Tina Muscarella Gooch, left, and Frieda Simons, filed a brief with the New Mexico Court of Appeals last fall on behalf of a client in the Community Lawyering Clinic. The third-year law students were representing a party in a northern New Mexico land dispute. A Court of Appeals office is located adjacent to the UNM School of Law.
Another student, Amanda Pagan, successfully mediated a case pending in the state Court of Appeals to retain a grandfather's visitation rights for his grandchild. Other students in the same clinic section also negotiated a managed care contract for a new physician, secured an injunction ensuring adequate health care for a child with a serious medical condition, represented dozens of children accused of delinquent acts and helped a mother regain the custody of a daughter taken away from her years before. They also advised inmates in state correctional facilities on various forms and family law issues, along with a number of other projects.
"We had cases in every level of court in New Mexico," says UNM Law Professor Rob Schwartz, who taught the section with Professor April Land. "With the Court of Appeals next door, there is an excellent opportunity for our students to be involved on the appellate level."