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License Types and Status Changes

Described below are different types of licenses available for attorneys in New Mexico. For additional information about each, reference the rule specified.

Active Status: Rule 15-101 et. seq. NMRA

Active status attorneys are on the roll of attorneys admitted to the practice of law by the New Mexico Supreme Court. An active member is in good standing and has full voting privileges and is eligible to hold any elected or appointed office.

Inactive Status: Rule 17-202(D) NMRA

Inactive status is for those members who are eligible for active status but are not currently practicing law in New Mexico and have completed an application for inactive status. There are no continuing legal education requirements during the time a member is inactive status. Membership fees are $100 per year.

Pro Hac Vice: Rule 24-106 NMRA

Attorneys authorized to practice law before the highest court of record in any state or country who want to perform legal services on behalf of a client or party in New Mexico should consult the rules and procedures for Pro Hac Vice authorization in Rule 24-106 NMRA.

Limited License: Rule 15-301.1-.2 NMRA

There are two types of limited licenses: Public Employee Limited License (Rule 15-301.1 NMRA) and Legal Services Provider Limited License (Rule 15-301.2 NMRA).

Emeritus Status: Rule 24-111 NMRA

An emeritus attorney is an attorney who is or was a licensed attorney in good standing in the State of New Mexico or any other jurisdiction who voluntarily withdrew from the practice of law or transferred to inactive status and does not ask for or receive compensation of any kind for the performance of legal services but who is granted permission to participate in the emeritus pro bono program.

Status Changes

Reinstatement From Inactive Status: Rule 15-302(B) NMRA

To be reinstated as an active member, authorization is needed from the State Bar (for attorneys inactive for less than one year) or the Board of Bar Examiners (for attorneys inactive for more than one year). For reinstatement through the State Bar, contact For reinstatement, visit The BBE will perform a personal and professional background check and verify continuing legal education records to determine if there was a prior-year deficit that needs to be completed. Members will also need to pay State Bar licensing fees. Once reinstated, a member will be subject to all parts of annual license renewal and MCLE requirements.

Withdrawn Status: Rule 24-102(F) NMRA

If you’ve considered all of the options available, such as inactive status, and you still feel that you would like to give up your license, the proper method is to voluntarily resign. This requires notifying the New Mexico Supreme Court and the State Bar in writing of your intent, which will then allow you to relinquish your New Mexico license without the suspension that would occur if you simply chose not to pay your mandatory fees. Contact the Supreme Court at , then choose Changes to Contact Information in left panel.  If you withdraw from the State Bar but determine later on that you need an active license to practice law in New Mexico, you will need to go through the Board of Bar Examiners to either retake the bar exam or be admitted through the reciprocity rule (unless otherwise ordered by the New Mexico Supreme Court).