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Young Lawyers Division Activities



"Ask-a-Lawyer" Call-in (Statewide)

The Young Lawyers Division hosts an annual call-in in celebration of Law Day. Volunteer attorneys gather in Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, and Roswell to answer calls from the public on a wide range of legal issues.   To volunteer in any of these areas, call the YLD member near you by April 10. In Albuquerque, contact Spencer Edelman at 348-2500.  In Farmington, contact Ken Stalter at 505-599-9822.  Contacts for Roswell and Las Cruces will be announced soon.

Constitution Day

Constitution Day will be held in schools throughout New Mexico on the week of Sept. 15-19. To volunteer, call a program chair in your area:

Albuquerque - Robert Lara, 505-827-8015

Santa Fe/Northern NM - Joachim Marjon, 505-980-2559

Southeast NM - Tim Scheiderer, 575-622-4121

Farmington - Sean Fitzpatrick or Ken Stalter, 505-599-9810.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

A committee of YLD members develop with State Bar staff the annual "2014 YLD Fall Seminar" for new attorneys.  YLD representatives may serve as faculty and assist with planning other CLE programs relevant to new attorneys.  For more information, contact either the 2014 YLD Fall Seiminar chairs, Robert Lara or Ben Sherman or the State Bar's CLE office at (505) 797-6059.

Homeless Legal Clinic (Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe)

Pro Bono legal services are provided at the HealthCare for the Homeless location in downtown Albuquerque and Las Cruces, and Santa Fe.  The Santa Fe location is at the St. Elizabeth Shelter, 804 Alarid St., which can be reached by calling (505) 982-6611, extension 108. The e-mail contact for each location is as follows:

Albuquerque     Laurel Nesbitt,

Las Cruces        Steven Almanza,

Santa Fe          Joachim Marjon,

Interview Project


A series of informal interviews of experienced members of the State Bar will appear here during the coming months.  The interviews will be conducted by members of the Young Lawyers Division who selected their subjects because of a connection, a shared experience, or just curiosity.


Bar Bulletin Issue
Member Interviewed
YLD Member Conducting Interview
June 13, 2012 Charles Peifer Greg Gambill
July 25, 2012 Jan Gilman-Tepper Jennifer Rodriguez Rodgers
August 25, 2012 Hon. David Thuma Spencer Edelman
September 19, 2012 Timothy Cornish Matt Page
October 24, 2012 Felix Briones, Jr. Tyson Gobble
January 23, 2013 Hon. Henry A. Alaniz Damian Lara
February 13, 2013 Hannah Best Aja Brooks
March 13, 2013 Marte Lightstone Jennifer Anderson
April 17, 2013 Roberta Cooper Ramo Rebekah Wright
July 31, 2013 Denise Torres J. Marcos Perales Piña
November 13, 2013 David Herring Keya Koul


Law Day Essay Contest


This year’s assignment is entitled American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Counts, which deals with the idea of lowering the legal voting age from 18 to 16 years of age.

All essays were submitted via e-mail by 5 p.m., March 3, 2014.  

Sponsored by the Modrall Law Firm

For information and questions, contact Evann Kleinschmidt,,

To see information on past award recipients, visit the following link:



Regional Brownbag Luncheons

Local judges inform and discuss with new attorneys matters related to practicing law in the courts. For more information, contact Ken Stalter.

Serving Our Seniors

The national launch of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division's public service project "Serving Our Seniors" was in 2010. This project provides low-income seniors with pro bono legal services in the form of simple wills, powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives.

Statewide: Spencer Edelman, Greg Gambill or Joachim Marjon.
Other Regions: To be determined

Summer Fellowship Program

The Young Lawyers Division is currently accepting applications for its 2014 Summer Fellowships.  The YLD is offering two fellowships for the summer of 2014 to law students who are interested in working in public interest law or the government sector. The fellowship awards are intended to provide the opportunity for law students to work for public interest entities or in the government sector in an unpaid position. The fellowship awards, depending on the circumstances of the position, could be up to $3,000 for the summer.


To be eligible, applicants must be a current law student in good standing with their school. Applications for the fellowship must include: (1) a letter of interest that details the student’s interest in public interest law or the government sector; (2) a résumé; and (3) a written offer of employment for an unpaid legal position in public interest law or the government sector for the summer of 2014. Students are not eligible for the fellowship if they are receiving class or school credit for the position. Applications containing offers of employment that are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check will not be considered unless verification of the successful completion of the background check is also provided.


