Professor Verónica C. Gonzales-Zamora

Photo of Assistant Professor Gonzales-Zamora

Assistant Professor of Law
B.A. University of New Mexico
J.D. University of New Mexico School of Law with Clinical Honors
Member of the New Mexico Bar

Member of Order of the Coif

  UNM-DR   Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-1782
 Office: 3123


Verónica Gonzales-Zamora teaches primarily civil procedure I and II, ethics, poverty law, and appellate decision-making. She previously taught in UNM’s top-ranked Clinical Law Program as a visiting professor and Indian Civil Rights, the Tribal Law Journal, and Appellate Moot Court as an adjunct professor.

Gonzales-Zamora brings rich experience litigating with lawyers in tribal, state, and federal courts at district and appellate levels. Gonzales-Zamora was an appellate judicial law clerk for New Mexico Supreme Court Justice P. Jimenez Maes (’73) (ret.), and New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge E. Kiehne and then-Chief Judge M. Zamora (’87) (ret.).

As a lawyer, she worked in complex litigation at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, an Am Law 200 rated law firm, and at David Walther Law (now known as Walther Bennett Mayo Honeycutt P.C.). During law school she worked with Beth Gillia (’97) the Director of UNM’s Institute of Public Law, David Urias (’01) of Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward P.A., Morris Chavez (’98) of SaucedoChavez, P.C., and the late Justice C.W. Daniels (’69) of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Gonzales-Zamora currently serves as a member of the NM Chapter of the Federal Bar Association Board and previously served as an Executive Member of the NM Hispanic Bar Association Board.

Applying what she learned in clerkships and law practice, Gonzales-Zamora writes in the area of access to justice through the lens of legal education and legal regulation. She writes on issues of economic justice, intersectionality, civil procedure pedagogy, and the use of lay advocates in New Mexico’s history pre-statehood. Specifically, she explores racial and economic disparities among millennial women of color which inspired her to establish a network of millennial/xennial law faculty. Gonzales-Zamora is a member of the Southwest Hispanic Research Initiative, which promotes multidisciplinary research on the Latino/Hispanic populations of New Mexico and the United States.

Gonzales-Zamora is also a member of the Volunteer Attorney Panel for New Mexico Legal Aid and the ABA’s initiative. Gonzales-Zamora is the founding and immediate past chair of the Solare Collegiate Charter School Governing Board, a rigorous charter school located in the Southwest Mesa of Albuquerque, NM near where she grew up.


Civil Procedure I

Civil Procedure I is an introduction to procedures employed by state and federal courts for resolution of civil disputes. The course investigates the process of forum selection, the rules implementing the requirement of notice and an opportunity to be heard, the pleadings stage of litigation, the discovery process, and the summary judgment mechanism as a device for terminating litigation prior to trial. The advanced course, Civil Procedure II, is offered to 2L and 3L students and continues the chronological study of civil litigation through the appellate process.

Civil Procedure II

This course continues the analysis (begun in Civil Procedure I) of the procedural stages of a simple lawsuit, considers special problems raised by complex litigation, and explores alternatives to traditional litigation as a means of resolving disputes.

Course topics include: pre-trial conference; judge and jury selection; judgment as a matter of law; jury instructions and form of verdict; findings of fact and conclusions of law; post-trial motions for new trial and renewed requests for judgment as a matter of law; appeal; motions for relief from judgment; collateral estoppel, res judicata and law of the case; joinder, impleader, intervention, interpleader, declaratory actions and class actions; and arbitration. The focus is on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but New Mexico procedural law is also considered throughout the course.


We will study the rules governing the professional conduct of lawyers and explore the values of the legal system which justify and explain those rules. Specific subject matter includes: the duties of competence, confidentiality, and loyalty; acquisition and retention of clients (including undertaking representation, advertising, solicitation, and withdrawal from representation); and problems concerning the manner of representation (the "Principle of Professionalism" and "zealous advocacy within the bounds of the law"). Concepts will be illustrated through application of the rules to problems, use of video and audio clips for discussion, supplementary readings, and student presentations of rules and cases related to assigned fact patterns. In addition to the traditional final essay examination, quizzes on various topics, using questions taken directly from the MPRE practice exams, will be given throughout the semester.

Indian Civil Rights

Exploring tribal sovereignty; status of Indians and tribes through history; the historical context and purposes of enactment of ICRA; scope, limitation, and enforcement of ICRA; impact on tribal sovereignty and individual rights; modern application in federal/ state/ tribal courts; evolution and impact of TLOA, VAWA, AEDPA; criminal and civil jurisdiction in Indian country; state power over Indian affairs; case studies regarding equal protection, due process, religious freedom, education, identity and enrollment, prisons, indian gaming, child welfare; and broader policy considerations such as human rights and tribal self-determination.

  • The Indian Civil Rights Act at Forty, 2012 ed., Edited by Kristen A. Carpenter, Matthew L.M. Fletcher, and Angela R. Riley, ISBN 978-0-935626-67-4
  • The Rights of Indians and Tribes, 4th ed. (2012), Authored by Stephen L. Pevar, ISBN 978-0199795352

Moot Court Competition - National Native American Law Student Association

Contact instructor for course description.

Poverty Law

Contact instructor for course description.

Southwest Indian Law Clinic

Background –The Southwest Indian Law Clinic (SILC) provides high quality legal representation and clinical practice experience in Indian Country. SILC is pro-active in the advocacy, promotion and establishment of indigenous people’s rights. SILC students may represent individual clients and/or tribal groups or Indian communities. Through representation, students may be exposed to issues arising from historical oppression, poverty and under-representation, and other issues related to culture, race and socio-economic status in the legal system. Students are taught to approach legal solutions premised on tribal sovereignty, cultural rights or traditional internal law, as well as general legal principles.

