New Mexican Law

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JamMasterJ
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:51 pm

scrowell wrote:
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?

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

firemed
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:27 pm

1. While you are down there (El Paso area) I would head north into NM and see Carlsbad Caverns. One of the most beautiful places on earth, period.

2. Yes, if you wanted I suppose you could: withdraw from CUNY, move to New Mexico for one year, then apply in 2012 for the class of 2013. I would retake your LSAT if you did that. It would be a big slow down for you though. But if you came down here on a trip and REALLY REALLY wanted to be here then maybe it would be worth it to you, I don't know.

Also, to whomever said something about UNM catering to Native/Hispanic students is simply incorrect in my opinion. They cater to every New Mexico resident with a pulse, and while they have many programs specifically geared towards Hispanics/Natives/AAs/Etc. that is simply because those groups are sometimes less well prepared for college. If you are white and not prepared for college they still have free tutoring, groups for you, etc. And if you notice a large number of Hispanics there it is simply because they are actually nearly a majority in the state, not because of preferential treatment.

WSJ_Law
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby WSJ_Law » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:30 pm

I'm patiently waiting for OP to outhimself as a grandiose flame.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:31 pm

WSJ_Law wrote:I'm patiently waiting for OP to outhimself as a grandiose flame.

He's very committed

pretzel
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby pretzel » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:34 pm

I'm really hoping he's not a flame. This thread contains possibly the best, most constructive advice on a topic ever assembled on TLS.

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scrowell
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:37 pm

firemed: I'm considering it, but I'm running out of time to decide. Do you know if it would be possible for me to do 1L at CUNY, move to NM for a year, and then apply as a transfer? I guess I have a lot of thinking to do over the next few weeks. Thanks for the info btw.

WSJ: I asked you in another thread, but I'll ask again. Does your name=wall street journal law? Another poster is wondering as well!

JamMaster: There's only 1 type of person that could be this committed: a non-flame (me)!

Pretzel: I'm not a flame, and I love pretzels (especially ones covered in chocolate, peanut butter, or yogurt)

Seriously if people don't think I'm for real I'd be happy to prove it (if you can think of a way for me to).

firemed
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:39 pm

WSJ_Law wrote:I'm patiently waiting for OP to outhimself as a grandiose flame.



Even if he is, there is useful information in here for anyone looking into practicing in NM someday.

Also, I am half convinced he isn't a flame. Just... like "the Dude" or something personified.

firemed
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:42 pm

scrowell wrote:firemed: I'm considering it, but I'm running out of time to decide. Do you know if it would be possible for me to do 1L at CUNY, move to NM for a year, and then apply as a transfer? I guess I have a lot of thinking to do over the next few weeks. Thanks for the info btw.



First off you can never, ever, count on transferring in the first place. Law school grades are, per several sources, either entirely luck... or more likely half luck and half hard work. Either way you can't really guarantee you will ever be in the top 10-20% of your class required for you to transfer.

Secondly if you were really interested in taking that route you would really need to call UNM or LSAC or somebody on that.... because honestly I don't know if you can take a year off and then "transfer." And even if you did and then you got turned down for the transfer, WTF are you going to do then?

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scrowell
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:51 pm

firemed wrote:
scrowell wrote:firemed: I'm considering it, but I'm running out of time to decide. Do you know if it would be possible for me to do 1L at CUNY, move to NM for a year, and then apply as a transfer? I guess I have a lot of thinking to do over the next few weeks. Thanks for the info btw.



First off you can never, ever, count on transferring in the first place. Law school grades are, per several sources, either entirely luck... or more likely half luck and half hard work. Either way you can't really guarantee you will ever be in the top 10-20% of your class required for you to transfer.

Secondly if you were really interested in taking that route you would really need to call UNM or LSAC or somebody on that.... because honestly I don't know if you can take a year off and then "transfer." And even if you did and then you got turned down for the transfer, WTF are you going to do then?