Please submit applications to:


Ben Sherman

YLD Summer Fellowship Coordinator


800 Lomas Blvd NW Ste 200

Albuquerque, NM 87102-1976


Applications must be postmarked by March 28. Direct questions to Ben Sherman, YLD Fellowship Coordinator,

UNM School of Law/YLD Joint Activities

Contact Ben Sherman,


Mock Interview Program

The Young Lawyers Division is seeking volunteer attorneys to serve as interviewers from 9–11 a.m., Feb. 15, for its annual Young Lawyers Division/UNM School of Law Mock Interview Program.  The mock interviews and coordinated critiques of résumés and cover letters assist UNM law students with preparation for job interviews. Judges and attorneys from all practice areas, both public and private sectors, are needed. A brief training session will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the UNM School of Law preceding the interviews, and breakfast will be provided. To volunteer, contact YLD Board Member Spencer Edelman,


UNM/YLD Law Student Mentor Program

Second and third-year students are paired for the course of the academic year with YLD members from practice area(s) of interest.


For more information, please contact a member of the YLD Board:

2014 YLD Board of Directors

Speed Networking Event


The Speed Networking Event pairs attorneys with UNM law students for speed networking, i.e. people meeting each other one at a time for a short interval and then moving on to the next person in line. The goal is to create an environment other than a standard business event in which networking connections can be made. For more information or to participate, contact Keya Koul.

Veterans Civil Justice Initiative


In the fall of 2012, Jennifer Broomfield, a licensed social worker, lawyer, and Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist at the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System (NMVAHCS), approached the SBNM YLD to explore how to expand the pro bono legal services available to military veterans from the State Bar of New Mexico and legal service providers from around the state, and how to partner with other community stakeholders to address clinical recovery and community integration when delivering legal services.  That exploring led to a formal agreement between the NMVAHCS and State Bar of New Mexico for the purpose of implementing a Veterans Civil Justice Initiative (VCJI) in New Mexico. 


The VCJI expands civil legal services to military veterans in a big way and improves the quality of legal services the Bar provides to our nation’s veterans. The VCJI offers veterans a broad range of veteran-specific and non-veteran-specific legal services through a series of monthly clinics held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month (mark your calendar for Apr. 8, May 13, June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9) in the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Conference Room (Building 45) at the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center (VA hospital) in Albuquerque. Click through the hyperlinks below to see a more detailed overview of the VCJI, as well as a cultural competency training offered to our clinic staff. To get involved, e-mail Greg Gambill at and Keya Koul at


Understanding Military Culture and Engaging Veterans - Powerpoint Training


Veterans Civil Justice Legal Initiative



What Can the YLD Do for You?


What Can the YLD Do for You? - Developing Diverse Leaders on a Local, State, and National Level – This is a new leadership pipeline initiative on which the YLD is working with the voluntary bar associations around the state, the State Bar of New Mexico Board of Bar Commissioners, the ABA YLD, and the ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity.   The Center issued a sobering report in 2010 on the job that law firms, law schools, and bar associations are doing to promote inclusiveness and diversity in the legal profession.  More information on the Next Steps Report and the recommendations made in the report are available by using the following link: The YLD and the voluntary bar associations have decided to take action on the report’s recommendations. 


The first meeting and strategy session took place at the State Bar Center on February 19, 2013.  One of the recommendations that came out of a strategy session was coordination of a free event with the voluntary bar associations for YLD members on April 19, 2013 at Hotel Andaluz.  Styled as a “Celebration of Diversity,” it is a member service event designed at getting a diverse group of young attorneys together under one roof for cross-promoting the bar associations’ work and identifying opportunities for leadership for the attendees at the national, state, and local level.  So far, the YLD, Hispanic Bar Association, Black Lawyers Association, LGBT Bar Association, Indian Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association, and Albuquerque Bar Association are on board as co-hosts.  Future events are in the works, and this initiative is the subject of an application for grant funds from the ABA YLD.

Wills for Heroes


First responder and family consult with attorney John D'Amato.


The Young Lawyers Division participates in the Wills for Heroes Program, which provides essential legal documents free of charge to New Mexico’s first responders Services include wills, living wills, and powers of attorney. By planning now, first responders from local police and fire departments (including spouses and domestic partners) can ensure that their family's legal affairs are in order. Through the Wills for Heroes Program, attorneys are giving back to the community and "protecting those who protect us."

Albuquerque: Spencer Edelman or Greg Gambill
Santa Fe/Northern NM: Joachim Marjon
Outlying Regions: Ken Stalter

YLD...In Brief

Articles for new practitioners are written by YLD members and disseminated twice a year as a newsletter in the Bar Bulletin. Issues of the YLD..In Brief can be found at this link.


Young Lawyers

Annual Report
Homeless Legal Clinic

Junior Judges
Meeting Minutes/Section Liaison Reports

Summer Fellowships
Wills for Heroes
YLD/UNM Law SchoolMentorship Program

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