The University of New Mexico School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Superior practical skills training, renowned faculty, a collegial environment, and reasonable tuition rates make the UNM School of Law one of the best educational values in the country. The Law School offers the Juris Doctor (JD) program, a Master of Studies in Law (MSL), and certificates in Indian Law and in Natural Resources and Environmental Law.

New Mexico’s only law school offers a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and is known nationwide for its pioneering, required Clinical Law Program. Regarded as one of the most popular and most diverse law schools in the country, the UNM School of Law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). The University of New Mexico is the state’s flagship institution, with approximately 36,000 students on its main and branch campuses. Students enjoy the benefits of a large research university located in a metropolitan area: a wide range of extracurricular activities, hundreds of museums and art galleries on and off campus, intercollegiate athletics, and much more.

Admission and Financial Aid

Each year the University of New Mexico School of Law enrolls a small, collaborative, and diverse class of future legal professionals. Applicants are evaluated on their potential for academic success in law school and their potential to contribute to an enriching educational environment. In deciding which students from among a very talented and qualified pool will be admitted, the admission committee considers the applicants’ prior academic performances, scores on the LSAT, letters of recommendation, personal statements, prior work experience, extracurricular activities, and other information supplied by the applicants.

As a public institution and the state’s singular law school, applications from New Mexico residents are given preference. The priority application deadline for the fall entering class is March 1. The application fee is $50.

All admitted applicants to the UNM School of Law are considered for merit scholarships. Applicants interested in being considered for merit awards should apply prior to the priority deadline to receive best consideration. UNM Law is fortunate to have a supportive alumni network that provides several named scholarships to incoming and continuing law students. These named scholarships are awarded to qualified applicants based on their admission application or a scholarship-specific application, depending on the award. Applicants interested in applying for financial aid, including loans and need-based aid, should complete the FAFSA and the College Boards’ Profile applications. The priority deadline to submit the FAFSA and Profile applications is March 1.

For detailed information, please visit Admissions and Financial Aid.


The JD program offers a full-time day curriculum. Students normally complete the required 86 hours of law credit for the JD degree in three academic years (six semesters). A limited number of entering students may be admitted under the Flexible Time status, which allows students to take fewer credit hours per semester and graduate in five academic years. All students must take the standard first-year curriculum, including basic courses in torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, criminal law, and constitutional law. Emphasis is also placed on practical skills building: legal writing, oral argument, litigation, counseling, and negotiation. First-year classes range in size from approximately 15 to 59 students. After completion of the first-year curriculum, courses are elective except for Ethics, Legal Research, Constitutional Rights, a writing seminar, and a legal drafting class, in addition to the Clinical Program.

Typically, one half of the electives have fewer than 12 students. The UNM School of Law is led by a faculty deeply involved in a critical dialogue about a law student’s practical skill set and employability upon graduation. The school maintains an above-average employment rate and believes it is not enough to help law students simply obtain a law degree.

Special Programs

Clinical Law

Nationally recognized as a top law school for the last 40 years, UNM’s program in Clinical Law is regarded as one of the finest practical lawyering programs in the country. This required six-credit-hour program includes the Law Practice Clinic, the Business and Tax Clinic, the Community Lawyering Clinic, the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic, the Child & Family Justice Clinic, and the Southwest Indian Law Clinic.

Students may participate in the externship program and elect assignment to a judge’s office, prosecutor and public defender’s offices, and federal and state administrative offices.

The school also offers an innovative course in Criminal Law in Practice, in which students receive hands-on experience in either prosecution or defense of criminal cases at both the misdemeanor and felony levels.

Indian Law

UNM has long been a leader in Indian law and has developed one of the most comprehensive programs in the country. The Law and Indigenous Peoples Program offers students the Southwest Indian Law Clinic, the Tribal Law Journal, the Indian Law Certificate (ILC), scholarly research, guest lectures, seminars, and social activities. An ILC student completes the JD while enrolling in 21 hours of required and elective Indian law courses.

Natural Resources Law

UNM is widely known for its strength in the areas of natural resources and environmental law and offers a number of electives in these subjects. Students who want to gain a more comprehensive understanding of resource problems may participate in the Natural Resources Certificate Program and the Natural Resources & Environmental Law Clinic, which may include work on the Natural Resources Journal, an internationally recognized publication, as well as an externship with a relevant government or public interest agency.

Business Law

UNM’s Business and Tax Law Program gives students the training they need to become well-prepared business lawyers. An enhanced curriculum includes the Business and Tax Clinic, which offers services to small businesses, start-ups, nonprofit organizations, and economic development programs. Students learn how to advise entrepreneurs on a wide range of business issues.

