ('06), Sheryl Saavedra ('94), Krista Garcia ('16), Susan Hapka ('95), Martin Holland ('86), and Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman & Sale, PC on their awards! PBWS Law received the Felipe Quintana Memorial Award of Excellence for their work handling guardianship, business planning, and much more. Wainwright was honored with a Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year award for his dedication to the 2nd Judicial District Court's Pro Bono Committee. Standridge was awarded the Pro Bono Appellate Attorney of the Year. Saavedra and Garcia were named Teleclinic Shining Stars of the Year, and Hapka and Holland were listed as Direct Representation Going the Distance for their dedication to cases that lasted longer than 5 years.
UNM Law Alumni Lead State Bar of NM
Carolyn Wolf
Ben Sherman
Erinna Atkins
The State Bar of New Mexico announced its 2022 leadership: President Carolyn A. Wolf, President-Elect Benjamin I. Sherman, and Secretary-Treasurer Erinna M. Atkins.

President Wolf and Secretary-Treasurer Atkins were sworn in during a ceremony on Dec. 8, 2021, by New Mexico Supreme Court Justice C. Shannon Bacon. President-Elect Sherman will be formally sworn in later this year.
Carolyn A. Wolf ('76) is an attorney in Santa Fe. Wolf has spent more than 20 years working in state government as in-house counsel for the Human Services Department, Health and Environment Department, Taxation and Revenue Department. She also served other agencies, boards and commissions as an attorney in the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s office, in addition to being general counsel for the Department of Finance and Administration and Taxation and Revenue Department. In 2017, she was named Public Lawyer of the Year. Wolf currently serves as a representative on the Board of Bar Commissioners on the Appellate Rules Committee and is a member of the Compilation Commission Advisory Committee. Wolf represents the Third Bar Commissioner District which includes Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties.

Benjamin “Ben” I. Sherman ('08) is the founder of Albuquerque-based Ben Sherman Law LLC, and his practice focuses on representing injured workers in workers’ compensation cases. Prior to opening his own law firm, he enjoyed serving the public as a prosecutor with the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office and as an assistant city attorney with the City of Albuquerque’s litigation department. A fluent Spanish-speaker, he enjoys representing people from all communities and appreciates New Mexico’s unique diversity and rich traditions. Sherman is a past chair and board member of the State Bar of New Mexico Young Lawyers Division and currently sits on The University of New Mexico School of Law Alumni Board. Sherman represents the Second Judicial District (Bernalillo County).

Erinna “Erin” M. Atkins ('09) is an attorney in Alamogordo, where she practices law with her father, S. Bert Atkins. In 2016, Atkins was awarded the Young Lawyer of the Year Award for the Twelfth Judicial District, where she lives and works. Two years later, she received the 2018 Outstanding Service Award from the Young Lawyer’s Division of the State Bar. Specializing in criminal defense and children’s law, she proudly serves as the Guardian ad Litem in abuse and neglect cases and mental health guardianships. Atkins is active in her local community and serves as a commissioner for the NM Commission for Community Volunteerism, the Children’s Law Section, the Twelfth Judicial District Pro Bono Committee, and a state-wide non-profit service organization, as well as the substitute Adult Drug Court judge. Atkins represents the Twelfth Judicial District (Lincoln and Otero counties).
UNM Law Alumni Free Services For You!
Career Services Support
Access to the UNM Law Career Services Office does not end when you graduate. UNM Law Career Services is available to you throughout your career. Check out all of the services available to you and how to take advantage of them here.
Free Online CLEs
Need some CLE credits? Your UNM Law School has you covered! Check out all of the FREE online CLEs available to you and info on how to submit for credit here.
The Leo and Rose Ricco memorial endowment was established by their son and UNM School of Law alumnus, Edward Ricco, in 2011. Because of his generosity through this endowed fund, direct support to sustain Moot Court and other related programs at the School of Law have been funded. We are grateful to Ed and his wife Mary Ann Sweeney for their continued support of law school students through this much appreciated fund.
Pictured: Edward Ricco and his wife Mary Ann Sweeney

Thank you for your generous support.
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 below