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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
March 14, 2005
Volume 40, Number 8

Economic development aim
of innovative law program

The School of Law has initiated a new Economic Development Program to expand its business law curriculum and increase economic activity in the state.

MartinUNM Dickason Professor of Law Nathalie Martin will direct the program, which begins this summer.

UNM Dean Suellyn Scarnecchia formed a working group in 2004, led by her predecessor Robert Desiderio, to provide advice on improving business curriculum. As a result, more courses will be offered on a range of topics including secured lending, sales, business associations/small businesses, employment law, securities regulations, antitrust and international business transactions and business ethics. Tax course offerings will also expand.

A small business and economic development clinic will be designed to provide affordable legal assistance to start-up and existing companies and economic development organizations.

Martin joined the law school in 1998 after 10 years in private practice as a bankruptcy attorney. This fall, she will also serve as scholar-in-residence for the American Bankruptcy Institute, a Washington D.C.-based organization that provides advice and consultation to the media and to Congress about changes in bankruptcy law.

“The new curriculum emphasizes the practical aspects of the existing curriculum and creates new practice-based courses such as contract design and drafting,” Martin said.

Nationally recognized bankruptcy expert Judge Keith Lundin of the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee will teach basic and advanced courses at UNM in the spring of 2006.

“We hope to augment our national reputation in Indian law, natural resources, and clinical legal education with a nationally-recognized program for training small business lawyers. In the process, we will also serve businesses badly in need of legal services who can boost the state’s tax base,” Martin said.

The clinical aspect of UNM’s new program “is perhaps the most exciting development,” she said.

Clinic services could include forming a business entity, doing basic tax analysis, addressing employment issues, handling real property needs, drafting and reviewing loan documents and existing contacts.

Law faculty helping to institute the program include Paul Nathanson, Alfred Mathewson, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Sherry Burr, Marsha Baum and Sergio Pareja.