Karen Ballard Molzen (`85) has been named chief U.S. Magistrate judge for the District of New Mexico; she began her new duties in Albuquerque on May 2. She has served on the federal magistrate court since 1999 in Las Cruces.
Molzen had been a cancer researcher before deciding to shift her focus and enroll in the University of New Mexico School of Law in the early 1980s. She graduated third in her class after working on the New Mexico Law Review, earning the Medical-Legal Tort Scholar award and serving on the school's first team that, under the guidance of Professor Jim Ellis, briefed a case for the U.S. Supreme Court. The case became a landmark in mental disability law.