The State Bar of New Mexico is an integrated legal society that requires all New Mexico lawyers to join. It was founded in 1886 with William A. Vincent as its first president. At the time of its founding, membership was voluntary. Membership became mandatory in 1925 when the state bar came under the jurisdiction of state’s supreme court. It became incorporated into the state’s laws in 1978.
The State Bar of New Mexico has three divisions, Senior Lawyer, Young Lawyer, and Paralegal. Each division elects one member to represent it on the bar’s Board of Bar Commissioners. In addition to the three division members, 16 other members are elected by each district in New Mexico for a total of 19 Board of Bar Commissioner members.
As a mandatory bar association, the state bar requires all members to complete 12 credits of CLE or Continued Legal Education each year. Information for CLE classes, costs, and dates of examinations can be found on the state bar’s website.
In addition to ensuring all members continue their legal educations, the state bar also regulates the legal industry in New Mexico. It is tasked with administering the state bar exam. It also takes complaints from the public about lawyers who may be in violation of legal and ethical standards. Attorneys who are found guilty are disciplined by the state bar.
Attorneys who maintain active memberships to the state bar are granted benefits that are designed to help them professionally. For example, the state bar offers a client assistance program that could help lawyers build their practices. They also can take part in a mentorship program in which their fellow attorneys mentor and counsel them during the courses of their careers.
Residents of New Mexico also can take advantage of resources available on the state bar’s website. For instance, people wanting to represent themselves or simply educate themselves about legal proceedings can attend free legal workshops offered by the state bar. These legal workshops cover a range of topics including debt and bankruptcy, divorce, Medicaid and Medicare, senior powers of attorney, and more. These workshops are offered around the state. The times, dates, and locations of upcoming workshops can be found on the state bar’s website.
People who want to contact the State Bar of New Mexico can do so at PO Box 92860, Albuquerque, 87199. The physical address for the state bar is 5121 Masthead NE, Albuquerque, 87109.