New Mexican Law

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
SchopenhauerFTW
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:00 am

scrowell wrote:
SchopenhauerFTW wrote:Santa Fe/Albuquerque, NM > El Paso TX.

New Mexico is beautiful. It's hard to settle there though as an outsider.


Why do you think it's hard to settle there as an outsider?

Refer to SBL's post before this one.

User avatar
Bronx Bum
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:02 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby Bronx Bum » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:02 am

shoeshine wrote:Are you going to a T1 school in NY? (For example: Columbia, NYU, Cornell, Fordham) Rank really makes a difference when you are evaluating the portability of a law degree.

But if you are willing to accept any job I am sure you would be fine either way.


FTFY

BeautifulSW
Posts: 581
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:13 am

"East Coast blowhards"? I like that. It's true, too, to a considerable extent.

The following is my opinion after living all around in the Land of Enchantment for 30 years:

I don't know how hard breaking into N.Mex.'s "BigLaw" (it isn't really big) would be. A few top grads from UNM Law get associate positions every year. I was never in the running for that, though, partly because I graduated just inside the top third and that wasn't good enough and partly because I was older, ex-Navy, and had some pretty definite opinions. I didn't much like them and they didn't notice my existence so I guess we're even. Well, I did get a nice lunch at the Petroleum Club out of it once.

Northern N.Mex. (meaning the mountains north of Bernalillo) in general ISN'T friendly to outsiders and "outsider" means "anyone whose great grandparents weren't (all) born here". Santa Fe is outwardly open to newcomers but good luck making any friends outside of your workplace. There's very little "community" feeling in S.F. but there's a LOT of hate between tight knit groups. And EVERYONE hates the uber-rich glitterati who buy summer estates and take over the town. (Worthless scum.)

The rest of the state actually IS quite friendly and open, even Albuquerque. There's work here but salaries tend to be pretty low. If you owe $120,000, best look elsewhere.

andythefir
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:28 pm

I think this thread is starting to go around in circles so to be very clear if someone needs info on NM law in the future: NM has tons of families that have been in the region for centuries. To underscore the effect of this there is a dialect of Spanish that is only found in certain regions of NM because they have culturally been cut off from the rest of the region for so long and are therefore distinct not only from NY or TX but even from AZ and Mexico. Thus, they have, especially in the small towns, grown up and gone to school together with very few outsiders. This is common in other places I'm sure but as for the legal market specifically due to so much of the legal demand being wills, divorces, etc. folks are more likely to hire someone they know personally and went to the local schools, is from a family has been in the community since the conquistadors etc. If more industries start moving in then this might change in the big cities, but as for now you might be better off going to a local high school, then UNM, then UNM law than trying to come in with some out of state JDs.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 581
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:29 pm

That pretty much nails it, Andy. I remember being very surprised one day in Santa Fe to overhear one local address another using "vosotros", a thing virtually unknown outside Spain itself. Whether that is common in the Northern New Mexico dialect I could not say but there it was.

If a young lawyer is absolutely panting to work in the mountains of the northern half of the state, the way to do it is to secure a state law job. These jobs are available even now in the current Depression but in general, some Spanish language skills are preferred. I'm not sure exactly why. A great deal of Spanish is spoken on a daily basis in New Mexico (and not just in the North) but unless you are dealing with immigrants, virtually everyone also speaks fluent American English. I don't think it's disguised racism because I myself have been hired up there.

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:54 pm

andythefir wrote:I think this thread is starting to go around in circles so to be very clear if someone needs info on NM law in the future: NM has tons of families that have been in the region for centuries. To underscore the effect of this there is a dialect of Spanish that is only found in certain regions of NM because they have culturally been cut off from the rest of the region for so long and are therefore distinct not only from NY or TX but even from AZ and Mexico. Thus, they have, especially in the small towns, grown up and gone to school together with very few outsiders. This is common in other places I'm sure but as for the legal market specifically due to so much of the legal demand being wills, divorces, etc. folks are more likely to hire someone they know personally and went to the local schools, is from a family has been in the community since the conquistadors etc. If more industries start moving in then this might change in the big cities, but as for now you might be better off going to a local high school, then UNM, then UNM law than trying to come in with some out of state JDs.


