UNM Hosts National Latino Law Students

National Latino Law StudentsHundreds of Latino law students from 33 law schools across the country converged recently in Albuquerque to attend the 12th annual conference of the National Latino/a Law Student Association, hosted by the Mexican American Law Student Association (MALSA) and the UNM School of Law.

In addition to a number of workshops, attendees participated in a moot court competition, a career fair with more than 20 employers from across the country, a community service mentoring event, an environmental justice “toxic tour” and even a poetry slam.

The conference featured New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward Chavez (`81), U.S. District Court Judge Mary Murgia of Arizona, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas (`01), New Mexico General Services Secretary Arturo Jaramillo, State lawmakers Antonio “Moe” Maestas (`98) and Al Park, former speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives Raymond Sanchez (`67), New Mexico Supreme Court justices Petra Maes (`73) and Patricio Serna, and Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court judges Ben Chavez (`72) and Maria Dominguez (`95).

Also participating were Dean Leo Romero and UNM law professors Margaret Montoya and Laura Gómez.

UNM law students, with assistance from the UNM School of Law media staff, produced a documentary on the history of MALSA that was shown at the closing awards banquet.

NLLSA is focused on advancing Latino academic success and has a commitment to community service. The student organizers worked on planning the conference for more than a year. The first NLLSA conference was held at the UNM School of Law in 1996 and this was the first time the conference had returned to Albuquerque.