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August 2022
Photo credit: Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal
A message from Dean Camille Carey
I am so honored and humbled to serve as the Dean of the UNM School of Law. I am excited to work with our faculty, staff, and students to move the school into its next era of excellence. The Law School and its alumni are a very special community unlike any other. I look forward to bringing this community together as we celebrate the Law School’s 75th Anniversary.
75th Anniversary Kick Off Fiesta
Friday, August 26
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Law School Back Lawn
75th Anniversary Celebrations
We invite you to join us in celebrating 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.

Thursday, September 22, 2022
5:30 PM Lecture
Post-Lecture Reception

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
Thank you, Dean Pareja
Thank you, Dean Pareja, for seven years of dedication and leadership to the School of Law as Co-Dean and Dean. We said goodbye in June but he hasn't left the School of Law permanently. He will be on sabbatical for this academic school year, returning next fall as a faculty member.
The UNM School of Law mourns the loss of alumna Barbara Brown Simmons (’74)
Barbara Brown Simmons was a woman of many firsts. Not only was she the first Black woman to graduate from the UNM School of Law, but she was also the first Black woman to become a member of the State Bar of New Mexico. She was a tremendous advocate and leader at the university and the greater community.
The HBO comedy news show featured the Utton Center Writer in Residence John Fleck's work on the June 26 episode feature story about the water crisis in the American West. Fleck's books on the Colorado River, Water is For Fighting Over: And Other Myths about Water in the West, and Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River, were featured prominently in some of the show's comedy bits and also the production team's research on the problems facing the West as climate change shrinks the Colorado River.

Utton Center
Just Transition Team Selected as a UNM Level 1 team Grand Challenges
A proposal for a “Just Transition” interdisciplinary research project convened by School of Law Professor Gabriel Pacyniak and College of Public Health Professor Shannon Sanchez-Youngman has been selected by UNM to be a Level 1 “Grand Challenge.” The UNM Grand Challenges program brings together interdisciplinary researchers to address problems of “global, national, and regional significance.”

The Just Transition Grand Challenge seeks to identify and evaluate opportunities, challenges, and policy options for achieving an inclusive and equitable transition to a clean energy economy, with a focus on creating economic opportunities for members of disadvantaged communities. In addition to Profs. Pacyniak and Sanchez-Youngman, the project team includes Profs. Gabriel Sanchez (Political Science), Robert DelCampo (Business), and Mark Stone (Engineering) along with external partners working on these issues in New Mexico.

UNM will host a Grand Challenges Kick-Off on September 1 in the SUB on main campus.
Valerie DiBernardo (Class of 2024)

Valerie DiBernardo participated in an externship with the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico this summer. "This internship has allowed me the chance to attend various hearings and trials, meet with judges, draft various documents and pleadings, and participate in the Project Safe Neighborhood program. This summer has given me the opportunity to improve my understanding of the process of the federal criminal justice system, learn about and participate in programs designed to help and improve the community, and truly appreciate the responsibility and professionalism required of those who choose to become attorneys and advocates in the legal system."

Thomas Davis (Class of 2024)

Thomas Davis participated in an externship with the New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA) in Santa Fe this summer. "While with the NMAA, my fellow law clerk and I worked on various projects to assist the Acequia Association. Along with the traditional legal research and combing through local and federal statutes, my main focus was on disaster aid through the charitable distribution of hay to Acequia parciantes affected by the Hermit’s Peak and Calf Canyon fires. It was not the kind of work I was expecting to do, but it was incredibly fulfilling for the work I did to have an immediate impact on the community I was serving." 

  • Featured on KOAT about U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion
  • Interviewed on KOAT about Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson being sworn in with a historic ceremony
  • Recipient of a 2022 Women in STEM Award

  • Featured on KOB-TV about Otero County commissioners vote to ban voluntary abortions, abortion clinics
  • Featured on KOAT about U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion

  • Featured on KOB-TV about U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion

  • Presented a workshop on Clinical Legal Education at the University of Buckingham in May

  • Featured on KOB-TV about the potential for wrongful death lawsuits against the federal government posed by the burn scar flooding
Faculty Promotions & Tenure
Congratulations! We are very pleased to report that all eight of our faculty members who went up for promotion or tenure this year were promoted by the Provost. 

