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September 2022
The UNM School of Law Welcomes New Faculty Members

The UNM School of Law is honored to welcome our newest faculty members: Laura Gómez, Vanessa Racehorse, Allison Freedman, and Nadine Padilla. We are very excited to have these colleagues with us. Our students, faculty, and the greater legal community will benefit from their expertise, scholarship, and teaching.
Laura Gómez graduated from Stanford Law School with honors in 1992. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University and an A.B. with honors in Social Studies from Harvard College. Professor Gómez clerked for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
Gómez comes to the University of New Mexico School of Law from UCLA School of Law, where she held several administrative posts, including Interim Dean of UCLA’s largest academic unit–the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters & Science--and Vice Dean of the UCLA School of Law. She was also the first person of color elected President of the Law and Society Association.
Gómez has lectured widely and has published numerous articles, book chapters, and books. Her research focuses on the intersection of law, politics, and inequality both today and in the distant past. Her books include the following: Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure; Mapping “Race”: Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research, a book co-edited with Dr. Nancy López; and Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race. Her latest book Inventing Latino: A New Story of American Racism was named an NPR Best Book of 2020 and will be published in paperback next month.
Gómez previously taught at the University of New Mexico School of Law from 2005-2011. While at the University of New Mexico, she became the first professor to hold a joint appointment between the School of Law and the College of Arts & Sciences. In 2007, she became the Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the Law School and the founding co-director of the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice with Dr. Nancy López.
Gómez is currently teaching Criminal Law and Advanced Criminal Law as a visiting professor and will join as a faculty member in January 2024.

Vanessa Racehorse (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes) has an LL.M in International Criminal Law from the University of Amsterdam and a JD from Columbia Law School, where she was awarded the Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law. In law school, Racehorse served as President of the Columbia Native American Law Students Association and the Bluebook Editor for the Columbia Law Review
Before her tenure-track appointment, Racehorse taught as the Supervising Attorney of UNM’s Southwest Indian Law Clinic and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. Racehorse also worked as a Deputy Attorney General for the Colorado River Indian Tribes and was an Associate Attorney at Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP, a top-ranked national law firm dedicated to representing Native American interests.
Racehorse teaches in the Law and Indigenous Peoples Program and is the Faculty Advisor for the Tribal Law Journal.
Allison Freedman received her BA in Political Science, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and her JD, cum laude, from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. At Northwestern, she was on the Bartlit Center National Trial Team, winning two national titles, and served as Comment Editor for the Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights. In 2009, she received a Fulbright Fellowship, during which she taught classes in politics, debate, and Spanish at a university in Hong Kong. 
Freedman has held several teaching positions. She was a Clinical Fellow in the University of Michigan Law School’s Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic and an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Trial Practice at Northwestern School of Law. She also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Joan H. Lefkow of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After the clerkship, Freedman litigated a wide variety of cases in federal and state court as an associate at the Katten Muchin Rosenman law firm in Chicago. During that time, she maintained an active pro bono practice, prevailing in an immigration appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and representing clients in housing, public benefits, consumer rights, and custody disputes. 
Freedman’s research focuses on civil rights law and the ways in which statutory and regulatory regimes affect, stigmatize, and subordinate underserved and indigent communities. As a clinician, her research interests stem from real-world client interactions and litigation hurdles she encounters in her practice. For that reason, she frequently advocates for alternative statutory frameworks or legal challenges to the status quo to help create a more equitable environment for disenfranchised groups.
At the University of New Mexico School of Law, Freedman primarily teaches in the Economic Justice Clinic.