International Law

The school has developed a variety of programs and courses that provide opportunities for students interested in international law. Students may expand their experience through coursework at the law school and through the study-abroad and exchange programs.

  • The Madrid Summer Law Institute: Students have an opportunity to spend four weeks at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. The program offers classes on European Union law and international law subjects related to the United States and Spain, as well as the rest of Europe.
  • Visiting Programs: In conjunction with the University of New Mexico’s Office of International Programs, law students can take advantage of UNM-sponsored exchange programs throughout Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Dual-Degree Programs

Four established dual JD and master’s degree programs are offered: the JD and MPA in Public Administration, the JD and MBA, the JD and MA in Accounting, and the JD and MA in Latin American Studies. Students can also earn the JD degree and an MA, MS, or PhD in other academic fields. Students must satisfy the admission and academic requirements of both the School of Law and the graduate school.


The UNM School of Law facility is located on the northern edge of the UNM campus in Albuquerque, next to a large, green space. The building is wireless and laptop friendly. The School of Law includes classroom and seminar rooms, faculty offices, student organization and publication offices, a computer lab, the Clinical Program, and the law library. The School of Law is also home to the American Indian Law Center, Inc.; the Utton Transboundary Resources Center; and the Institute of Public Law. Adjacent to the School of Law is the New Mexico Court of Appeals, affording dynamic opportunities and interactions between judges and law students.

Law Library

The UNM Law Library is the largest legal research facility in New Mexico, with a wide variety of electronic products, including more than 75 subscription databases. The library’s resources include special collections in American Indian law, Mexican and Latin American law, land grant law, natural resources, and archival collections. The library’s 32,443 square feet of space provides 346 seats, including 90 student carrels and 256 noncarrel seats, plus numerous areas for study, lounging, and browsing. Convenient features include wireless Internet broadcasters; group study rooms equipped with audiovisual equipment; two student organization meeting rooms; photocopy, print, and scanning facilities; a microform reader/printer; the school’s computer lab for student use; and a classroom for legal research instruction. The library is also home to the Governor Bruce King Archives and Reading Room, which serves as a meeting space for special events.

Career Services

From the first year of law school to graduation and beyond, the Office of Career Services offers individualized career counseling to assist students and alumni in imagining, planning, starting, or expanding their professional careers. The school’s small class size allows for individualized attention, including personalized counseling sessions with the assistant dean for career services; mock interviews tailored for the particular student’s career objectives, such as panel interviews with district attorneys and public defenders for students interested in criminal law, or mock interviews with former judicial law clerks for students interested in securing postgraduate clerkships; and participation in a variety of mentorship opportunities based on the student’s background or professional objectives. UNM law students and alumni have access to a web-based job board that includes local, national, and international jobs; internships; and fellowships. Additionally, the law school sponsors many annual events that increase the connectivity between students and employers, such as Fall and Spring Recruiting Programs (including on-campus interviews), mentoring programs, mock interview programs, attorney presentations on various practice opportunities, career fairs, and networking events. In addition to supporting current students, the UNM Law School Office of Career Services provides career services to alumni.

Student Activities

Activities for students are wide-ranging and include the Natural Resources Journal, the New Mexico Law Review, the Tribal Law Journal, and several moot court and mock trial competitions. All law students are members of the university’s Graduate/Professional Student Association and the Student Bar Association. Students may participate in one or more of the 20 law student organizations.


With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Albuquerque is a great place for outdoor fun and activities. Just miles from untamed expanses providing an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, and just hours from world-renowned travel destinations, some of the best locations to see in your lifetime are in and around Albuquerque and New Mexico.

In addition, students have the opportunity to visit museums and art galleries and take in concerts and theater. The combination of multiple cultures reflected in food, music, art, architecture, and local customs heightens Albuquerque’s appeal. The Albuquerque metropolitan area has a population of approximately 750,000. Situated along the Rio Grande, the city is located at a high desert elevation of 5,000 to 7,000 feet and is surrounded by the Sandia Mountains.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at New Mexico:

3.36 to 3.72

25-75% LSAT Score Range at New Mexico:

151 to 160

25-75% UGPA Range at New Mexico:

3.36 to 3.72

25-75% LSAT Score Range at New Mexico:

151 to 160

25-75% UGPA Range at New Mexico:

3.36 to 3.72

25-75% LSAT Score Range at New Mexico:

151 to 160

Contact Information

MSC11-6070, 1 University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque, NM 87131,
United States