Emeritus Professor of Law
B.A. 1966, University of New Mexico
J.D. 1970, University of California, Berkeley
Member of the California and New Mexico Bars
When Jose Martinez joined the UNM law faculty in 1974, he became a driving force in the school's clinical law program, then a cutting-edge, hands-on form of teaching law. His ideas contributed to the clinic's development, from a voluntary program to today's nationally ranked program. From 1992-2001, Martinez served as clinic director.
His interest in public interest law developed during law school at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s. He was part of a group of law students who established and staffed the Centro Legal de la Raza, a low-income, community-based legal services center for Hispanics in Oakland. It is still operating.
After graduation in 1970, he was named a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow and returned to his home state of New Mexico, where he worked as a community lawyer for the Albuquerque Legal Aid Society. Two years later, he returned to California to represent migrant farm workers as a lawyer for California Rural Legal Assistance. Among the projects he worked on were efforts at welfare reform, bilingual education and services, employment discrimination and one of the nation's first class-action consumer fraud cases.
At the UNM law school, Martinez helped establish a faculty exchange program with the Universidad de Granada in Spain and a certificate program for foreign-service lawyers in the Mexican Diplomatic Service.
Although he is now retired, he continues to teach in the clinic occasionally, passing on to students his broad base of experience and commitment to improving clinical education.