The State Bar of New Mexico is a professional membership organization of attorneys licensed to practice law in New Mexico. Established in 1886 and originally operating as an agency of the New Mexico Supreme Court, the State Bar was established by state statue on March 17, 1925, and was incorporated under the laws of the State of New Mexico in 1978. Currently, the State Bar is composed of more than 9,000 members.
The State Bar is governed by a Board of Bar Commissioners, all of whom are licensed attorneys elected by their peers from designated Bar Commissioner districts throughout New Mexico. The BBC, together with the staff, carry out the purposes of the State Bar as stated in the Rules Governing the Bar and the State Bar Bylaws, which state the State Bar will seek to:
- “… promote the interests of the legal profession in the State of New Mexico;
- improve the relationships between the legal profession and the public;
- encourage and assist in the delivery of legal services to all in need of such services;
- aid in improving the administration of justice;
- foster and maintain high ideals of integrity, learning, competence and public service;
- provide a forum for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the practice of law and law reform;
- promote and provide continuing legal education in technical fields of substantive law and practice;
- participate in the legislative, executive and judicial processes by informing its membership about issues affecting the legal system and relating to the purposes of the State Bar, and upon approval by the Board of Bar Commissioners…, to take such further action as may be necessary to present the views of the Board to the appropriate court, executive office or legislative body for consideration.”
The New Mexico State Bar Foundation (Bar Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1991 to accomplish many of the goals of the State Bar in public service and public education. The Bar Foundation has an interlocking board with the State Bar, however each board, elects different officers. The Board of the Bar Foundation is comprised of 21 attorneys from throughout the state who are elected by the State Bar membership, and the chair of the Paralegal Division.
Center for Legal Education (CLE)
CLE is operated independently through the New Mexico State Bar Foundation as an entrepreneurial entity to successfully compete in the CLE marketplace. The Center for Legal Education (CLE) is a self-supporting entity that provides live programming for the various sections, committees and divisions of the State Bar of New Mexico, as well as specialty/voluntary and local bar associations. The CLE receives no subsidy from State Bar membership dues and pays for all services and support that it receives from the State Bar including accounting, printing and mailing, reception and facility costs. The CLE currently offers an expanding variety of beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses based upon input received from State Bar members. CLE courses fulfill the New Mexico Supreme Court’s minimum requirements of 10.0 general and 2.0 ethics/professionalism CLE credit.