The University of New Mexico School of Law, also known as UNM Law, is the state's only law school and is located in Albuquerque between the Rio Grande and Sandia Mountains; the school itself sits adjacent to a 9-hole golf course. With in-state tuition at just over $10,000, New Mexico Law School is a great bargain, particularly for those interested in areas such as Indian Law and Natural Resources Law. Note that nonresident students may become residents after the first year of study provided they meet the applicable requirements.
The University of New Mexico Law School's 3-year full-time Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from mid-August to mid-May; although there is no traditional part-time program, beginning in Fall 2008, a Flexible Time Program is available. The 2007 acceptance rate was 22.5%.
1117 Stanford Drive NE
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Fast Facts (Class of 2011)
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 10
LSAT Median: 154
LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 150-157
UGPA Median: 3.31
UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.04-3.61
Costs and Fees (2008-2009)
$11,594 (In-state residents)
Other expenses (estimates)
Room and board: $8,180
Books and supplies: $1,082
Duplicating and computer fees: $300
Personal expenses: $2,966
Note that all students are required to have a laptop computer pursuant to the school's Required Laptop Program.
Application fee: $50
Application deadline: February 15, 2009 for Fall 2009 admission
In addition to the application and fee, applicants must submit:
- Personal statement
- One letter of recommendation
- LSDAS report
New Mexico Law accepts transfer students who have completed one year with outstanding records at an ABA-approved law school.
Transfer applicants must submit a $50 application fee, complete an application, and submit the following:
- Statement as to why applicant is requesting transfer
- Official LSDAS report
- Official law school transcript with class rank
- Letter of good standing from dean of current law school stating eligibility to continue studies there
- One letter of recommendation, preferably from law school faculty with whom student has studied at current school.
Deadline for transfer applications is June 15.
For more information on transferring to the University of New Mexico Law School, see Transfers and Visitors.
Degrees and Curriculum
In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, a student must acquire 86 hours of law credit with a GPA of at least 2.00 and complete courses in Ethics and Clinic as well as the first-year curriculum. For more complete information, see JD Program Degree Requirements.
The first-year curriculum includes Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, a Practicum, Legal Research, Reasoning, and Writing, and Comparative and Historical Perspectives on the Law in the first semester; in the second semester students take Civil Procedure, Property, Introduction to Constitutional Law, Advocacy, and one elective. Most courses are electives during the second and third years of study with only three required: Constitutional Rights, Ethics, and Clinic.
Dual degree programs are available in Public Administration (J.D./M.P.A.), Latin American Studies (J.D./M.A.), and Business Administration (J.D./M.B.A.) Other dual programs are possible with permission of the law school and Graduate School.
Study abroad opportunities are available with UNM Law exchange programs in Mexico, Canada, and Tasmania.
Law Journals and Other ActivitiesThe University of New Mexico Law School has three student journals: New Mexico Law Review, Natural Resources Journal, and Tribal Law Journal.
Along with many student organizations, UNM Law School has specialized centers and institutes for specific legal interests including the American Indian Law Center, Inc., Guanajuato Summer Law Institute, and the UNM Institute of Public Law.
Bar Exam Passage Rate
A majority of University of New Mexico Law School students take the New Mexico State Bar Exam and, in 2007, achieved an 92.4% pass rate. The overall pass rate for the New Mexico Bar Exam was 88%.
From the 2006 graduating class, 60.5% were employed at graduation and 98.5% were employed nine months after graduation. Starting salaries in the private sector averaged $53,000, and $40,000 in the public sector.
About 50 percent of New Mexico Law graduates work in private law firms, 16.5% with the government, 12% in public interest, 9% in judicial clerkships, and 5.5% in the business field.