for First-Year University of New Mexico Law Students

Program Description and Application

I. History and Mission:

ARTURO JARAMILLO, the first Hispanic president of the State Bar of New Mexico, started the Summer Law Clerk Program in 1993. The program’s goal was to offer law students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to clerk in legal settings that provide a foundation for the students’ law careers. Over the years, more than 200 first-year law students have participated in the program, working in the best legal environments in New Mexico. Mr. Jaramillo’s vision has come to fruition as the program has seen many of its past participants go on to become some of our legal community’s most influential attorneys, judges, and political leaders. The State Bar’s Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession is focused on maintaining the strength of the program and its positive influence on the diversity of the New Mexico bar. In 2016, the Arturo Jaramillo Clerkship Program gained national recognition when it received the American Bar Association’s Partnership Award, which recognizes broad-based pipeline efforts aimed at nurturing diversity in the legal profession.

Read testimonials from past participants here.

Click Here for Prospective
Employer Information


Arturo Jaramillo, ABA’s Standing Committee on Bar Activities
and Services Chair Kathryn Grant Madigan, and Morris Chavez


American Bar Association 2016 Partnership Awards Program
honoring the State Bar of New Mexico Arturo L. Jaramillo Summer Law Clerk Program

II. Eligibility

Students meeting the following criteria shall be eligible to apply for participation in the program:
A. The applicant must be a first-year law student at the UNM School of Law.  
B. The applicant must be in academic good standing with the UNM School of Law.  
C. The applicant must possess and demonstrate capable research and writing skills.

III. Selection Committee

In conjunction with the UNM School of Law, the State Bar of New Mexico will establish a Selection Committee made up of the various employers participating in the program. This committee will break into smaller groups in order to effectuate timely interviews with all applicants.

IV. Selection Procedure

Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements set forth for the program will be selected for summer law clerk positions by the Selection Committee on an individual case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the following:
  • the applicant’s cover letter/personal statement;
  • the applicant’s legal research and writing skills;
  • the applicant’s résumé (education, community and professional involvement, and achievement);
  • the applicant’s letter of reference; and
  • the applicant’s interview.

V. Assignments

The applicants selected to participate in the program will be assigned to a participating law firm, agency or corporate legal department at the sole discretion of the Selection Committee. The participating firms, agencies and legal departments are located both in and around the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas. The employers will be informed of the selections and will initiate contact with the summer law clerks.

VI. Job Specifics

  • Participating Employers: Any private law firm, public agency or corporate legal department that regularly employs at least three lawyers may participate in the program.
  • Salary and Schedule: The terms and conditions of employment for student law clerks, including salary and work schedule, shall be determined individually by each of the employers and student law clerks.
  • Evaluation: Student law clerks will be evaluated by their law firm or agency in the same manner as other law clerks at the firm or agency.
  • Second-Year Clerking: Employers are not required to extend an offer to clerk for a second summer but may do so if they wish. Participants in the program should not expect such an offer.

VII. Application

Applicants for the Arturo L. Jaramillo Summer Law Clerk Program are required to submit the following items for consideration:

  1. Cover Letter/Personal Statement: The personal statement should include general autobiographical information (family, academic, employment, or financial history; important community or work experience; and extracurricular activities). The statement should set forth the reasons why the applicant wants to participate in the program and why the applicant should be selected as one of the summer law clerks. Emphasis should be placed on personal characteristics, communication skills, goals, motivation, and legal research and writing proficiency. The cover letter/statement should be limited to three pages.
  2. Professional Résumé
  3. One Letter of Reference
  4. One Writing Sample: One legal research writing sample should represent the applicant’s research and writing skills. The document must not exceed five pages double-spaced in length and may be an excerpt from a larger document.