Law School Chapter

New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Law Student Chapter

Mission Statement

The Law Student Chapter of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association works in conjunction with the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association to protect and ensure by rule of law those individual rights guaranteed by the New Mexico and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases; to resist the constant attempts being made to curtail these rights; to encourage cooperation between lawyers and students engaged in the furtherance of these objectives through educational programs and assistance and through these efforts to promote justice and the common good.

Organizational Goals

1.) Mentorship Program: Any law student interested in criminal defense work will be paired up with a practicing criminal defense attorney.  The law student will have an opportunity to establish a meaningful professional relationship with that attorney while experiencing first-hand the practical aspects of maintaining a criminal law practice. Ideally, the law student will attend court proceedings with his/her mentor, visit his/her mentor’s law office, and begin to build a professional network within the criminal defense field. Lawyers who are interested in accommodating a mentee are encouraged to complete a Mentorship Application.

2.) Externship Opportunities: The law student chapter and the state lawyer chapter will collaborate to encourage local attorneys to host law student for summer externships.  Summer externships facilitate hands-on legal experience and are excellent vehicles through which law students can enhance their legal skills and extend their professional network. By joining the Law Student Chapter, students will have priority in externship placement with practicing NMCDLA attorneys.

3.) Practical Experience in Criminal Defense: NMCDLA boasts a number of committees that actively pursue policy goals that benefit our state’s legal justice system and enhance the rights of the criminally accused. Examples include an amicus curie committee that regularly submits “friend of the court” briefs to state and federal appellate courts and a legislative committee that engages the legislature in lobbying for important changes in the law. Members of the law student chapter will have the opportunity to work closely with these committees. Additionally, we hope to be able to perform legal research and writing on a volunteer basis on behalf of time-pressed attorneys. Attorneys wishing to seek assistance are encouraged to contact our organization via e-mail at

Benefits of Membership

Membership Discounts: Chapter members will receive a sharp discount on membership with the State Chapter.

Continuing Legal Education: Chapter members will receive discounted attendance at Continuing Legal Education Seminars hosted by the NMCDLA State Chapter. Continuing Legal Education Seminars are a great way for law students to learn about contemporary issues in the criminal law and the ways in which dedicated criminal defense attorneys resolve those issues.

Social Events: Law student members will have several opportunities to attend social events with members of the State Chapter.  Social events are excellent networking opportunities and are always a fun and exciting way socialize with like-minded practitioners and students.   


Ambrose Kupfer (President)

Jennifer Berry (Vice President)

Sabrey Blakeney (Secretary/Treasurer)