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Dean Sergio Pareja

Sergio Pareja

Dean and Professor of Law
Henry Weihofen Chair

B.A. 1991, University of California at Berkeley
J.D. 1996, Georgetown University Law Center
Member of the Indiana and Colorado Bars

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-0995
 Office: 3113


Sergio Pareja joined the UNM law faculty in 2005 after nearly nine years in private practice in Colorado and Indiana. Most recently, Pareja was a partner in the tax department at a large Denver law firm. While in private practice, he specialized in federal individual and corporate income tax planning, state and local tax matters, and estate and gift tax planning.

At the UNM School of Law, Pareja primarily teaches courses in the areas of business, tax, and estate planning. Since he started teaching at UNM School of Law, he has taught Federal Income Tax, Contracts, Practicum, Estate and Gift Tax, Taxation of Business Enterprises, International Business Transactions, Wills & Trusts, and Estate & Retirement Planning. He also has taught in the law school's Business & Tax Clinic.

Pareja's recent research interests include estate and gift taxation, with a focus on liquidity issues. In addition, Pareja currently is exploring ways to make our federal income tax system simpler and more equitable in connection with transfers that take place at death.

Pareja has lived with family in Colombia and Venezuela, and he is extremely dedicated to giving students the opportunity to live in other countries while studying law. He has taught in and directed the Guanajuato Summer Law Institute in Guanajuato, Mexico. Pareja is fluent in Spanish, and he also spent a year teaching Spanish law students as a visiting professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain.

Pareja also is the founding director of the ABA-approved Madrid Summer Law Institute. Professor Pareja continues to direct and teach in this successful program, which offers students the opportunity to study law in Spain during the month of June.

Pareja is a highly dedicated teacher. In 2011, he was identified by The National Jurist as one of the top law teachers in the country: The Bucket List: 23 Law Profs to Take Before You Die. In 2013, Pareja was honored by the University of New Mexico with a university-wide "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" award.

In addition to teaching at the University of New Mexico, Pareja has taught in the University of Alabama's tax LL.M program. He was recruited to be part of a "Dream Team" of distinguished professors from across the nation to teach in this innovative program.

Outside of his interests in the law, Pareja is a dedicated guitarist who has performed at Swallow Hill in Denver, as well as at numerous convalescent hospitals in the Denver area. In Albuquerque, he has performed extensively at UNM Hospital through the innovative Arts-in-Medicine program. Pareja is even known to play his guitar in class on occasion.


Federal Income Taxation of Business Enterprises: Cases, Statutes, Rulings, 4th Ed., Vandeplas Publishing, 2012 (co-author with Westin and Beck).

Federal Income Taxation of Business Enterprises: Cases, Statutes, Rulings, 3rd Ed., Vandeplas Publishing, 2010 (co-author with Westin and Beck).

Law Reviews and Student-Edited Journals

How The Über-Wealthy Benefit From Investing Outside Retirement Plans (And How You Can Too), 64 Catholic University Law Review, ___ (forthcoming spring 2015).

«La Crisis» Desde una Perspectiva Jurídica: la Resistencia a la Regulación en los Estados Unidos, IUSTEL Revista de Derecho Público Comparado (No. 11, December 2012)(peer-reviewed law journal at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain).

It Taxes a Village: The Problem with Routinely Taxing Barter Transactions, 59 Cath. U. L. Rev. 3 (2010).

Taxation Without Liquidation: Rethinking "Ability to Pay," 8 Wis. L. Rev. 841 (2008).

Sales Gone Wild: Will the FTC's Proposed Rule Put an End to Pyramid Marketing Schemes?,39 McGeorge Law Review 83 (2008)

Environmental Clean-Up Expenses: Taxing Times for the BLM and Miners, 83 Denv. U. L. Rev. 299 (2005)


Sergio Pareja, Reviving the Dead Hand After Repeal of the Rule Against Perpetuities, JOTWELL (April 25, 2016) (reviewing Reid Kress Weisbord, Trust Term Extension, 67 Fla. L. Rev. 73 (2015)),

Sergio Pareja, The Impact of Federal Law on a Decedent’s Digital Assets, JOTWELL (March 9, 2015) (reviewing Naomi R. Cahn, Probate Law Meets the Digital Age, 67 Vand. L. Rev. 1697 (2014), available at SSRN),

Treatise Chapters

Chapter 1N:2: "Farm Expenses," LexisNexis Tax Advisor – Federal Topical, 2007 (on-line tax treatise).

Bar and Trade Publications

Estate Tax Repeal Under EGTRRA: A Proposal for Simplification, 38 Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J. 73, Spring 2003

Selecting a Trust Situs in the 21st Century, Probate & Property, March/April 2002 (with John A. Warnick)

Slow Legislative Year for Probate Matters , The Indiana Lawyer, June 23, 1999 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

Electing to Treat a Revocable Trust as Part of a Decedent’s Estate, The Indiana Lawyer, April 14, 1999 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

The QTIP Election for Indiana Inheritance Tax Purposes, The Indiana Lawyer, January 6, 1999 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

Deadlines are Hot Topic of Recent Court Decisions, The Indiana Lawyer, October 14, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

The Impact of Disclaimers on Estate Planning, The Indiana Lawyer, July 22, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

Charitable Lead Trusts -- an Overlooked Estate Planning Tool, The Indiana Lawyer, April 29, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

Roth IRAs May Provide New Estate Planning Opportunities, The Indiana Lawyer, February 18, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)

Newspaper Opinion Pieces

Letting Tax Cuts Expire Will Take Courage, Albuquerque Journal op-ed, October 21, 2010

Cut Tax Credits, Not Just Budget, Albuquerque Journal, November 1, 2009