Good points, especially the one in bold. I dunno what to do. I guess I should maybe just stick with my original plan and try to get some summer work there.

andythefir
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:54 pm

I mentioned something similar in the UNM law class of 2014 thread (which firemed also responded to, I honestly have no desire to be antagonistic) and I can only speak from personal experience but I found UNM to have a very strong preference for Native and Hispanic students. They held a separate graduation ceremony for Native and Hispanic students that white students, regardless of background, were not invited to. Further, a Hispanic friend of mine was aggressively recruited by the law school while a white friend with better credentials got a postcard telling him the application charge and deadline and no follow up. I don’t mean to start an affirmative action debate and if someone else had a different experience with the school then great. The other side of the story is that UNM has one the best Native law programs in the country, and I’m sure it’s also a leader in issues in Hispanic law. Again, I don’t mean to say that UNM doesn’t care about white people. I mean to say that UNM knows what it’s good at and capitalizes on it.
Again, in the interest of maximizing info on a searchable forum coming from anywhere but especially NY it might be easier to break into NM if you were Hispanic or Native. At the very least if you spoke at least functional Spanish it would go a long way to mitigating the bias. Basically do whatever you can to minimize the appearance that you’re some pencil neck city boy trying to take advantage of the locals is especially critical in the legal profesion.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:22 pm

I'm friends with David Coss on facebook; does that count as a tie?

I kid. Obviously firemed knows that I was sincerely considering UNM this year. Great state, Dean Sue is amazing, and if my life plan were a bit different right now, I'd have been there in a heartbeat. As it is, dating an international and having no idea ATM whether our life plan is in the US or the UK muddled the whole thing up for me.

But I will say that I am not a Hispanic/NA, I am not a resident, and my only ties are that I once visited close friend from Santa Fe for all of 48 hours and I dated a guy from SF for about a year, but obviously neither of those came up in my application. If you have the credentials, UNM isn't going to ignore you just because you're not His/NA. But you do have to have the credentials if you don't have any obvious links, and I'm not so sure OP does. I think a retake would be in order for him to secure a spot there.

For serious, though, I really wouldn't bank on getting a job in NM without strong regional ties (and I'm referring to the generations of family going back thing) or a UNM degree.

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Veyron
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby Veyron » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:54 pm

descartesb4thehorse wrote:I'm friends with David Coss on facebook; does that count as a tie?

I kid. Obviously firemed knows that I was sincerely considering UNM this year. Great state, Dean Sue is amazing, and if my life plan were a bit different right now, I'd have been there in a heartbeat. As it is, dating an international and having no idea ATM whether our life plan is in the US or the UK muddled the whole thing up for me.

But I will say that I am not a Hispanic/NA, I am not a resident, and my only ties are that I once visited close friend from Santa Fe for all of 48 hours and I dated a guy from SF for about a year, but obviously neither of those came up in my application. If you have the credentials, UNM isn't going to ignore you just because you're not His/NA. But you do have to have the credentials if you don't have any obvious links, and I'm not so sure OP does. I think a retake would be in order for him to secure a spot there.

For serious, though, I really wouldn't bank on getting a job in NM without strong regional ties (and I'm referring to the generations of family going back thing) or a UNM degree.


Why is new mexico so closed off to outsiders. Is it just the long history thing?

BeautifulSW
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:47 am

You'd have to ask a psychologist but my pop-psych opinion is that we have a serious social inferiority complex. We think that the rest of the country is laughing at us so when you move here, we assume that you will be patronizing toward us. We start out resenting you.

I moved here before some of you kids were born and I certainly didn't feel superior or patronizing but I came from the Seattle area which, in those days, ALSO had a serious inferiority complex so I fit right in. I also acquired a taste for chile and a smattering of Spanish (since much improved.)That plus a certain tanned, weather-beaten exterior makes me hard to tell from a native of the state. A WHITE native, to be sure, but a native nevertheless.

P.S. I had not heard of the separate, exclusive graduation ceremony for Latinos and Native Americans. I find the idea disturbing.

P.P.S. White folks are not "gringos" in case anyone asks. I have never heard a Spanish speaker use that term. They have other words for us that vary from simply descriptive through very rude. I have no idea, beyond Tony Hillerman's accounts, what the Native Americans call us.

P.P.P.S. New Mexico's center and western thirds are ABSOLUTELY "Indian Country." If that idea bothers you, don't come here.

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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:00 pm

I stand linguistically corrected.

