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Real Experience

The UNM School of Law clinical program, one of the oldest in the country, is consistently recognized as one of the top programs in the nation. Unlike many other law schools, all students at UNM complete a six credit-hour clinical course as part of the J.D. requirements.

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Clinical Program

At the University of New Mexico School of Law, collaborative clinical teaching methods link the classroom and the community to the practice of law. Students gain real-world experience while our faculty continue to expand and enhance the program that helped to pioneer clinical legal education.

Mandatory Clinic Program

All students at UNM are required to complete a six credit-hour clinical course as part of the J.D. requirements. Students represent actual clients with supervision by tenured and tenure-track faculty. Students participate in one of four clinical sections:

  • Business and Tax
  • Community lawyering
  • Law Practice
  • Southwest Indian Law


Students gain valuable practical skills in a real-world setting while working with a supervising attorney. Externs confront actual legal problems and analyze and explore the various roles that lawyers or legal institutions play in their communities. Externships are intended to supplement and complement the knowledge and experience students receive in the Law Practice Clinic and in their other law school courses.

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Criminal Law in Practice

Led by Professor Leo Romero, this class consists of a classroom and field experience component. Prof. Romero is assisted by four adjuncts: two adjuncts assigned to the course by the Bernalillo County Public Defender’s Office and two assigned by the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office.

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DWI and Domestic Violence Prosecution in Practice

This class consists of a classroom and field experience component which educates and prepares students to address the specific needs of DWI and Domestic Violence prosecution in the state. Students completing the course will have the essential skills required to pursue careers in the criminal law field.

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Appellate Law in Practice

Students work one-on-one with established and talented New Mexico appellate attorneys in the Appellate Division of the Public Defender. They work on actual pending appeals and prepare pleadings, while covering in symposium-style topics such as brief writing, oral argument, summary calendar process, appellate ethics, appellate jurisdiction, standards of review and more.

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Innocence & Justice Seminar

Students in the Innocence and Justice seminar study the systemic causes of wrongful convictions in the context of real-life actual innocence case studies from around the country. Under the supervision of a research professor, students conduct investigations and pursue cases of people who claim they’re innocent.

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Any students in the above courses who are representing actual clients do so under the close supervision of faculty or practicing attorneys.

Clinic Booklet 2013

UNM Clinical Program Brochure 2014