The following faculty members are officially promoted to Associate Professor:

Paul Figueroa
Elizabeth Elia
Verónica Gonzales-Zamora
Joe Schremmer

The following faculty members are officially promoted to full Professor with Tenure:

Vinay Harpalani
Maryam Ahranjani
Josh Kastenberg
Steven Homer

Thank you to the Faculty Retention, Promotion & Tenure Committee and Ramona Garcia, Operations Manager for Law Faculty Contracts & Services Unit, for all of their hard work.
Lauren Keefe ('01)

Lauren Keefe ('01) was appointed by Mayor Tim Keller as Albuquerque’s City Attorney. Prior to her appointment, Keefe served as acting City Attorney. She was previously general counsel and interim director of the Policy Division for the City of Albuquerque. Congratulations on your new appointment, Lauren!
Loren Kieve ('73)
Loren Kieve ('73) has been awarded the prestigious 2022 John H. Pickering Achievement Award from the Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. Kieve was presented with the award at the ABA’s 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago. Previous accolades include being inducted into Stanford’s Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame and receiving the Bernard S. Rodey Award from the University of New Mexico. Congratulations on this most recent accomplishment, Loren!
Kelly Dennis ('12)
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland ('06) has chosen fellow alumna Shinnecock Councilwoman Kelly Dennis ('12) to be part of the first-ever Tribal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Dennis is an attorney who provides legal services to tribal citizens and nations. Dennis will represent the Eastern Region on the committee. Congratulations, Kelly!
James C. McKay ('78)
The New Mexico National Guard inducted its Hall of Honor Class of 2021. Col. James McKay (‘73) is one of the most decorated Vietnam veterans of the New Mexico National Guard Judge Advocate. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Silver Star, the Soldiers Medal, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and numerous other awards, including the State of New Mexico Distinguished Service Medal. As the State of New Mexico State Judge Advocate, McKay drafted landmark state legislation that created the Service Member Group Life Insurance Reimbursement Act and was instrumental in the passage of the Income Tax Deduction for members of the New Mexico National Guard. Visit the New Mexico Military Museum in Santa Fe to learn more about McKay’s accomplishments. Congratulations, Col. McKay!
State Bar of New Mexico 2022 Annual Awards
The State Bar of New Mexico 2022 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award winner is Lauren Riley. Congratulations, Lauren!
The State Bar of New Mexico 2022 Robert H. LaFollette Pro Bono Award winner is Darlene Gomez. Congratulations, Darlene!
The State Bar of New Mexico 2022 Seth D. Montgomery Distinguished Judicial Service Award winner is the Hon. Henry Alaniz. Congratulations, Judge Alaniz!
Free UNM Law Alumni Services
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? 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.
Randolph ‘Randy’ Felker Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund 
The UNM School of Law is proud to announce the Randolph “Randy” Felker Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. This fund was established following the passing of Class of 1972 alumnus Randolph “Randy” Felker on November 3, 2021. 

With a strong sense of love for his country, Randy joined the New Mexico Air National Guard after graduating from the University of New Mexico in 1966 and entered pilot training. Randy flew with the “Flying Tacos” for 25 years before retiring in 1990 with the rank of Lt Colonel. Randy received a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1972 and became a prominent Santa Fe attorney while maintaining a dual career as an attorney and pilot.

His wealth of knowledge and remarkable intellect were most noticeable as he developed a successful and illustrious law career. He quickly became a respected litigator and a tenacious advocate for his clients, many of whom also became his friends.

Equally at home in a flight suit, fishing waders, or a tuxedo, Randy was an avid pilot, fisherman, reader, hunter, and a pretty fair dancer. He enjoyed, among other things, the opera, museums, travel, the annual Scottsdale car auction, and a campfire with family and friends. However, his many accomplishments and his tenacious spirit, enthusiasm, sacrifice, and courage paled in comparison to his dedicated love for Barbara, as well as for his friends and family.

Randy has left a special place in the hearts of all those who were honored to call him colleague, friend, and family. He leaves behind a legacy of fond memories that will be cherished by many.

For more information regarding the Randolph “Randy” Felker Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund or to contribute VISIT HERE.
Taking & Defending Depositions
September 9-11 &
September 23-25
This “learn by doing” course is approved by the NM MCLE Board for 31 general and 4.5 ethics CLE credits.
Registration DEADLINE is
Wednesday, August 24
Thursdays, 4:30 – 6:20 PM
August 25 – December 1
Approved by NM MCLE for
20 general CLE credits.
U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez Memorial Lectureship in Law & Civil Rights
Speaker: Deb Haaland ('06),
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Thursday, September 22, 2022
5:30 PM Lecture
Post-Lecture Reception
Deb Haaland