February 11, 2003
Articles on UNM School of Law Open House
introduction to the articles by Ellen Grigsby
School of Law is nationally recognized for its programs, its faculty,
and its diverse student body. UNM's Clinical Law Program and American
Indian Law Center are among the most respected programs in the country.
Jim Ellis, Paul Nathanson, and Denise Fort are three of the many
distinguished faculty members to have received national honors in
recent months. In addition, the American Bar Association recently
granted the law school a national award for its commitment to diversity.
you will find articles by pre-law students Matt Ray and Brian Eagan
sharing the insights they gained from attending recent UNM School
of Law Open House events. Their articles can update you on what
law school at UNM looks like from a student perspective.
Attend An Open House at UNM School of Law
Want to get the best legal education for the least amount of money?
Then the University of New Mexico School of Law may be the place
you. With a student faculty ratio of 10:1 and one of the top clinical
programs in the nation, you are sure to receive an interactive,
educational experience. Want to learn more about UNM’s School
of Law? Then you should attend one of their open houses.
Besides the free cookies and juice, there are many incentives to
attending one of these open houses. It is the best way to become
familiar with the law school. Not only will you get to meet the
law school admissions representatives, you’ll have an opportunity
to interact with a some of the school's finest students as well
learn more about financing your legal education.
Worried about financial aide? Wondering how you’re going to
pay for law school? Tuition at the University of New Mexico School
of Law is just over $6,000 per semester. This is a small price to
pay to be in class with outstanding faculty such as former United
States Attorney Norman C. Bay and the Unabomber’s co-defense
counsel, Barbara Bergman.
school’s student support center provides opportunities for
athletics, childcare facilities, free lockers and mailboxes, and
suggest you drop by the school and have a look for yourself. UNM
is a wonderful place, but you would not necessarily know that, unless
you have taken the opportunity to visit.
From UNM School of Law Open House, February 6, 2003
evening featured speakers from UNM School of Law Admissions Office,
UNM School of Law Career Services Office, and a panel of 1st and
2nd year UNM law students. About 60 perspective students were in
attendance. The meeting was held in a large classroom at the law
school (Bratton Hall Bldg. – 1117 Stanford Dr NE).
opened with a warm greeting from UNM School of Law Career Services
Director, John T. Feldman. He gave a brief presentation on how and
where UNM School of Law graduates were working. For example, in
the class of 2001 (100 people), 50 were in private practice, and
50 were in other roles. For the 50 in private practice, 25 were
in small firms or solo practitioners, and 25 went to bigger firms.
For the 50 in
other roles, 40 were in government jobs (prosecute, defend, in-house
counsel, etc.) and 10 were law clerks.
that most UNM School of Law graduates end up working in New Mexico,
while the next highest concentrations are in California and the
District of Columbia. John also indicated that UNM law school graduates
have used their legal education in many exciting ways. Graduates
include: the Chief Judge of Metro Court, members of the New Mexico
Supreme Court, real estate agents, private attorneys, government
attorneys, and U.S. Congressional policy aides.
UNM School of Law Director of Admissions, gave an extended presentation
of basic information on the admissions process at UNM. The major
key points to keep in mind are that the law school receives about
850 applications each year for about 100 openings. UNM admits about
2.5 people per space, based on the idea that not everyone admitted
will attend UNM. A decided preference for admission is given to
New Mexico residents.
statement is very important. UNM wants to know: who you are, what
you have done, why you want to go to law school in general, and
why do you want to study in New Mexico in particular.
applicants should not wait to file the FAFSA.The FAFSA should be
filed before you are admitted, with directions that the Financial
Aid eligibility report is to be sent to up to four separate perspective
law schools (UNM being one of them). The FAFSA should be filed between
January 1 and March 1, each year, for priority consideration at
UNM. All law students are by legal definition, declared to be independent
for financial aid purposes. However, to qualify for some additional
special UNM institutional grant aid, students and parents (if the
kids are still under 40) must declare the parents’ income
and assets, when they fill out the Access Group’s Need Access
Application (at www.accessgroup.org).
UNM School of
Law has its own personal UNM Financial Aid officer on site at Bratton
Hall (rather than Main Campus) for all UNM law and medical students.
Student Life Panel – a Question and Answer Session
life panel featured four UNM law students, including two 1st year
students, and two 2nd year students. Revelations include:
law students live on campus currently; they all live off-campus,
mostly in private rental homes and apartments across from the School
of Law on North Campus. A few commute in from homes outside Albuquerque
(Santa Fe, Los Lunas), or live with their parents in Albuquerque.
each 1L class is assigned a tutor, who attends all classes with
the 1Ls, send out notes via email, and has office hours to offer
assistance. They are NOT teaching assistants however. Tutors are
assigned to courses, not faculty. Additionally, faculty members
teach all of the courses at the School of Law. And the faculty are
willing to help students individually as well, to make sure everyone
is successful in their studies.
cooperative, not cutthroat competitive. Everyone supports each other.
A 2L student related a story of how one UNM law student gave birth
to a child during her first week at law school (talk about a tough
first day), and how all of her classmates made sure she got the
help she needed to catch up in her classes. The newly expanded facilities
of the UNM Child Care Center are located on the North Campus, not
to far from the law school. Some law school students will even share
babysitting duties, or just take their child to class. The annual
Halloween Carnival for children at the law school is now a major
event. Additionally, 58% percent of the class of 2003 is female.
These are useful for reviewing the entire contents of the course,
just before the final exam. However, if the group went beyond 2
or 3 people, it got slowed down.
Your smallest law class will be Legal Writing Seminar. Normally
it is 10 to 12 people, maximum. Thus, it becomes like your homeroom.
You get to know these people very well. After a while, however,
you will meet you everyone in the entire law school, since there
are just over 300 students.
most people study about 6 hours a day. Some treat it like a job,
in by 8 am at the law library, study between classes, go home at
6 pm, spend an hour with family, and then study a little more that
evening. For others, the pattern varies daily.
going to school: 1st semester of first year – it is not allowed
at all. 2nd semester of first year, a limited amount is allowed,
but not recommended. Summer offers lots of options: work in town
for local firm or agency, or go away to work for the summer. UNM
SOL also sponsors a summer law institute in Mexico.