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April 2022
A Celebration of Life and Community: The Fred Hart Memorial
On April 7, the School of Law hosted the Fred Hart Memorial service for the law school community. The event was attended by nearly 300 members of the community­ – including the Hart family, current and former faculty, students, staff, and law professionals who have worked with Fred Hart throughout his years of service to the UNM School of Law. More than 100 people watched the live Zoom feed of the event.
UNM School of Law ranked highly in U.S. News & World Report Specialty Rankings 2023

The School of Law was ranked by the U.S. News & World Report 2023 as the 8th best Clinical Law Program and the 29th best Environmental Law Program.
Border Justice Initiative Inaugural “Border Justice Intensive”: A Spring Break 2022 Service-Learning Opportunity Course
The Border Justice Initiative just completed its inaugural service-learning opportunity course that immersed students in experience and advocacy about legal issues faced by communities and families at the New Mexico and Texas border with Mexico. Six students and two instructors participated in lectures, advocacy experiences, and court observation at the border. The experience exposed students to the fundamental structure for direct, hands-on legal work in collaboration with medical and other non-profit providers working with border communities.
preLaw Magazine Ranks Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program as A+
The NREL program was rated an A+ in the latest issue of the preLaw Magazine. The magazine also featured a photo of Professor Cliff Villa's Environmental Justice Bus Tour.
Students from Natural Resources & Environmental Law Clinic Argued for Stronger Protections in Ozone Precursors for NM Oil & Gas Regulations
On April 14, New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) approved tough air pollution regulations for oil and gas facilities, including stronger protections for people who live near oil and gas wells. Students in the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic represented the Center for Civic Policy and NAVA Education Project in the formal rulemaking in front of the state’s EIB on these proposed regulations. As part of their representation, the students put on witnesses, including representatives from both organizations and Professor Cliff Villa, who testified about the EIB’s duty to consider environmental justice impacts.
UNM School of Law Students Explore Environmental Concerns on U.S.-Mexico Border
On March 31st and April 1st, students and faculty from the UNM School of Law traveled to the Borderlands region of New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico to learn firsthand about environmental issues affecting people living in underserved communities. Participants in the “Border Environment” program included Professors Gabe Pacyniak and Cliff Villa, along with students from Prof. Villa’s spring courses in Environmental Justice and International Environmental Law.
Photo by HaloStone Photography
Rob Waldroup (3L)

Rob Waldroup was awarded “3L of The Year” by the National Native American Law Students Association, and has accepted a one-year fellowship at the Alaska Native Justice Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Waldroup will be moving to Anchorage after sitting for the Bar Exam in July. Congratulations, Rob!
2Ls in the New Mexico Law Review

The following articles will appear in the summer issue of Volume 52:

  • Molly H. Samsell, Interstate Oil and Gas Extraction: Application of Titus Oil & Gas Prod., LLC, for Approval of Prod. Allocation, Lea County, N.M., Oil Conservation Division Case No. 21872, and Its Implications to New Mexico’s Interests
  • Carson Thornton-González, A Deliberate Difference: The Rights of Incarcerated Individuals Under the New Mexico State Constitution
  • Hannah Shotwell, More than #FREEBRITNEY: Constitutional Violations in Guardianship for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • Interviewed for a documentary by UK news platform The Times about crime and policing in Albuquerque
  • Worked with Prof. Ahranjani at CREW, a D.C.-based government accountability non-profit on their January 6 efforts
  • Spoke with Bloomberg regarding Clarence Thomas and the prospect of him being held accountable
  • Interviewed by NPR regarding a military trial
  • Mentioned in article by Source NM about the eviction ban

  • Worked with Prof. Kastenberg at CREW, a D.C.-based government accountability non-profit on their January 6 efforts
  • Co-wrote with CREW Vice President and Chief Counsel Donald Sherman an op-ed published in the Santa Fe New Mexican about how an Otero County commissioner needs to be held accountable
  • Coordinated a workshop for the ABA Women in Criminal Justice Task Force to develop their Ten Principles for Gender Equity in Criminal Law employment and served on a panel (with Task Force member Professor Barbara Creel) at the ABA Criminal Justice Section meeting in Savannah, Georgia in early April
Melanie Stambaugh ('10)

Melanie Stambaugh ('10) has been recognized as one of the 2022 ABQ Biz First 40 under 40. Stambaugh is a partner/shareholder at Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, PA. Congratulations, Melanie!
Aubony Burns ('13)

Congratulations to Aubony Burns ('13) for receiving the 2022 Adeline Garcia Community Service Award, which celebrates and honors Native grassroots leaders whose service has had a significant impact on urban Native well-being in the Seattle area. Adeline Garcia (Haida, Double Fin Killer Whale Clan) co-founded the American Indian Women’s Service League and was an active member in the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes, Washington Chapter. The award recognizes relatives who carry on Garcia's legacy of service. Congratulations, Aubony!
Connie Flores ('08)

Connie Flores' (pictured far right) firm Flores, Tawney & Acosta was recognized as one of the Fastest Growing Companies by ABQ Business First.
Professor Sonia Gipson Rankin's Cybertorts course this semester has hosted several SOL alumni, including Savannah Hoover, Jammy Kiggundu, and Marco Santamaria. We thank them for sharing their time and expertise with current students!
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Michael Gross

Michael Gross has been practicing law in New Mexico for more than 40 years and has been a generous supporter of the UNM School of Law.
Gross was the chief lawyer for the Ramah Navajo Chapter, and argued his first Supreme Court case in 1982, defending the Ramah Navajo School Board’s position that NM could not impose taxes on a construction company building a school on lands owned by Native Americans. His law career has been dedicated to advocating for underrepresented communities and is a vital part of the way he practices and leads. He is most known for the landmark 2016 $940 million dollar settlement with the U.S. Department of Interior that compensated nearly 700 tribes or tribal agencies throughout the country.
In June 2021, Michael Gross and his wife Andrea established a fund that provides scholarships for Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) graduates who choose to attend UNM School of Law, as well as a Bar exam prep stipend. As part of their gift, they conceived and funded a three-week summer research dialogue called The Conversation. UNM partnered with Brown University and Tougaloo College, a predominantly Black college in Mississippi, to host the dialogue for undergraduates around issues of race, justice, and the law. This unique pipeline program encouraged participants to consider career pathways in academia, law, and combinations thereof in hopes that they will foster cross-cultural dialogues regarding the themes of race, place, history, economics, social justice, and the law throughout the course of their careers.
We thank Michael and Andrea Gross for their continued contributions and generosity to the UNM School of Law!
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