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View the 2020 Committee Report here.
Thirty years ago, this Committee was formed out of a task-force commissioned to examine the status of women in the New Mexico legal profession. Now, with the support of the New Mexico Supreme Court, the Committee will issue a survey in May 2019 to re-examine this critical issue. The report and Committee recommendations can be found here.
The Committee publishes domestic violence assistance cards providing information on domestic violence resources. The cards are distributed statewide and are available upon request. View the cards here.
The Committee is reviewing the Gender Equality in the Courts Handbook and determining the best way to do an update the Handbook, exploring new publishing formats, and finding new ways to distribute the information to interested parties. This is a project that the Committee plans to continue into 2018 to promote gender equality in New Mexico’s legal profession.
In 1991, the Board of Bar Commissioners appointed a Women and the Legal Profession standing committee to evaluate and implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Women and the Legal Profession that had recently conducted a study. That study concluded that, while the law had made significant gains toward eliminating gender bias, bias still existed in the administration of the law and in the treatment of women as professionals.
The Committee’s mission became to combat the inequities affecting female lawyers and judges and to monitor substantive issues faced by women served by the legal system. An especially proud moment in our Committee’s history was in 2013, when the state legislature passed a bill requiring that all new laws be written in gender-neutral language. This bill was the culmination of a more than ten-year effort by the Committee.
In 2015, the Committee submitted a letter to the Deans of the University of New Mexico School of Law to be read to the judicial selection committee as they deliberated over a New Mexico Supreme Court appointment. The letter alerted the committee that it is inappropriate to question a judicial candidate, male or female, on their ability to balance work and home life and that it is inappropriate to question a female candidate about being a woman, mother, or wife. The letter was read to the judicial selection committee and the Committee has requested the letter be distributed at every judicial nominating session and further requested that education around this issue be ongoing. The Committee decided to write the letter when a member brought to the Committee’s attention a newspaper article from a New Mexico paper discussing inappropriate questions asked of a female candidate for a judicial position in the state regarding balancing her family and work.
In an effort to increase networking opportunities for women in the legal profession, the Committee organizes the “Get Golf Ready” program. The program consists of golf clinics for women interested in improving their golf skills. This program is not limited to attorneys and is open to all women golfers.
Each year, the Committee presents the Justice Pamela B. Minzner Outstanding Advocacy for Women Award to a New Mexico attorney, female or male, who has distinguished herself or himself by providing legal assistance to women who are underrepresented or underserved, or by advocating for causes that will ultimately benefit and/or further the rights of women. Click here for more information.
2019 and 2020 - Will be awarded in 2021
2018 - Brittany Sutaya Nanjin DuChaussee
The Committee hosts a series of discussions and CLE programs regarding issues affecting mothers in the legal profession. Click here for more information.
The Committee sponsors two professional clothing closets which provide professional attire to State Bar Members, law students, paralegals, and clients free of charge. Click here for more information.
Committee members support Saranam, a non-profit, two-year housing and education program for homeless families in Albuquerque. Click here for more information.