If people want to wrap up the thread, that's fine with me. There's definitely a lot of valuable info in here, and I appreciate everyone's input. I'll be trying for some sort of summer work in ABQ/Santa Fe/Las Cruces/El Paso in the future to try to make some contacts that could help me with a more long-term job and just for the experience in general. If it doesn't work out for next summer (which I've gathered is somewhat likely), I'll visit, and if I really love it there, I'll maybe try to transfer to UNM. I do love CUNY's mission and focus on the public sector, and I was really happy to get in there (and am still happy to be going there!), but I'm not sure if I want to spend my whole life in NYC, so if the school proves to be too limiting to get me out to the NM/southwest in general, I guess I'll have to seriously consider trying to transfer (although that will likely prove to be tough as well).

andythefir
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:59 pm

One of the ironies of NM law is that UNM is actually pretty rough to get into if you don't, guess what, have connections. I don't want to overstate this issue, which I tend to think I have, but the market is definitely rigged against cheery, impossible to discourage CUNY students. For what it's worth I'd hire someone so relentlessly positive.

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:14 pm

andythefir wrote:One of the ironies of NM law is that UNM is actually pretty rough to get into if you don't, guess what, have connections. I don't want to overstate this issue, which I tend to think I have, but the market is definitely rigged against cheery, impossible to discourage CUNY students. For what it's worth I'd hire someone so relentlessly positive.


Haha thanks! I guess I'll keep up the good attitude, and if all else fails, just take the bar down there and try to show firms that I'm committed to working in the state, and that I'm not an "east coast blowhard who just wants to be there for 10 minutes."

User avatar
bbvk05
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:19 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby bbvk05 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:32 pm

Things you may not know about me: I love the American Southwest.


--ImageRemoved--

User avatar
uzpakalis
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:36 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby uzpakalis » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:05 pm

AZ > NM

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 pm

Bad news for me, transfers are only admitted it they meet the following criteria:

"Are in good standing at the law school previously attended, are residents of New Mexico , and have a compelling reason to continue their legal education at The University of New Mexico School of Law"

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:45 pm

theavrock wrote:If not a flame...

If you want to work in NM go to a T-14 or go to UNM.

New Mexicans are very New Mexican oriented. I've lived in ABQ for the last two years and one thing I can tell you about this city is that they take care of their own and breaking in from the outside is tough. I would assume even more so in the legal profession


+1... the bar is very protectionist of NM residents here. The advice above is correct. The gross majority of lawyers here either went to UNM Law, a T14, or lived and/or worked in NM prior to applying for the bar.

Now, it isn't impossible for you to go to CUNY and come here, but I would guess that without some post-grad legal work experience on your resume you would be at a huge disadvantage when applying for jobs. Once you had it I am willing to bet you might have a shot though, especially if you are doing something unique or in demand.

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:56 pm

Also, to answer an earlier question:

JAG= Judge Advocate General

If you want to work for the military, which from your posting history I am guessing is no, and you want a chance to end up in NM you will need to go work for the Air Force as we have no Army bases and ZERO coastline for the Navy/Marines/Coast Guard to put a base on.

Also, I am almost starting to believe you aren't a flame.


ETA: as some have said, federal government jobs aren't impossible, though I am guessing those are pretty hard to get coming out of CUNY.

SchopenhauerFTW
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:15 pm

scrowell wrote:Bad news for me, transfers are only admitted it they meet the following criteria:

"Are in good standing at the law school previously attended, are residents of New Mexico , and have a compelling reason to continue their legal education at The University of New Mexico School of Law"

The text in bold does no shock me.

Every time I come check on this thread I can hear the NM desert calling me.

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:32 pm

firemed: thanks for the replies, you're a student at UNM, right? Not sure how far along you are, but if you've finished 1L or 2L, did you work with any out-of-staters at legal internships?

SchopenhauerFTW: I hear it everyday my friend. But I was surprised by that. I guess I could just move to NM and work/save for a year and then try to transfer. Might be risky though. We'll see how my grades are. I suppose I could always ask admissions if I would have a chance after my grades come in too. I think they'd be honest with someone who would be willing to uproot and move across the country for their school.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 581
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:40 pm

It IS hard to get into UNM, much harder than the school's rank would suggest. UNM Law is small; my class graduated 104 new J.D.s and I don't think the school has grown much since 1986. It is very hard to get in as a non-resident and considerably harder to transfer in. The one transfer I know about came from U Tulsa but he was originally from N.Mex.

I don't honestly know whether connections help. I had some but I never saw my admissions file and don't know what they looked at. Plus I had a pretty decent UGPA and a quite decent LSAT score. And I was a resident and a veteran. The school actively recruits URMs and women. I am neither.

