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|University of New Mexico|
School of Law
|Location||Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.|
|Faculty||34 (full time)|
|Bar pass rate||92%|
|ABA profile||UNM School of Law Profile|
The University of New Mexico School of Law is the law school of the University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque. It is the only law school in the state of New Mexico. Approximately 350 students attend the school, with approximately 115 enrolled in the first-year class. By design, the school has remained this size in order to provide students more hands-on learning and individual attention from professors. Its student-to-faculty ratio of 10.0 is one of the best in the nation. It also has one of the highest student diversity indexes of any law school in the country, with Hispanics as the largest minority group. The National Jurist legal magazine ranked UNM the 6th Best Value among law schools, a ranking based on several criteria including students' average indebtedness after graduation, student employment rates, and tuition costs.
The school is currently ranked 99th by U.S. News & World Report and boasts the 11th ranked Clinical Training program in the country. UNM Law School is one of only 80 law schools nationwide to have a chapter of the Order of the Coif. According to New Mexico's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 72.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.
Highly regarded educational programs at the law school include clinical education, Indian law, and natural resources and environmental law. The in-house Clinical Law Program has been consistently recognized as among the country's best. Though clinical education is optional at most law schools, participation in the clinic is required of all UNM law students. The Indian Law Program includes a specialized program of study leading to a certificate in Indian Law, the Southwest Indian Law Clinic, and the faculty-edited Tribal Law Journal. The Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program includes a specialized program of study leading to a certificate in the field and the student-edited Natural Resources Journal.
The School of Law has a unique relationship with the state government. Under the terms of the Constitution, the Dean of the School of Law has the responsibility of chairing the state's judicial selection process. The Dean also has the statutory responsibility of chairing the state's Judicial Compensation Commission and serving on other boards, committees and commissions. Moreover, the School of Law has the primary responsibility for all judicial education within the state.
Study abroad opportunities are available with special UNM exchange programs in Mexico, Canada, and Tasmania. The law school also has an exchange program with the University of New Hampshire School of Law, which allows UNM students to study patent and intellectual property law at that school.
The School of Law describes its admissions process as follows: A five-member Admissions Committee reviews all applications and makes final decisions on acceptance for admission into the next fall's entering class. The Committee is three full-time faculty members, the Assistant Dean for Admissions, and one third-year law student elected by the student body. The Committee begins reviewing files near the end of the Fall semester; but often a final decision is not made until late April. Th ecommittee considers quantifiable factors (LSAT and grade point average) and non-quantifiable factors (letters of recommendation, personal statement, and extracurricular activities) in making decisions. A substantial preference is given to New Mexico residents. The committee also recognizes that special pre-law programs for minority and disadvantaged applicants provide valuable information about an applicant's ability to succeed in law school, and participation in such programs is taken into account.
Students may participate in the following competitions and moot courts at the law school:
In 1971, the law school moved into its current building, designed by the architect Antoine Predock while he was working for George Wright & Associates. In 2002, the law school opened the Fred Hart wing, designed by architect Edward Mazria. The New Mexico Court of Appeals is located on campus, next door to the School of Law. The Court of Appeals and the School of Law have a symbiotic relationship with the judges using the law school's library and the students using the Court of Appeal's formal courtroom. Indeed, the Court of Appeals was designed for this use, with classrooms for law students adjacent to the formal courtroom.
According to New Mexico's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 72.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. New Mexico's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 23.7%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.
Tuition cost for a full time in-state student, i.e. tuition and fees but not including living expenses, for the 2018-2019 academic year was $8674.76 per semester, or $17,349.52 total for the academic year. Tuition cost for a part time in-state student, taking 10 credits per semester, for the 2018-2019 academic year was $7274.80 per semester, or $14549.60 per academic year. The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at New Mexico for the 2013-2014 academic year was $31,358 or $49,628 for nonresidents. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $120,833 for residents or $192,655 for non-residents.