Type of Case Work – The type of case work depends largely on the existing caseload and new case intake, but the Clinic experience is also driven by individual student interest and energy.

The Southwest Indian Law Clinic handles cases arising under federal, state or tribal law. Students may have opportunities to appear in all courts and to assist clients in access and use of tribal traditional dispute resolution in their community. SILC cases allow students to engage in vigorous defense, active motion practice and extensive brief writing. These cases typically involve people that would go without representation, but for SILC.

Clients – Potential clients come from the outlying and nearby Pueblos and tribal communities, and the urban Indian population. In addition to serving walk-in clients, SILC may provide legal services or intake at community intake sites in and around Albuquerque. Students may also engage in project work with tribal governments, non-profit organizations and non-governmental Indian organizations.

Clinic Class and Office hours – Students will be required (1) to attend and actively participate in up to five classroom sessions (ten during summer’s first three weeks) during each week of the academic semester and (2) to maintain, in addition to classroom hours, a schedule of 24 (2-hours block) fixed office hours (physically present in the clinic, working on clinic matters) each week during Summer, or 16 (2-hours block) fixed office hours each week during Fall and Spring semesters.

Classroom learning complements and supports both the high quality representation and professionalism in all dealings with clients, staff, supervisors, the judiciary, opposing parties and others. Classroom discussions of pending cases and assigned readings; role-play and simulation; and cultural and racial literacy exercises enable students to practice and gain confidence in skills such as, client interviewing and counseling, advocacy, and communication.

Questions about the Southwest Indian Law Clinic? Please feel free to visit with Profs. Creel or Zuni Cruz. Have a great Clinic experience!

Tribal Law Journal

Students enrolled in the Law of Indigenous Peoples class will be invited to join the Tribal Law Journal staff for the fall and spring semesters of their second and third years. The journal is an exclusively on-line journal devoted to advancing indigenous self-determination through promoting scholarship and discussion on internal indigenous law. Students will meet throughout the year to learn, not only correct Bluebook citation styles, but also how to cite sources of traditional law. Students will be given the opportunity to edit and source check scholarly papers submitted to the journal, including substantive and technical editing, as well as opportunities to promote the mission of the journal in the community and submit their own written work for publication. The journal provides students the opportunity to learn more about indigenous law and to contribute their voice to the discussion relating to the internal law of the world’s indigenous people.


Get in Good Trouble: A Collection of Essays by Millennial Law Scholars, An Introduction to the Collection (forthcoming 2020).

Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Breath: A Call for Economic Justice (forthcoming 2020).

Popular Press

First-of-its-Kind Millennial/Xennial Scholars Roundtable on the Future of Legal Education - by Professor Veronica Gonzales-Zamora, Race and L.  Professor Blog (Aug.10, 2020).
Available at: Race and the Law Prof Blog

Bar & Trade Publications

Comment in Support of Proposal 2018-006 – Immigration status of bar applicants (Rule 15-103(B)(7)), N.M. HISP. BAR ASSOC. (Apr. 11, 2018).
Available at: UNM-DR

State Habeas and Tribal Habeas: Identical or Fraternal Twins, 36(4) ABA APP. PRAC. J. (Aug. 31, 2017) (co-authored with Barbara Creel).
Available at: ABA Appellate Practice Committee

Appellate Pro Bono Manual Update (2d ed. Nov. 4, 2017) (co-authored).
Available at: UNM-DR


The Triple Threat: Millennial Women of Color, Latinx Law Professors Virtual Workshop Series (Aug. 12, 2020).

Roundtable on the Impact of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, Millennial/Xennial Law Prof Collective (July 13, 2020) (co-moderator)

Exposing Race at Work, LatCrit/SALT Biennial Conference, Georgia State University School of Law (Oct. 18, 2019) (presenting “Regardless of Race”).

Community Input Hearing for Solare Collegiate Charter School, New Mexico Public Education Commission (July 19, 2018).
Available at: NM Public Education Department

Hearsay in New Mexico, University of New Mexico School of Law Evidence Course (October, 4, 2018) (with Hon. Linda Vanzi).
Available at: UNM-DR

Federal Indian Law, University of New Mexico School of Law Southwest Indian Law Clinic (May 31, 2018).
Available at: UNM-DR

Judicial Presentations

Civil Procedure Update 2020, Annual Judicial Conclave (June 19, 2020) (with George Bach).
Available at: UNM-DR


Brief for Southwest Indian Law Clinic as Amici Curiae, United States v. Smith (Mar. 20, 2018) (US CT. APPEALS NINTH CIR. NO. 17-30248) (co-authored with Barbara Creel).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Washington Legal Foundation as Amici Curiae, Arguedas v. Seawright, D-0101-CV-2013-10293 (2017) (N.M. APP. CT. NO. A-1-CA-35699) (co-authored with Harold D. Stratton, Jr.).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Association of Commerce & Industry as Amici Curiae, Beaudry v. Farmers Ins. Exchange, et al. D-101-CV-2011-00646 (2017) (N.M. SUP. CT. NO. S-1-SC-36181).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amici Curiae, Fortino Alvarez v. Randy Tracy (2015) (US CT. APPEALS NINTH CIR. NO. 12-15788) (co-authored with Barbara Creel).
Available at: UNM-DR

In the News


Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award (2020)
Awarded by the New Mexico State Bar to attorneys who have, during the formative stages of their legal careers by their ethical and personal conduct, exemplified for their fellow attorneys the epitome of professionalism, and demonstrated commitment to clients’ causes and to public service, enhancing the image of the legal profession in the eyes of the public.
Available at: NM State Bar Bulletin

Outstanding New Faculty of the Year Award Nominee (2019-2020), Nominee