The school itself is a lot of fun. Yes, you heard me right. UNM Law is a fun place to be in my experience and in the descriptions of the law clerks and new grads I've worked with over the years since my own graduation. And it's pretty reasonably priced for in-state residents. But make NO mistake; a UNM Law J.D. might have legs but they're SHORT. I see that the D.C. Circuit just received a UNM Law graduate; he's an exception. I know of exactly ONE U.S. Supreme Court clerk from UNM. Go there and prepare to make your life with us. Okay by ME but most TLS posters seem to want NYC, DC, Boston, or LA. Pfft. You all are welcome to it.

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:20 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:It IS hard to get into UNM, much harder than the school's rank would suggest. UNM Law is small; my class graduated 104 new J.D.s and I don't think the school has grown much since 1986. It is very hard to get in as a non-resident and considerably harder to transfer in. The one transfer I know about came from U Tulsa but he was originally from N.Mex.

I don't honestly know whether connections help. I had some but I never saw my admissions file and don't know what they looked at. Plus I had a pretty decent UGPA and a quite decent LSAT score. And I was a resident and a veteran. The school actively recruits URMs and women. I am neither.

The school itself is a lot of fun. Yes, you heard me right. UNM Law is a fun place to be in my experience and in the descriptions of the law clerks and new grads I've worked with over the years since my own graduation. And it's pretty reasonably priced for in-state residents. But make NO mistake; a UNM Law J.D. might have legs but they're SHORT. I see that the D.C. Circuit just received a UNM Law graduate; he's an exception. I know of exactly ONE U.S. Supreme Court clerk from UNM. Go there and prepare to make your life with us. Okay by ME but most TLS posters seem to want NYC, DC, Boston, or LA. Pfft. You all are welcome to it.


Dang, now I definitely feel like I made my decision too hastily. I guess this is why people take time off between u-grad and law school. I don't know what I should do...

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:19 am

scrowell wrote:firemed: thanks for the replies, you're a student at UNM, right? Not sure how far along you are, but if you've finished 1L or 2L, did you work with any out-of-staters at legal internships?




Well, I start in 3 weeks or so, so I can't say yet. Sorry. I can say that I have met out of state interns working at Legal Aid, and at the USAO... but I have limited experience in that area. I can also say that both of those were from the T14 though.

As far as your final question: I don't know what you are going to do. You can't transfer to UNM, but you could theoretically transfer to UC Boulder (which places down here sometimes, but would require you to be towards the top of your class), Texas Tech (I'm pretty sure that's the one in El Paso), or one of the Arizonas and try to make the move from there. You could get some PD experience in NYC which would look pretty good on your resume and try to move here with that...

Good luck with whatever you decide.


ETA: Theoretically if you were #1 in your class there is a chance you could transfer to the lower T14... I have no realistic idea of the chances of that from CUNY, however, honestly.

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:29 am

firemed wrote:
scrowell wrote:firemed: thanks for the replies, you're a student at UNM, right? Not sure how far along you are, but if you've finished 1L or 2L, did you work with any out-of-staters at legal internships?




Well, I start in 3 weeks or so, so I can't say yet. Sorry. I can say that I have met out of state interns working at Legal Aid, and at the USAO... but I have limited experience in that area. I can also say that both of those were from the T14 though.

As far as your final question: I don't know what you are going to do. You can't transfer to UNM, but you could theoretically transfer to UC Boulder (which places down here sometimes, but would require you to be towards the top of your class), Texas Tech (I'm pretty sure that's the one in El Paso), or one of the Arizonas and try to make the move from there. You could get some PD experience in NYC which would look pretty good on your resume and try to move here with that...

Good luck with whatever you decide.


ETA: Theoretically if you were #1 in your class there is a chance you could transfer to the lower T14... I have no realistic idea of the chances of that from CUNY, however, honestly.


Thanks man. Texas Tech is actually interesting to me, I'll consider it if there's literally no way UNM is going to work out.

andythefir
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:17 pm

A few quick corrections: UTEP is in El Paso, and is actually a pretty nice campus. It does not have a law school however, and Texas Tech in Lubbock might make someone from NY's head explode. The 505 (Albuquerque, Santa Fe) has mountains, neat cities and good food. Lubbock has dirt as far as the eye can see. I liked the campus when I was considering undergrad there because I wanted a foot in the door to TX and I would argue that all TX schools set you up way better for TX than NM, especially west TX.
I don’t mean to hijack anything, and firemed is in a better position to answer about specifically the law school, but UNM undergrad is very much geared toward Hispanic and Native students because the surrounding region has the highest concentration of those races of almost anywhere in the country. I don’t want to open a can of worms but the school may bend over backwards for those students and not for others.
OP: you seem like a free spirit, in all honesty I would take your spring break, rent a car and drive it down to NM and fly back. That drive is brutal but it’s the only way to experience the fine distinctions between the regions we’re talking about and if you’re truly making such a huge decision it’s the least you can do. If you still have your heart set on it the best way to get anywhere in the country without connections is to get a GS job, especially if you're a veteran, wherever you can get it and then look to transfer.

redwings15
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:23 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby redwings15 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:28 pm

Wait, you want to live in New Mexico for the rest of your life solely because you've seen cool pictures of the place... ?

