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13Jan

A Message from State Bar President Carla Martinez

Evann Laird | 13 Jan, 2021 | 0 Comments | Return|

Dear Members of the State Bar of New Mexico,

I trust that you and your loved ones enjoyed a safe and peaceful holiday season. As we embark on a new year, I want to introduce myself as the 2021 President of the New Mexico State Bar. In December, Carolyn Wolf (President-Elect), Ben Sherman (Secretary-Treasurer) and I were sworn in by Chief Justice Michael Vigil during an unprecedented virtual swearing-in ceremony. During the ceremony the New Mexico Supreme Court Justices acknowledged the incredible work done by 2020 State Bar President Ernestina Cruz. I personally want to thank Ernestina Cruz for her friendship, steadfast direction and passionate service during 2020. Through her amazing leadership, the State Bar continued to offer many important services and programs to its membership despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19. On behalf of the Board of Bar Commissioners (BBC) and its leadership team, we look forward to continuing to serve our State Bar members during 2021.

Last year, the BBC created a Standing Committee on Well Being in an effort to highlight the importance of judicial and attorney wellness. The Standing Committee consists of judges, lawyers and law students throughout the state of New Mexico focused on providing helpful information and events that promote a healthy lifestyle. Several of the initiatives that have emerged from this Committee are judicial roundtables, fit to practice events including yoga and a 5k virtual run, and webinars focused on wellness. Expect additional amazing events focused on wellbeing for judges, lawyers and law students during 2021.

Recognizing the challenges we have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever mental health resources are needed. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the resources and services of the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. Through JLAP you can find 24/7 counseling and crisis help as well as educational webinars and resources through our Employee Assistance Program which is free for all members, their families, and staff. Visit www.nmbar.org/jlap for more.

In the State Bar’s continued spirit of unity and inclusivity, the Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession published the fourth decennial Report on Minorities in the Legal Profession during 2020. The Committee also held also held a webinar in 2020 focused on the results of the survey and the recommendations contained in the report. The Committee on Women and the Legal Profession also updated their Report on Gender in the Legal Profession during 2020. Both reports included detailed recommendations, which have been shared with the Board of Bar Commissioners. In December 2020, the BBC established a special internal committee that will closely review the reports and make recommendations for implementation.

Additionally, the New Mexico State Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the State Bar of New Mexico, representing the legal community’s commitment to serving the people of New Mexico and the profession. The goals of the Foundation are to enhance access to legal services for underserved populations; promote innovation in the delivery of legal services; and provide legal education to members and the public. Until recently, the governing bodies of the State Bar and Bar Foundation have been interchangeable. In the interest of clarifying board members’ roles and encouraging the growth of the Bar Foundation, the Bar Foundation now has an independent yet interlocking board. In December, the BBC appointed five commissioners, three non-commissioner attorneys, and a non-attorney to the newly formed Bar Foundation Board.

Moreover, the State Bar is in the midst of an association management system upgrade, which includes a new website and database. The website will have an improved appearance and capabilities, including a member dashboard where you can access your account information, status on your CLE credits and license renewal, communication preferences, and more. We expect the association management system upgrade to be completed in early spring. Please stay tuned for more details to come.

Lastly, please save the date of Oct. 8 for the 2021 Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Event. Similar to last year’s successful event, we will be holding a one-day virtual CLE program. With the event being held in the fall of 2021, we are hopeful to have an in-person component which will be held at the State Bar Center. Furthermore, I am pleased to announce that the event and CLE will be free of charge to our members. Again, I am honored to serve as your 2021 State Bar President. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. My email address is president@nmbar.org.

Sincerely,

Martinez,CarlaSignat...

Carla Martinez President,
State Bar of New Mexico

About the Author

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