Professor José L. Martinez was presented with the 2010 Fighting for Justice Award at a festive MALSA banquet in April. He has been a driving force in the UNM School of Law Clinical Law Program and has dedicated his career to improving legal access to low-income community members and improving the standards for clinical legal education for students.
Martinez joined the UNM law faculty in 1974 to teach in the school’s ground-breaking clinical program, then a cutting-edge, hands-on form of teaching law. His ideas contributed to the clinic's development, from a voluntary program to today's nationally ranked program. From 1992-2001, he served as clinic director.
Cruz Reynoso, a member of the UNM law faculty when Martinez joined the faculty, presented the keynote address at the banquet. Reynoso went on to become an associate justice on the California Supreme Court. He recently retired from the faculty of the University of California at Davis School of Law. In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, for his lifelong devotion to public service.