A native Spanish speaking associate tells me the her family uses "gringo/a" almost exclusively to describe white people. The word I've heard most often is "gabacho/a". Neither word is pejorative, I'm told, though I still think I hear a slight "snort" when I hear "gabacho".

andythefir
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:16 pm

I don’t want this thread to be moved to the lounge because there is some insider advice re: NM law. My take is that NM doesn’t have a complex, but we have been geographically isolated for centuries from Spain, then Mexico and now the U.S. People who want a dry CA will go to AZ. People from other places that want to feel like cowboys will go to TX. People who want to look down on everyone because they go outside go to CO. I’m sure other far-out states have similar insider preferences. There have been lots of well-educated and relatively wealthy lured by Sandia and Los Alamos and they are asterisks to the resistance to outsiders. This backs up what I said previously that in the future if there are more industries moving in there will be more outsiders and, in what I hope brings this thread back to law relevance, will substantially increase the demand for law.
Also, “Indian land” taking up lots of the state provides a tricky opening for outsiders. Reservations need help navigating the complicated federal law that applies to them and right now people from those reservations are culturally transitioning into wanting to go to college (in UNM’s Native American Studies department there are lots of stressed out folks from reservations who have never been in a city like Albuquerque before). So there is a demand for people to help them interact with the feds but those jobs really ought to go to folks from the reservation.

BeautifulSW
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:34 pm

The jobs are already here. Believe me, if you as a young lawyer want a law job in New Mexico and you are willing to move to whatever part of the state that needs you, you WILL find a job. But the pay might be so little that debt service becomes impossible. That is the most common complaint I hear.

Another complaint that I usually DON'T hear directly, because I'm notoriously unsympathetic to it, is that the jobs are in places like the Eastern High Plains or the Permian Basin oil patch that kids aren't willing to go to, even for just a few years. I had to start out in a very isolated and unattractive part of the state and it ended up being one of the most important periods in my career. Young lawyers should be open to opportunity where it is not just where they wish it were.

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scrowell
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:56 pm

andythefir wrote:I don’t want this thread to be moved to the lounge because there is some insider advice re: NM law. My take is that NM doesn’t have a complex, but we have been geographically isolated for centuries from Spain, then Mexico and now the U.S. People who want a dry CA will go to AZ. People from other places that want to feel like cowboys will go to TX. People who want to look down on everyone because they go outside go to CO. I’m sure other far-out states have similar insider preferences. There have been lots of well-educated and relatively wealthy lured by Sandia and Los Alamos and they are asterisks to the resistance to outsiders. This backs up what I said previously that in the future if there are more industries moving in there will be more outsiders and, in what I hope brings this thread back to law relevance, will substantially increase the demand for law.
Also, “Indian land” taking up lots of the state provides a tricky opening for outsiders. Reservations need help navigating the complicated federal law that applies to them and right now people from those reservations are culturally transitioning into wanting to go to college (in UNM’s Native American Studies department there are lots of stressed out folks from reservations who have never been in a city like Albuquerque before). So there is a demand for people to help them interact with the feds but those jobs really ought to go to folks from the reservation.


BeautifulSW wrote:The jobs are already here. Believe me, if you as a young lawyer want a law job in New Mexico and you are willing to move to whatever part of the state that needs you, you WILL find a job. But the pay might be so little that debt service becomes impossible. That is the most common complaint I hear.

Another complaint that I usually DON'T hear directly, because I'm notoriously unsympathetic to it, is that the jobs are in places like the Eastern High Plains or the Permian Basin oil patch that kids aren't willing to go to, even for just a few years. I had to start out in a very isolated and unattractive part of the state and it ended up being one of the most important periods in my career. Young lawyers should be open to opportunity where it is not just where they wish it were.


These are both encouraging pieces of info. I'm guessing that this is closer to the truth than what other people in this thread have been saying (i.e. never even try, you'll never get a job in NM) because you guys both live and/or work in the state, so you'd probably know what's up. Any idea why these other people are saying it's too difficult to get a job in NM? Are they referring to the more "glamorous" law jobs in places like Albuquerque? I'm just interested to know because I personally would be more than happy (and I expect) to take an entry level position in a less desirable city/town with a low salary.

andythefir
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:11 pm

I’m going to defer to the veteran of employment in the far-out parts of the state about the demand for attorneys in those regions. If beautifulSW could put some actual salary #s to the discussion it would be helpful because coming from out of state you might think that the lifestyle we’re talking about is $40-60k and my understanding is that it’s nowhere close to that.
Also, on a side note NM might be a long-term good bet if you look at demographics. For whatever reason people can’t handle cold anymore so there is a big picture migration from north to south, specifically to TX. This coupled with NMs relatively high fertility and the politics in CA and AZ could mean big changes moving into the future.

