Maria Martinez, a 3L, received a $16,000 grant from the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale Law School. The one-year grant will enable her to analyze, prioritize and tackle the legal issues facing the unincorporated colonia of Pajarito Mesa on Albuquerque's West Side.
She will work through the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, which will provide the remainder of her salary, along with costs and expenses.
"After figuring out what the issues are, I hope to actually address them both through litigation and legislative efforts," she says. "The community has no electricity, gas, sewage system or even real roads (just makeshift roads). School buses and emergency vehicles will not go to there, so obviously, it is a community in need."