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Friday, October 21, 2022

6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Dinner & Awards Presentation
UNM Student Union Building

2022 Honorees

Phil Davis, middle aged man in suit and tie
Phil Davis (posthumously)
UNM School of Law Class of 1978
Phil Davis graduated from the UNM School of Law in 1978, clerked for US District Judge Edwin L. Mechem and taught law for a year at the University of Indiana. Beginning in 1981, he practiced civil rights law and represented hundreds of individuals in federal and state courts. Phil also was class counsel in landmark class actions on behalf of inmates in jails and prisons, (Duran and McClendon), and persons with disabilities (Jackson). He tried cases all over New Mexico and litigated many appeals in New Mexico and federal appellate courts. For more than 20 years he taught classes and mentored many young lawyers in trial practice, federal law issues, and billing practices and attorneys’ fees; and he also lectured regularly at continuing legal education seminars in several areas, including trial practice, civil rights and mediation.

Suedeen Kelly, adult white woman with a pearl necklace
Former Professor Suedeen Kelly

After graduating from Cornell Law School, Suedeen moved to Albuquerque and became a founding partner of Luebben, Hughes & Kelly. In 1982, Suedeen left the firm to work for then-Attorney General Jeff Bingaman in the Consumer Division, representing utility customers before the New Mexico Public Service Commission. In 1983, Suedeen was nominated and confirmed to serve as Commissioner of the NMPSC, and she later became the Chairwoman.

Suedeen left the NM PSC in 1986 to become an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she taught and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Natural Resources Journal. While on leave from UNMSOL, Suedeen worked at Sheehan, Sheehan & Stelzner, Modrall Sperling, and served as a legal aide to U.S. Senator Bingaman.

Suedeen was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Bush in 2003 and again in 2004. President Obama renominated Suedeen for a third term in 2009. Presently, Suedeen divides her time between New Mexico and D.C. where she is Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Energy Practice.

David Martinez, middle aged man in suit and tie outside
David Martinez
UNM School of Law Class of 1982
David Martinez has deep roots in New Mexico with his father from Santa Rosa and his mother from Albuquerque. David attended Our Lady of Fatima Catholic school and Albuquerque Academy. He earned his BBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1978. David graduated from UNM Law School where he was the student bar President from 1981-82 and received the Dean’s Award. David served on the UNM Law School Board for 35 years where he was chair of the DAAD Committee several times, chair of two fundraising campaigns and taught law office management. David has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Albuquerque Academy, Manzano Day School, and Sandia Prep School. Over the course of the last 40 years David has represented thousands of New Mexico families in personal injury, wrongful death, and legal malpractice cases. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers and has served on the Board of the NM Trial Lawyers Association for 25 years. David is the senior shareholder and president of Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C.

Linda Vanzi, middle aged woman of color with grey hair, standing inside
The Hon. Linda M. Vanzi (ret.)
UNM School of Law Class of 1995
Born in Pakistan, Linda Vanzi spent her youth living and studying in Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Dallas, and San Francisco, where she became a United States citizen, before attending college in New York. After working in the field of environmental compliance and workplace safety on the East Coast and in Texas, Linda eventually moved to Taos, where she lived and worked for several years running the restaurant she owned there before deciding to apply to the Law School. Beginning with her work as a law clerk to the legendary U.S. District Court Judge Edwin Mechem, Linda has enjoyed a career in the law as multi-faceted as her experience in life. After serving as a trial judge at the Second Judicial District Court, Civil Division, Linda went on to serve for 12 years as a judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals before retiring from the judiciary. She currently practices at the Rodey Law Firm, where she also conducts mediations and arbitrations, and continues to teach at the Law School where it all began.

Alumni Promise Award

The Alumni Promise Award was established in 2017 and honors a recent UNM Law School graduate who has contributed innovative or substantial service to the Law School, its students, or its community.

Rebekah Gallegos, adult woman with short black hair and a blue blouse
Rebekah Gallegos
UNM School of Law Class of 2014
Rebekah is an attorney with Peifer, Hanson, Mullins & Baker, P.A., where she litigates complex cases ranging from plaintiffs’ wrongful death matters and employment cases to state and federal criminal appeals. She has argued and briefed appeals before the Tenth Circuit, the New Mexico Supreme Court, and the New Mexico Court of Appeals. Rebekah is a member of the Board of Trustees of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, an essential health care provider and protector of accessible and affordable sexual health care and education throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Rebekah is a proud 2014 graduate of UNMSOL, where she served on the New Mexico Law Review and received the Clinical Honors Award for work with the Business and Tax Clinic. Following graduation, she clerked for the New Mexico Supreme Court. Rebekah remains an active volunteer with UNMSOL, including serving as an adjunct faculty member for the Lab course.

Give to the Law Alumni Fund

Watch the 2021 honorees' and special tribute to Dean Fred Hart videos

Your Impact

Taylor Watrous Lueras, Class of 2012

The Alumni Merit Scholarship was extremely important to me. It was a factor in my decision to stay in New Mexico, attend law school here, and become a New Mexico lawyer. As a recipient of the scholarship, I realized that I had the support of the entire legal community of New Mexico, and it motivated me to work even harder in law school. The Scholarship afforded me so many important opportunities, and I am thrilled to be able to give back to New Mexico and the UNM School of Law as an alumna.