Nadine Padilla (’18) is an alumna of the University of New Mexico School of Law where she graduated with Clinical Honors and earned a certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of New Mexico School of Law, Padilla served in an appointed position as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department. Padilla has also practiced environmental law with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, a non-profit environmental law firm in Santa Fe, and brings over a decade of experience working with tribes and environmental justice communities throughout our state. 
Prior to enrolling in law school, Padilla worked with grassroots organizations to protect sacred sites, including Mt. Taylor in western New Mexico, a mountain sacred to tribes throughout the Southwest. During law school, she was the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Natural Resources Journal, a writing tutor for first-year law students, a volunteer with the Native American Law Student Association, and a Teaching Assistant for the Pre-Law Summer Institute. Padilla received her BA from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. 
At the University of New Mexico School of Law, Padilla is currently teaching in the Natural Resources & Environmental Law Clinic.
The 75th Anniversary Kick Off Fiesta was a Fiesta to Remember
Thanks to everyone who turned out Friday, August 26 for our 75th Anniversary Kick Off Fiesta! It was great to see the Law School community come together to start our year-long anniversary celebration. A special thanks to our sponsors the Law Alumni/ae Association and Rio Bravo Brewing Company and to our 75th Anniversary Steering Committee, our Class Ambassadors, and the alumni, faculty, staff, and students who volunteered to make the event one to remember.
75th Anniversary Celebrations
Please join us for the upcoming events to celebrate 75 years of shared success and all of our alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends who have contributed to making the UNM School of Law the vibrant and supportive community that it is.

Friday, October 21, 2022
6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Dinner & Awards

John Field Simms, Sr. Memorial Lectureship in Law
Thursday, February 23, 2023
5:30 PM Lecture
Post-Lecture Reception

75th Anniversary Gala
Friday, April 14, 2023
The Natural Resources Journal is excited to announce the publication of Volume 62, Issue 2. The NRJ Board extends its sincere thanks to all of those who helped make this issue come together. The NRJ is published two times per year by the UNM School of Law. The Journal’s interdisciplinary nature is featured throughout issue 2 in the articles, book reviews, and essays.
Blade Allen (Class of 2023)

Blade Allen won the ABA Criminal Justice Section's 2022 William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition with his article “Katz or Dogs? Why the Katz Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Test is More Applicable to Advancing Technology than a Test Applied to Dog Sniffs.” Allen will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a year's free membership in the Section. In addition, the Law School will receive a plaque, and an article will be published (space permitting) in the Section's scholarly magazine, Criminal Justice, which reaches a national audience of criminal law practitioners, judges, and academics. Congratulations, Blade!
Kevin Garcia (Class of 2023)

The 2022 Justice Pamela B. Minzner Award for Professionalism and Ethics was presented to Kevin Garcia. This award is presented annually to a UNM Law student entering their final year of law school who demonstrates an interest in professionalism and legal ethics. This prize was made possible by the generosity of Richard Minzner. Congratulations, Kevin, for your achievements and for being the ninth recipient of the Justice Pamela B. Minzner Award in Professionalism and Ethics!
Cody Barnes (Class of 2023)

This year’s recipient of the Salazar Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement (in Memory of Tibo J. Chavez, Esq.) is Cody Barnes. The Salazar Prize is awarded annually to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of the second year of law school. The Salazar Prize honors the memory of Tibo J. Chavez, John Salazar’s late uncle, who inspired lives of service and excellence in the law through his many accomplishments. This prize was made possible by the generosity of John Salazar and his wife Terri Salazar. Congratulations, Cody on your academic achievements!
Griffin Arellano (Class of 2024)

Griffin Arellano received the Don. G. McCormick Writing Prize for his final brief submitted in the ELA II class this Spring. Each year professors nominate the best brief from each of their sections to be judged. The judge for this year’s award was alumnus and past McCormick Prize winner Sean McKenzie (’21). This prize was established in Mr. McCormick’s honor by his daughter alumna Margo McCormick ('77) to recognize the student whose writing best exemplifies the qualities of clarity, conciseness, ethical advocacy, and rigorous adherence to proper legal citation. Congratulations, Griffin!
J. Spenser Lotz (Class of 2023)