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby Veyron » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:28 pm

uzpakalis wrote:AZ > NM


True that. If you like NM, you'll probably like Tucson which is a lot more open to outsiders. Its about the size of Albuquerque but with better pay.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 581
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:34 pm

Texas Tech is almost the standard "safety school" for New Mexican 0Ls. But as always, it helps a lot to be an in-state applicant.

Lubbock is every bit as bad as described but it's also incredibly cheap to live in and if you are going to make your legal career in New Mexico, it is EXTREMELY unwise to owe more than about $50,000 when you graduate with your J.D. If I decided to try for Tech, I'd move to Lubbock the year before I applied to establish Texas residency. Sell insurance or wait tables or something but do NOT under ANY circumstances pay out-of-state tuition at Texas Tech or UNM.

This is bread, brothers and sisters...do NOT come to N.Mex. expecting to earn six figures. It isn't gonna happen.

andythefir
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:43 pm

NM v AZ in general is not going to be a productive conversation because AZ welcomes outsiders (Phoenix is the chain store and restaurant capital of the world), NM hates them so preferences will fall across those lines with the exception of folks who love moutains. That distinction also holds for the legal market, but a distinction to make is that the AZ legal market may pay better but is also more saturated. Typical big v small state tradeoffs.

User avatar
scrowell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:04 pm

Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:55 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Texas Tech is almost the standard "safety school" for New Mexican 0Ls. But as always, it helps a lot to be an in-state applicant.

Lubbock is every bit as bad as described but it's also incredibly cheap to live in and if you are going to make your legal career in New Mexico, it is EXTREMELY unwise to owe more than about $50,000 when you graduate with your J.D. If I decided to try for Tech, I'd move to Lubbock the year before I applied to establish Texas residency. Sell insurance or wait tables or something but do NOT under ANY circumstances pay out-of-state tuition at Texas Tech or UNM.

This is bread, brothers and sisters...do NOT come to N.Mex. expecting to earn six figures. It isn't gonna happen.


That's really good advice. In retrospect, I probably should have taken some time to figure out where I want to be. I still am excited about starting law school, but thinking about these things now has me regretting I didn't take a year to really think things through. Is it possible to take a year off to gain residency and switch schools? That's definitely something I'd consider for UNM or Texas Tech.
andythefir wrote:A few quick corrections: UTEP is in El Paso, and is actually a pretty nice campus. It does not have a law school however, and Texas Tech in Lubbock might make someone from NY's head explode. The 505 (Albuquerque, Santa Fe) has mountains, neat cities and good food. Lubbock has dirt as far as the eye can see. I liked the campus when I was considering undergrad there because I wanted a foot in the door to TX and I would argue that all TX schools set you up way better for TX than NM, especially west TX.
I don’t mean to hijack anything, and firemed is in a better position to answer about specifically the law school, but UNM undergrad is very much geared toward Hispanic and Native students because the surrounding region has the highest concentration of those races of almost anywhere in the country. I don’t want to open a can of worms but the school may bend over backwards for those students and not for others.
OP: you seem like a free spirit, in all honesty I would take your spring break, rent a car and drive it down to NM and fly back. That drive is brutal but it’s the only way to experience the fine distinctions between the regions we’re talking about and if you’re truly making such a huge decision it’s the least you can do. If you still have your heart set on it the best way to get anywhere in the country without connections is to get a GS job, especially if you're a veteran, wherever you can get it and then look to transfer.


Yeah I read that it wasn't in El Paso. Lubbock isn't that great a place though? I'd assume Texas Tech would still place decently in El Paso since there isn't a law school there though, am I right? And that road trip idea sounds great. NY to Albuquerque is about 2,000 miles, and adding El Paso adds about 500 extra miles. Good thing I like driving! Anyone have any tips for someone making this trip? Like would stopping in El Paso/Southern NM before Albuquerque be faster, or vice versa?




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: studyingeveryday and 4 guests