News Release


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Christine Morganti
(505) 797-6028

Respected Public Servant to be Honored as Public Lawyer of the Year

Albuquerque, N.M.—Tracy M. Hughes will receive the Public Lawyer of the Year Award at 4 p.m., April 29, in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Santa Fe. Hughes is being honored for a career in public service that spans 25 years. She worked for the New Mexico Environment Department for 15 years, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office for two years, and the Public Employees Retirement Association for four years. She currently works for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee. Her expertise in federal and state environmental, tax, employment, finance, and government statutes and regulations made her an invaluable asset at NMED in developing successful cases, negotiating fair settlements, and improving NMED legal processes. She is highly respected for her honesty, integrity and wonderful sense of humor. She has been a mentor and friend to the attorneys who work with her in state government and has sought internship opportunities for law school students. She was promoted to general counsel by both PERA and NMED. As general counsel at NMED, Hughes played an integral role and advocated for the public interest in many difficult cases and negotiations, several of which enhanced the agency’s ability to more effectively regulate federal facilities, mining operations, oil and gas facilities, and solid waste facilities. Hughes’ dedication to serving the state enhanced NMED’s reputation for providing excellent legal service. Her career reflects a tireless dedication to the public interest, infused with integrity and professionalism that makes her a role model for others. Her belief in treating others as she would like to be treated has served as a guiding principle that has shaped her career as well as her personal and professional relationships. In a profession that sometimes suffers from a less than stellar reputation, she demonstrates what being a lawyer is really about—service to others with respect, compassion and humility.

A reception will follow. Speakers include Chief Justice Charles Daniels, Attorney General Gary King and State Bar President-Elect Hans Voss.

The State Bar Public Law Section has given this award on an annual basis since 1996. To view the previous recipients and award criteria, visit

The State Bar of New Mexico was organized in 1886 and is composed of more than 8500 members. Its purposes are to aid the courts in administering justice and preserving the rule of law, and to foster a high standard of integrity and competence within the legal profession.