J. Spenser Lotz and several other law and graduate students have been granted observer status to attend CITES CoP19 as UNM Delegates. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is the single largest multilateral treaty relating to species conservation and is the basis for the U.S. Endangered Species Act. “I am so thankful for this tremendous academic opportunity, and I can't wait to share what I learn with the UNM Community,” said Lotz. Congratulations, Spenser!
Emmalee Johnston (Class of 2023)

Emmalee Johnston has been recognized with an Honorable Mention in the 2021-2022 Marshall Schulman Writing Competition. The competition is sponsored by the California Lawyers Association Criminal Law Section. Entitled “From Invisibility to Hyper-Invisibility,” her paper analyzes the current state of hate crimes legislation and argues that California statutes can serve as a model for other states. She earned $500 in prize money plus an offer of publication in the Criminal Law Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Section. Congratulations, Emmalee!

Professor Jennifer Moore traveled to Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda this summer. She is researching for a book manuscript on women peacebuilders in these countries. Her research has entailed traveling through very remote rural communities and interviewing women involved in promoting micro-credit, collective agriculture, and several other areas of legal and political reform. Professor Moore has met with political leaders and law professors to establish relationships between UNM Law School and institutions of law in Sierra Leone. 

  • Appointed Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on Real Property, Trust & Estate Law.

  • Featured on KUNM about the Fourteenth Amendment’s disqualification clause and Judge Mathew’s decision in the Couy Griffin case.
  • Quoted extensively in an article published by the Alamogordo News about the Fourteenth Amendment’s disqualification clause.
  • Co-authored an amicus brief in the case brought by three New Mexico residents against Couy Griffin.
  • Participated on the panel “Teaching Dobbs Across the Curriculum” for the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT).

  • Co-authored an amicus brief that was cited by Judge David Tatel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Larrabee v. Del Toro case
  • Featured on KOB-TV about the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.

  • Co-authored an amicus brief that pertains to the upcoming Supreme Court case involving lawsuits against Harvard College and the University of North Carolina by the Students for Fair Admissions, Inc.
  • Presented at the New Mexico Capitol Counsel and Consulting seminar “Political Landscape: In and Out of New Mexico.”
  • Participated on the Constitution Day panel for the New Mexico Humanities Council at the UNM Law Library.
  • Hosted the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Critical Race Theory Workshop, UNM Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center.

  • Participating in a project sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and organized by the NACDL’s Criminalization of Pregnancy and Reproductive Health’s Task Force.

  • Featured on KOB4 about potential lawsuits that might result from flooding in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
  • Featured on KOB4 about downed PNM power lines that sparked the McBride Fire in Ruidoso.
  • Featured on KRQE about the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision that the state would no longer deny prospective attorneys their law licenses based on citizenship or immigration status.

  • Published article "What's Race (In the Law) Got to Do With It? Incorporating Race in Legal Curriculum," 54 Conn. L. Rev. 923 (2022).
  • Presented "Reimagining the Jury," at the Law & Society Association Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Appeared on the Ebony Magazine Podcast: "Go On Say It" with UNM Law alumnus Jammy Kiggundu ('05), "What to wear to dinner with the A.I. overlords?"
  • Interviewed on KUNM about the new UNM course to focus on Algorithmic Justice.
  • Interviewed on Yahoo Finance about "Housing: How AI is perpetuating racial bias in home lending."
  • Nominated for the 2022 National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division’s Outstanding Woman Lawyer in A Non-Traditional Setting Achievement Award.

