Photo: J. Michael Norwood

J. Michael Norwood

Professor Emeritus


  • B.A. 1967, J.D. 1970, University of New Mexico
  • Member of the New Mexico Bar

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-0377
 Office: Emeriti Suite Rm. 3226


Professor Norwood centers his work in four general areas: clinical legal education, children's advocacy, technology law, and computer applications. Although he is now emeritus status, he still regularly teaches at the law school.

The primary focus of his clinical work is developing sustainable, community oriented law clinics. Professor Norwood's clinics bring a multidisciplinary approach to serving the unmet needs of underrepresented clients and groups. To this end, he has participated as principal investigator or consultant on numerous research grants that have supported this approach to clinical legal education. In his current clinical work he developed and teaches a child advocacy clinic that includes a multidisciplinary clinical component through a cooperative arrangement and strategic alliance with the pediatrics department at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Professor Norwood's clinical work included service as the Reporter for the American Bar Association Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap. The Task Force's Report entitled Legal Education and Professional Development - An Educational Continuum is recognized as the major influence on recent developments in improved lawyering skills programs at ABA accredited law schools.

Professor Norwood's interest in children's advocacy stems from his clinical work with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine's FOCUS Project. The FOCUS Project is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The project provides extensive services to children at risk of abuse and neglect because they have been exposed to drugs or alcohol prior to birth or have been identified as living in high risk environments. Basic research and institutional reform regarding abuse and neglect issues are included as goals of the project, and he and his student were instrumental in the State of New Mexico adopting progressive legislation benefiting children being raised by grandparents or other relative caregivers.

Computer technology became a focal point for Professor Norwood's work during his term of service, from 1983 to 1992, as the Director of Clinical Programs at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Computer technology continues to be central to his research and teaching. His interest in computer technology includes both computer applications used by legal professionals and the law that governs the use of computers, especially Internet law. His work in computer technology includes service as the inaugural research scholar at the Centre for Computer Technology and Law at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He is also a member of Board of Directors of the Center forComputer Aided Legal Instruction (CALI) and is a past president of CALI.


Advanced Clinic

Advanced Clinic is by invitation only.

Child Health Policy and Practice

Children's Health is an Internet based course which addresses a wide range of issues, including: health care decision making for newborns, children and adolescents; advance directives for children; substitute health care decision making for minors; minors' religious decisions with medical consequences; complementary and alternative medicine; the duty to protect children from medical abuse and neglect; health care decision making for pregnant women; children's access to health care; financing health care for children; and research involving children as human subjects.

Reading will be available online, a few lectures will be provided online through streaming audio, there will be a few small group activities (e.g., participation in negotiations over whether a newborn must be treated in an intensive care unit), and there will be live "chats" in which all of the students and the teachers will discuss issues online at the same time.

Community Lawyering Clinic

Pre-requisite: Completion of first year curriculum. Pre- or co-requisite: Ethics.

Summer 2013--Prof. Aliza Organick, Prof. Sarah Steadman
Fall 2013--Prof. Yael Cannon, Prof. Sarah Steadman
Spring 2014--Prof. Carol Suzuki, Prof. Camille Carey

The Community Lawyering Clinic provides outreach legal services in partnership with local community service providers, including non-legal disciplines.  Through the Medical/Legal Alliance for Children (MLAC) the Clinic has entered into a strategic alliance (the nation’s first) with the Pediatrics Department of the UNM Health Sciences Center.  MLAC law students represent children, caregivers, and families to address non-biological factors affecting children’s health including food, housing, education, physical safety (domestic violence), caregivers’ relationships and conflicts over custodial rights, immigration status, involvement in the criminal justice system, and availability of healthcare and other benefits.  Students represent clients in Family Court, Children’s Court (juvenile delinquency), and other venues as necessary.  In addition to the MLAC, the Community Lawyering Clinic collaborates with PB&J Family Services, the NM Public Defender and organizations serving families of incarcerated and addicted individuals, seniors, and HIV-positive people.  Students work under law professor supervision and on interdisciplinary teams when appropriate.  Clients include speakers of English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

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.

Students having specific questions about the Community Lawyering Clinic are encouraged to visit with Profs. Cannon, Carey, Organick, Steadman, or Suzuki.

Computer Applications and the Law

Lawyers' and the judiciary are rapidly deploying digital technology in support of their work. This course will cover the major technologies being used by the legal profession through hands on instruction. Students will learn to identify and analyze what technologies best work in a variety of contexts, including solo practice, firm practice, and litigation. Students will receive hands on experience in several applications including web tools, spreadsheet software, database software, practice support software, expert systems, litigation support software, automated document assembly, presentation software, electronic publishing, and collaboration tools.

Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation

This course is designed to develop students' skills in the fundamentals of client interviewing, counseling, and negotiating agreements. These three skills are essential components of competent lawyering. The course will cover conceptual foundations for understanding the processes involved in interviewing, counseling, and negotiation. Students will conduct simulated exercises in interviewing counseling and negotiation, which will be peer reviewed and critiqued by the professor. Student learning outcomes include demonstrated ability to articulate and execute the essential elements of a client interview, explain and competently perform a client counseling/decision making meeting, and prepare and complete an effective negotiation, as well as draft a negotiated settlement agreement.

Required texts: A Practical Approach to Client Interviewing, Counseling, and Decision Making, by G. Nicholas Herman and Jean M. Cary; Getting to YES Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton, and William Ury; Getting to YES Workbook by Danny Ertel and Roger Fisher.

Recommended Reading: Essential Qualities of the Professional Lawyer, Edited by Paul Haskins, Published by ABA Book Publishing.

Law Office Management

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own practice this course is for you. Students will explore the essential personal and professional decisions and steps necessary to design, open and operate a successful law practice. At the conclusion of the course, students will have a complete business plan the is both customized to their particular practice goals as well as one that covers the key topics attendant to any successful law practice. These topics include getting started, getting located, getting equipped, finding clients, choosing an practice area, setting fees and billing, managing trust and office accounts, selecting appropriate malpractice insurance coverage, managing the law office ethically and responsibly, developing checklists and templates, accessing resources and advice, finding quality of life, and more.

Required text: How to Start and Build a Law Practice, by Jay G. Foonberg.

Recommended Reading: The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession, edited by Paul A. Haskins, published by ABA Book Publishing.

Pre-Trial Practice

Lawyers who are actively involved in asserting and defending clients' rights through litigation, in fact, spend very little of their time in trial, or even in the courtroom. This course will focus on lawyers' work before trial in both State and Federal court. Topics covered include case strategy, investigation, drafting pleadings, discovery practice, motion practice, the pretrial conference, and negotiation and settlement. Teaching methods will include discussions, readings, demonstrations, a court "field trip", and drafting exercises.


Books & Book Chapters

The Origins of Law School Education, Professional Education in the United States: Experiential Learning, Issues and Prospects (Soloman Hoberman & Sidney Mailick eds., 1994) (co-authored with Frederick M. Hart.)

Key Parameters of the Clinical Method of Study, Professional Education in the United States: Experimental Learning, Issues and Prospects (Soloman Hoberman & Sidney Malick eds., 1994) (co-authored with Frederick M. Hart).


Problem Solving in a Multidisciplinary Environment: Must Ethics get in the Way of Holistic Service, 9 CLINICAL L. REV. 337 (2003) (co-authored with Alan Paterson).
Available at: UNM-DR

Commercial Transactions by Electronic Commerce Involving the United States, Mexico and the European Union: A Panel Discussion, 10 U.S.-MEXICO L. J. 165 (Spring 2002).
Available at: US-MEX

Scenes from the Continuum: Sustaining the MacCrate Report's Vision of Legal Education into the Twenty-First Century, 30 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 293 (1995).
Available at: UNM-DR

Requiring a Live Client, In-house Clinical Course: A Report on the University of New Mexico Law School Experience, 19 N.M. L. REV. 265 (1989).
Available at: NMLR

Survey of New Mexico Evidence Law, 12 N.M. L. REV. 329 (1982).
Available at: NMLR

The Constitutionality of Pre-Trial Detention Without Bail in New Mexico, 12 N.M. L. REV. 685 (1982) (co-authored with Larry Novins).
Available at: NMLR


Internet Team Teaching: One Team's Experience [last visit October 10, 2003], JURIST LEAGAL INTELLIGENCE: LESSONS FROM THE WEB (November 2001) (co-authored with Theresa Player & Robert Seibel).

An Interdisciplinary Model for Clinical Legal Education and Legal Services Delivery, SERVICE BRIDGES (Summer 1998).

Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap, 14 NAPLA NOTES 4, 44 (1993) (co-authored with Peter Winograd.)


Legal Education and Professional Development - An Educational Continuum - Report of the Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap, A.B.A. SEC. ON LEGAL EDUC. AND ADMISSIONS TO THE BAR (1992) (co-authored with others as a Task Force Reporter.)

Clinical Office Procedures and Computer Use Manual (University of New Mexico School of Law, 1991) (co-authored).

Report on the University of New Mexico School of Law Clinical Law Program (1987). [On file with the New Mexico Supreme Court.]

Use of Documentary, Pictoral, and Tangible Evidence (Legal Services Corporation, 1982). (Co-authored with S. Landsman.)

Art of Critiquing (Legal Services Corporation, 1979). (Co-authored with M. Hermann.) [A test and training module utilized at national training conferences for experienced Legal Service lawyers.]

Comparison of Law Students and Licensed Attorneys Performance in Representing Indigent Charged with Misdeameanors (Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, 1975). (Co-authored with F. Evans.)

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