Interim Dean Barbara Bergman has been selected as a 2013 Women of Influence honoree by Albuquerque Business First (formerly New Mexico Business Weekly). A graduate of Bradley University and Stanford Law School, Bergman was appointed to Interim Dean in October 2012, following her service of more than four years as the law school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In addition to her many legal and civic contributions to New Mexico, Dean Bergman has been an active member of the UNM law school faculty for the last 25 years.
The recipient of many awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Trial Advocacy, presented by Stetson School of Law, May 26, 2010, the Friedman Faculty Award in recognition of consistently exceptional teaching, September 2007, the Henry Weihofen Professorship, the Keleher & McLeod Professorship and the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Dean Bergman is regarded by her colleagues and friends as a dedicated and selfless legal educator who is always striving to improve student success and the curriculum. Earlier in 2012, Bergman was named the first recipient of the Pamela Minzner Chair in Professionalism.
“As a professor at the UNM School of Law for the past 25 years, I have taught over 2,000 law students. I have always tried to work to ensure that our graduates are qualified and ethical practitioners. At least 50 percent of the attorneys admitted to the New Mexico bar each year are UNM law school graduates, and they form an important part of our business, civic and legal communities. I hope that I have had an impact upon deserving students and underserved populations, and in how those former students have chosen to practice law and give back to their colleagues and communities”, said Bergman.
Most recently, with the support of the law school faculty, Dean Bergman implemented the D.C Semester in Practice class, a three-year pilot project which provides for up to six law students to do a seminar and fulltime fieldwork placement in Washington, D.C. for the fall semester. This fall, students were placed in D.C. at Senator Udall’s office, the Public Defender Service for D.C., the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Raben Group, and the International Peace and Security Institute. Dean Bergman believes these are improvements and changes that have the potential to deeply impact and even change the lives and careers of the many deserving and talented students she has been fortunate to mentor and work with.
Bergman has been a board member for PB&J’s Therapeutic Family Services for approximately 23 years, serving as president of the board on several occasions. On a state and national level, she has been an officer and board member for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and serves as co-chair of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Amicus Committee and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Bergman says that she is truly honored to be thought of as a woman of influence, and was humbled to have been nominated, adding, “I am grateful for the work that is being done in recognition of women and women who are making a difference in our communities.”
December 27, 2012