Salazar Prize for Second Year Law Students Established

Salazar Prize winner Justin Nyberg

John P. Salazar with 2013 Salazar Prize winner Justin Nyberg and UNM School of Law Dean David Herring at the award presentation in August, 2013

The University of New Mexico School of Law is proud to announce the establishment of the Salazar Prize, which is awarded annually to the UNM Law student with the highest cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of the second year of law school.

John P. Salazar, an attorney with the Rodey Law Firm, and his wife Terri established the award in memory of his late uncle Tibo J. Chavez. A lawyer, state senator, lieutenant governor and state district judge in Valencia County, Chavez had a distinguished career in public service. He served as a Regent at UNM and at the Museum of New Mexico, and he had a keen interest in the history and culture of New Mexico. Salazar says Chavez was an exemplary New Mexican, whose life story is truly remarkable.

Inspired by his uncle, Salazar has also excelled in the law and made a difference in peoples' lives. Salazar received the Justice Pamela B. Minzner Professionalism Award from the State Bar of New Mexico, the highest award given by the State Bar in recognition of his outstanding professional conduct over the last 40 years, and for his involvement in the Albuquerque community through his extensive service on the boards of many significant community organizations. He was appointed to the board of the Inter-American Foundation, an independent agency of the United States government, by President George W. Bush and was subsequently designated board chair by President Barack Obama.

The first Salazar Prize was awarded to second year law student Justin Nyberg in August 2013. "It is tremendously generous of Mr. Salazar to endow this prize, which will benefit UNM Law students for many years to come," says Nyberg. "I am truly honored and grateful to be the first recipient, and inspired by the legacy of Tibo J. Chavez, Sr. Hopefully, one day I will be able to follow both Mr. Salazar's and Judge Chavez’s examples in their generous support of this wonderful legal community we have in New Mexico."

October 7, 2013