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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:13 pm

Most out-of-state inquiries I get center on Albuquerque, Santa Fe, "or maybe Taos". There's work in those places too, even Santa Fe because it's the Capital, but those markets are pretty much over-lawyered (except Taos and frankly, there's a whole lot less in Taos than people seem to think.) It's a lot easier to get there with some experience than right out of school.

I agree with the comment that, if you like N.Mex. but the isolation and poverty are problems, you should absolutely consider Tucson.

New state lawyers start out in the remoter (and cheaper) parts of the state at around $45,000. The classifieds mention as little as $36K but I don't think anyone other than Legal Aid actually pays that little. That's why I say that anyone owing more than about $50,000 should look elsewhere.

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scrowell
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby scrowell » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:28 pm

Awesome, thanks a lot for the info guys! I'm definitely interested in something like legal aid, and $36k is definitely a fine starting salary for my budget, especially if I'm living in an area with low living costs.

What are some examples of cities/towns were someone might get an entry level attorney position with legal aid or with the state? I looked on the NM legal aid site, but I didn't see any entry level positions listed under job opportunities.

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Veyron
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby Veyron » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:51 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:I stand linguistically corrected.

A native Spanish speaking associate tells me the her family uses "gringo/a" almost exclusively to describe white people. The word I've heard most often is "gabacho/a". Neither word is pejorative, I'm told, though I still think I hear a slight "snort" when I hear "gabacho".


Gringo does not necessarily just refer to white people, but to (native born) Americans generally, expecially those without latino heritage. E.g. if you are African American, you can still be a "gringo." Its rather confusing, I know. It can be either a term of endearment or pejorative depending on context. If it ends with -ito, it is almost certainly being used in a nice way. Gabacho is also used. The prevalence of either term will depend on the dialect of Spanish being spoken.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby andythefir » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:02 pm

NM is one of the few true swing states and right now a Republican governor is trying to reverse policies put in place by the previous Democrat governor. Budgets are getting slashed which means that trying to get a state job anywhere in the state could be challenging. Tangentially related is that UNM had its budget cut substantially so, again undergrad experience speaking, UNM might be an uncomfortable place to be in the near future.

BeautifulSW
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:33 pm

Almost everybody uses the bar bulletin classified ads to recruit from outside their organizations. http://Www.nmbar.org

A very common, perhaps the most common, first law job in N.Mex. Is assistant district attorney in some place like Hobbs or Carlsbad or Clovis or Grants or Farmington.
Last edited by BeautifulSW on Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

firemed
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:34 pm

scrowell wrote:Awesome, thanks a lot for the info guys! I'm definitely interested in something like legal aid, and $36k is definitely a fine starting salary for my budget, especially if I'm living in an area with low living costs.

What are some examples of cities/towns were someone might get an entry level attorney position with legal aid or with the state? I looked on the NM legal aid site, but I didn't see any entry level positions listed under job opportunities.



Clovis, Tucumcari, Silver City, Las Vegas, Carlsbad, Artesia, Roswell, Soccoro, Grants, Espanola, Gallup... there are many others...

Being a PD or a DA in Espanola would be interesting. They had (and may still have) the highest per capita heroin usage in the country (yes, the whole of the USA included).

My dad got his start here as a CRNA working in Grants. From there he was able to make contacts to get him into Albuquerque, and my mom made contacts to work as an RN in Sante Fe.

Personally I would actually like moving to Taos. I love the people and scenery in Northern New Mexico. But SW is right... Taos has like 14K people in it and there ain't much to do there. I think the whole county has less than 50K. Oddly enough, despite what others have said, I also like southern NM and wouldn't mind living in Las Cruces either. I like that town.

firemed
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Re: New Mexican Law

Postby firemed » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm

andythefir wrote:NM is one of the few true swing states and right now a Republican governor is trying to reverse policies put in place by the previous Democrat governor. Budgets are getting slashed which means that trying to get a state job anywhere in the state could be challenging. Tangentially related is that UNM had its budget cut substantially so, again undergrad experience speaking, UNM might be an uncomfortable place to be in the near future.



Yeah, my tuition for next year just went up 7% or so I think. Not bad compared to the rest of the country still though. And Governor Martinez is a UNM Law grad, so hopefully she won't hurt us too too bad.




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