Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 to 9 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Water Resources), J.D./M.A., M.S., or Ph.D (all degrees are available in various academic fields), J.D./M.A.L.A.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Latin American Studies), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), and J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration).
The School of Law offers concentrations in Indian law and natural resources, and environmental law certificate programs are offered. In addition, UNM’s Clinical Law Program is a requirement for the J.D. degree. Students, supervised by faculty members, may counsel and advise clients and appear in state, federal, and tribal courts in New Mexico. Judicial and law office externships are available. Individual research, worth from 1 to 3 credits, is available under faculty direction. There is also an Advanced Legal Research elective. Summer-abroad programs are available through the Guanajuato Summer Law Institute. Exchange programs are offered with schools in Mexico, Canada, and Australia. Students may visit at ABA-approval programs throughout the world. Tutorials are available for each substantive course to first-year students.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 86 total credits, of which 41 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Advocacy, Civil Procedure I, Constitutional Law, Contracts I, Criminal Law, Historical Introduction to Law, Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing, Practicum, Property I, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of 6 hours of clinical courses and a course in Professional Responsibility. All students must take clinical courses. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 2 days.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and have at least 3 full academic years in residence. An ethics course must be taken.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1200 applied, 264 were accepted, and 112 enrolled. Six transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.36.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is February 15. Applicants should submit an application form, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 1 letter of recommendation, LSDAS report, and a r
Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and Need Access. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include graduate fellowships, available through the Office of Graduate Studies. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application after acceptance.
About 51% of the student body are women; 45%, minorities; 3%, African American; 2%, Asian American; 29%, Hispanic; and 10%, Native American. The average age of entering students is 28; age range is 21 to 50.
The primary law review is the New Mexico Law Review, which is published 3 times a year. Students also edit the Natural Resources Journal and Tribal Law Journal. Moot court teams attend the Native American Law Student Association, Hispanic, and National Moot Court competitions. Other competitions include the Jessup Moot Court Competition and Health Law Moot Court Competition. Law student organizations include the Student Bar Association, Environmental Law Society, International Law Students Association, Mexican American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, and Native American Law Students Association. There are campus chapters of Phi Alpha Delta, Phi Delta Phi, and Association of Trial Lawyers of America/New Mexico.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. However, UNM offers a flexible time program, in which students may take fewer credit hours per semester. Courses are offered in the day only and must be completed within 5 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 10 maximum-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.