Taylor Watrous Lueras Class of 2012
Noell Sauer, 3rd Year Student

The Law Alumni/ae Association full-tuition scholarship is life changing in so many ways. For me I think it is particularly humbling and motivating to know that there are people out there who support my goals, so much so that they are willing to finance my legal education. This scholarship removes a significant burden off of me as a student and allows me to focus my time and energy on becoming the best lawyer I can be. The confidence this scholarship inspires is truly incredible and I could not be more grateful for the support.

Noell Sauer Class of 2018
Emma O'Sullivan, 3rd Year Law Student

When I applied to law school, I never thought that I would get in, let alone receive a scholarship. Besides giving me and my family the financial support I needed to be able to attend law school, the Scholarship gave me the important message that I was "law school material," and really deserved to be here. Attending UNM School of Law has changed my life and given me amazing opportunities, and I'm really excited about the directions my career path is already taking. Words are inadequate to describe the feeling of gratitude I have that the Alumni Board decided to take a chance on me, and gave me the opportunity to become a part of this community.

Emma O'Sullivan Class of 2016


In 1993, University of New Mexico School of Law Alumni/ae board members began a tradition of honoring people who have served the legal community in a significant way at an annual dinner and awards ceremony. The purpose of the Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner is to celebrate notable accomplishments and dedicated service by lawyers and others in the legal community to the UNM School of Law, the New Mexico legal community and the greater community inside and outside of New Mexico.

Since the dinner started, 72 honorees, more than 7,000 attendees and hundreds of sponsors have participated in the event. The dinner has raised over $500,000 for law school programming, including the Alumni Association scholarships, the Law School's only merit-based full-tuition scholarships presented to incoming law students.

Thank you for helping us honor members of the law school and legal community, and for helping us support our alma mater.

Past Awardees

Paul Robinson (`50)
Honorable Santiago Campos (`53)
Ruth C. Streeter (`53)

Franklin Jones (`56)
Professor Henry Weihofen
Honorable Mary C. Walters (`62)
Haskell Rosebrough (`51)

Honorable Dan Sosa, Jr. (`51)
John D. Robb, Jr.
William E. Bondurant, Jr.
Raymond W. Schowers (`73) (posthumously)

Professor Albert Utton
Felix Briones (`57)

Honorable E. L. Mechem
Honorable Joe Wood (`50)
D. Russell Moore (`57)

Gene Gallegos (`60)
Honorable Richard Ransom
U.S. Representative Steve Schiff (`72) (posthumously)

Honorable Howard Bratton
Kevin Gover (`81)
Professor Fred Hart

Sarah Bradley (`72)
Arturo Jaramillo
William Snead (`61)

John R. Cooney (`65)
Raymond G. Sanchez (`67)
Anne B. Thomas (`83)

Professor Robert J. Desiderio
Nancy Hollander (`78)
Luis G. Stelzner

Ranne D. Miller (`67)
Maureen A. Sanders (`79)
Associate Dean Peter A. Winograd

Richard L. Gerding (`64)
Honorable Tommy E. Jewell (`79)
Professor Ruth L. Kovnat

Arthur O. Beach (`70)
Pat R. Bryan, III (`74)
John E. Echohawk (`70)
Toby Grossman (`68) (posthumously)

Professor Michael B. Browde
Randi M. McGinn (`80)
Andrew G. Schultz (`84)
Walter K. Martinez (`55) (posthumously)

William H. Carpenter (`66)
Honorable Pamela B. Minzner (posthumously)
Gary O. O`Dowd (`65)

Professor William T. McPherson, Jr. (`66)
Paula Tackett (`77)
U.S. Senator Tom Udall (`77)

Catherine Goldberg ('75)
Peter Mallery ('68)
Professor Emeritus and former Dean Leo M. Romero

Professor Anne Bingaman
Richard Civerolo (`50)
Professor and former Dean Ted Parnall (`67, January)
Wendy York (`82)

Peter Johnstone ('74) (posthumous award)
Ted Occhialino, Professor Emeritus
Patricia Madrid ('73)
Norman Thayer, ('60)

William Marchiondo ('52)
Edward Ricco ('80)
Jacquelyn Robins ('74)
Joan Hart, Lifetime Service Award

The Hon. Elizabeth Whitefield ('77)
Prof. Emeritus Richard Gonzales
Briggs Cheney ('73)

The Hon. Lorenzo F. Garcia ('73)
Joseph Goldberg
Tim Sheehan

Professor Barbara E. Bergman
The Hon. Michael D. Bustamante ('74)
Professor James W. Ellis
Shammara H. Henderson ('07) (Alumni Promise Award)

Aja N. Brooks ('08) (Alumni Promise Award)
Justice Edward L. Chavez (Ret.) ('81)
Jill L. Marron ('84)
Steve Scholl ('89)

The Hon. M. Christina Armijo ('75)
Justice Charles W. Daniels ('69)
Regent & Professor Emeritus
Robert Schwartz
Kelly Stout Sanchez ('09) (Alumni Promise Award)

DAAD Committee Members

Robert Lucero ('08), Chair
Samantha Adams ('03)
Morris Chavez ('98)
Barbara Shapiro ('78)
Andy Schultz ('84)

Agnes Fuentevilla Padilla ('92)
Justin Goodman ('11)
Bradford Zeikus ('66)
Adolph Sutton ('86)

Quiana Salazar-King ('13)
David Martinez ('82)
Shammara Henderson ('07)
Bert Parnall ('97)