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For the fourth year in a row, the UNM School of Law has been ranked No. 1 for Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine.
"Our Top Schools report includes some of the nation's most outstanding college brands: Stanford University’s School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Engineering, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of New Mexico School of Law," writes Jesús Chavarría, editor and publisher, in introducing the magazine's annual ranking of graduate schools.
Dean Kevin Washburn said the school is proud of the 25 to 30 percent of Hispanic students who are enrolled. When asked by Chavarríia, "What are your policies for ensuring that you maintain a large Hispanic population in your student body," Washburn responded that such policies are unnecessary at UNM. "Formalized policies are designed to discipline institutions so that they are forced to do something they are otherwise not inclined to do," he said. "But UNM’s interest in educating Hispanics is so deeply ingrained in our DNA and inherent in the school's identity that formalized affirmative action policies are unnecessary here."
When Chavarría said, "Surely you spend a lot of money on advertising to attract Hispanics," Washburn responded, "Not at all. Our best advertisements are the leaders in the New Mexico judiciary, bar and Legislature who are walking billboards for the success of Hispanics at UNM." As examples, he mentioned New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Petra Jimenez Maes (‘73), Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward Chavez (‘81), former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid (‘73) and Michael Sanchez (‘76), majority leader of the New Mexico Senate. "And these are but a few," Washburn said.
Washburn also pointed to the success of students who pass the New Mexico Bar exam.
"We serve all students well. Our July bar pass rate for UNM grads taking the test for the first time was 96 percent and we had a 100 percent pass rate on the February exam," he said.