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To nominate someone for the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Awards, please go to the Nominate tab below.

Proceeds from the Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner help fund the Law Alumni Association's full-tuition merit scholarships at the Law School.

For more information, contact Melissa Lobato at or (505) 277-1457.

The Law Alumni Association has been counseled to not confer the Distinguished Achievement Award to judges currently presiding on the bench due to the ceremony being a fundraiser.

Your Impact

Taylor Watrous Lueras, Class of 2012

The Alumni Merit Scholarship was extremely important to me. It was a factor in my decision to stay in New Mexico, attend law school here, and become a New Mexico lawyer. As a recipient of the scholarship, I realized that I had the support of the entire legal community of New Mexico, and it motivated me to work even harder in law school. The Scholarship afforded me so many important opportunities, and I am thrilled to be able to give back to New Mexico and the UNM School of Law as an alumna.

Taylor Watrous Lueras Class of 2012
Noell Sauer, 1st Year Student

The Law Alumni/ae Association full-tuition scholarship is life changing in so many ways. For me I think it is particularly humbling and motivating to know that there are people out there who support my goals, so much so that they are willing to finance my legal education. This scholarship removes a significant burden off of me as a student and allows me to focus my time and energy on becoming the best lawyer I can be. The confidence this scholarship inspires is truly incredible and I could not be more grateful for the support.

Noell Sauer 1st Year Student
Emma O'Sullivan, 3rd Year Law Student

I wouldn't be in law school right now if it weren't for the Alumni Association Scholarship. When I applied to law school, I never thought that I would get in, let alone receive a scholarship. Besides giving me and my family the financial support I needed to be able to attend law school, the Scholarship gave me the important message that I was "law school material," and really deserved to be here. Attending UNM School of Law has changed my life and given me amazing opportunities, and I'm really excited about the directions my career path is already taking. Words are inadequate to describe the feeling of gratitude I have that the Alumni Board decided to take a chance on me, and gave me the opportunity to become a part of this community.

Emma O'Sullivan 3rd Year Law Student


In 1993, University of New Mexico School of Law Alumni/ae board members began a tradition of honoring people who have served the legal community in a significant way at an annual dinner and awards ceremony. The purpose of the Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner is to celebrate notable accomplishments and dedicated service by lawyers and others in the legal community to the UNM School of Law, the New Mexico legal community and the greater community inside and outside of New Mexico.

Since the dinner started, 62 honorees, more than 7,000 attendees and hundreds of sponsors have participated in the event. The dinner has raised over $500,000 for law school programming, including the Alumni Association scholarships, the Law School's only merit-based full-tuition scholarships presented to incoming law students.

Thank you for helping us honor members of the law school and legal community, and for helping us support our alma mater.

Past Awardees

1993 - Paul Robinson (`50)
Honorable Santiago Campos (`53)
Ruth C. Streeter (`53)

1994 -  Franklin Jones (`56)
Professor Henry Weihofen
Honorable Mary C. Walters (`62)
Haskell Rosebrough (`51)

1995 - Honorable Dan Sosa, Jr. (`51)
John D. Robb, Jr.
William E. Bondurant, Jr.
Raymond W. Schowers (`73) (posthumously)

1996 - Professor Albert Utton
Felix Briones (`57)

1997  - Honorable E. L. Mechem
Honorable Joe Wood (`50)
D. Russell Moore (`57)

1998 - Gene Gallegos (`60)
Honorable Richard Ransom
U.S. Representative Steve Schiff (`72) (posthumously)

1999 - Honorable Howard Bratton
Kevin Gover (`81)
Professor Fred Hart

2000 – Sarah Bradley (`72)
Arturo Jaramillo
William Snead (`61)

2001 – John R. Cooney (`65)
Raymond G. Sanchez (`67)
Anne B. Thomas (`83)

2003 -  Professor Robert J. Desiderio
Nancy Hollander (`78)
Luis G. Stelzner

2004 – Ranne D. Miller (`67)
Maureen A. Sanders (`79)
Associate Dean Peter A. Winograd

2005 – Richard L. Gerding (`64)
Honorable Tommy E. Jewell (`79)
Professor Ruth L. Kovnat

2006 – Arthur O. Beach (`70)
Pat R. Bryan, III (`74)
John E. Echohawk (`70)
Toby Grossman (`68) (posthumously)

2007 – Professor Michael B. Browde
Randi M. McGinn (`80)
Andrew G. Schultz (`84)
Walter K. Martinez (`55) (posthumously)

2008 - William H. Carpenter (`66)
Honorable Pamela B. Minzner (posthumously)
Gary O. O`Dowd (`65)

2009 – Professor William T. McPherson, Jr. (`66)
Paula Tackett (`77)
U.S. Senator Tom Udall (`77)

2011 - Catherine Goldberg ('75)
Peter Mallery ('68)
Professor Emeritus and former Dean Leo M. Romero

2012 - Professor Anne Bingaman
Richard Civerolo (`50)
Professor and former Dean Ted Parnall (`67, January)
Wendy York (`82)

2013 - Peter Johnstone ('74) (posthumous award)
Ted Occhialino, Professor Emeritus
Patricia Madrid ('73)
Norman Thayer, ('60)

2014 - William Marchiondo ('52)
Edward Ricco ('80)
Jacquelyn Robins ('74)
Joan Hart, Lifetime Service Award

2015 - The Hon. Elizabeth Whitefield ('77)
Prof. Emeritus Richard Gonzales
Briggs Cheney ('73)

DAAD Committee Members

Steve Scholl, Chair
Sam Adams, Tribute Films
Mo Chavez

Shammara Henderson
Robert Lucero
David Martinez

Agnes Fuentevilla Padilla
Andy Schultz
David Stout
Brad Zeikus