Pamela Minzner Chair in Professionalism
B.A. 1973, Bradley University
J.D. 1976, Stanford University
Member of the California, District of Columbia, and New Mexico Bars
Barbara Bergman joined the UNM law faculty in 1987, bringing years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. She also had spent a year as associate counsel to President Jimmy Carter and had practiced for three years with Bredhoff & Kaiser, a law firm specializing in employment law.
Her teaching remains focused on criminal law, but once a year, she leads students through an intense 6-credit hour Evidence and Trial Practice course. On leave in 2000-2001 and the spring of 2004, Bergman put her teaching into practice when she worked on the defense team in the State of Oklahoma v. Terry Nichols, a state death penalty case. Nichols was prosecuted for conspiracy and murder in connection with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.
Bergman has lectured and published extensively, including serving as editor of the Fifth Edition of the D.C. Criminal Jury Instructions. She also is the co-author of Wharton's Criminal Evidence, 15th edition, Wharton’s Criminal Procedure, 14th edition, and The EveryTrial Criminal Defense Resource Book. The latter deals with emergencies that may arise in criminal trials.
Bergman is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and continues to serve as a co-chair of the NACDL Amicus Committee. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and the Board of Directors for PB&J Family Services.
In 2001, Bergman received the Robert C. Heeney Award, the highest honor given by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2010, the Stetson College of Law awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Teaching of Trial Advocacy.