New Mexico Supreme Court Honors Retired Justice Edward L. Chávez ('81)
Retired New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward Chávez served on the Court from 2003 to 2018 and was Chief Justice from 2007 to 2010. Chávez received a distinctive honor when justices dedicated the Court’s robing room – now called the Edward L. Chávez Robing Room – to him and published a volume of opinions that he wrote during 15 years on the state’s highest court at a ceremony in July. The commemorative volume includes more than 50 opinions Chávez wrote as a justice. The volume will be kept in the University of New Mexico School of Law Library, the Supreme Court Law Library, and the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office.
Photo Credit: Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal
Lauren Hund (’22)

Lauren Hund was awarded the prestigious Daniels Diploma. The Daniels Diploma is an annual award honoring the late Justice Charles W. Daniels ('69) of the New Mexico Supreme Court. It is generally awarded to the person who graduates first in the class. Hund realized her legal calling later in life, quit her job, and started attending UNM School of Law. In law school, she also started the Legal Eaglets book series to share her love of the law with her kids. Congratulations, Lauren!
Jazmin Irazoqui-Ruiz (’17) and
Luis Leyva-Castillo (’22)
Jazmin Irazoqui-Ruiz and Luis Leyva-Castillo were interviewed by U.S. News & World Report, the Albuquerque Journal, and other national newspapers about the New Mexico Supreme Court rule change that no longer denies licenses to practice law solely because of an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status. Irazoqui-Ruiz, a senior attorney at the New Mexico Immigration Law Center, was the first in the state to qualify for a law license through work authorization under the DACA program. She was born in Sinaloa, Mexico and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Leyva-Castillo immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico with his family at age eight and has relied on the DACA program to avoid removal as he earned two degrees from the University of New Mexico. He is currently working as a law clerk at the New Mexico Court of Appeals. Leyva-Castillo was also interviewed by KRQE.
Deanna Creighton Cook, a recent Master of Studies in Law alumna, has accepted an offer from the peer-reviewed West Education Law Reporter to publish an article concerning the connections between housing instability and educational outcomes. She presented the research for her paper at last year's Education Law Association (ELA) Annual Conference. She has worked as a Special Projects Coordinator for the ABC Community School Partnership since 2016 and is a board member and founder of the housing nonprofit Amparo. Congratulations, Deanna!
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Free Online CLEs
Need some CLE credits? The 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.
Eric and Dana Marie Knapp contribute $1.9M to the Peter A. Winograd Scholarship in Law

UNM School of Law alumnus Eric Knapp (‘98) and his wife, Dana Marie Knapp, have made a $1.9M estate gift to the Peter A. Winograd Scholarship in Law endowment, honoring UNM School of Law Associate Dean & Professor Emeritus Peter Winograd. The Knapps have been long-time supporters of the UNM School of Law. In 2014, they made the founding gift to establish the Winograd Scholarship and have since contributed annually to provide scholarships to current law students through the Winograd Scholarship. This most recent $1.9M estate gift is the lead gift for the 75th Anniversary fundraising campaign at the UNM School of Law and the third largest gift the Law School has ever received. Winograd has also made a substantial estate gift, as well as annual gifts, to the scholarship endowment.
Ken Thompson
Meet our New Director of Development

It is our pleasure to announce that Ken Thompson will be the new Director of Development for the University of New Mexico School of Law. Ken is a familiar face at UNM and the UNM Foundation most recently serving in the role of Senior Director of Development for Project Echo. He has served in frontline development officer roles dating back 13 years at the UNM Foundation including the Cancer Center and School of Medicine. He brings great experience and enthusiasm to the position.
'22-'23 Social Justice Book Club

You are invited to join the UNM SOL ’22-‘23 Social Justice Book Club. This year’s book discussions will be scheduled via Doodle Poll.  If you would like to participate in a discussion, please email Professor Elizabeth Elia ( to be added to the Doodle Poll list. Here is the list of this year's book club selections:
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
2022 Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner
Friday, October 21, 2022
6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner & Awards Presentation
UNM Student Union Building

Join us as we honor the late Phil Davis (’78), former professor Suedeen Kelly, David Martinez (’82), The Hon. Linda M. Vanzi (ret.) (’95), and Rebekah Gallegos (’14).
John Field Simms, Sr.
Memorial Lectureship in Law
Post-Lecture Reception