New Mexico Admission Laws

The Supreme Court of New Mexico is the admitting body that regulates admission to the state Bar.  The qualifications required for admission to the Bar are prescribed under New Mexico Rules governing admission to the Bar.  Rule 15-103 prescribes a minimum age of 18 for the applicants.  An applicant should be a graduate with a juris doctor or bachelor of laws and letters degree from an American Bar Association approved law school.  Applicants from other law schools should have been engaged in the practice of law in another state or states for at least four (4) of the six (6) years immediately preceding his/her application for admission to practice in New Mexico.  Such an applicant should have been in good standing in such state or states.  Law faculty at the University of New Mexico is exempted from taking and passing the written examination of the Bar.

All applicants for admission to the bar of New Mexico are required to take and pass a written examination prescribed by the Board of Bar Examiners appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court.  Rules 15 et seq deals with the exam related matters.  The Bar examination includes hypothetical questions requiring essay answers, Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE).  Applicants should pass the MPRE with a scaled score of 75.

Pursuant to Rule 18-201 of New Mexico Rules for minimum continuing legal education, every member of the state Bar should complete twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education during each year.  At least one (1) hour of the twelve (12) hours should be on legal ethics or code of professional responsibility subjects. 

N.M. R. Gov. Admiss. Bar Rule 15-102

Admission requirements
The Supreme Court shall determine and prescribe by rules the qualifications and requirements for admission to the practice of law, including the amount of fee to be charged applicants for admission. The rules governing requirements for admission to the bar will be furnished by the Board of Bar Examiners upon request of any applicant.
N.M. R. Gov. Admiss. Bar Rule 15-103

Qualifications
A. Requirements mandatory. Licenses to practice law shall be granted only to applicants who fulfill all of the requirements of these rules.
****

Every applicant shall have the burden of establishing to the satisfaction of the board that the applicant possesses all of the following qualifications:
(1) is at least eighteen (18) years of age;
(2) is a graduate with a juris doctor or bachelor of laws and letters degree (at the time of the bar examination for which application is made) of a law school formally accredited by the American Bar Association or is a graduate of any law school who has been engaged in the practice of law in another state or states for at least four (4) of the six (6) years immediately preceding the person’s application for admission to practice in New Mexico;
(3) is a person of good moral character, physically and mentally fit to practice law;
(4) is, if ever admitted to practice in any other state or states, in good standing in such state or states;
(5) is professionally qualified for admission to the bar of New Mexico;
****

(7) is a citizen or national of the United States, an immigrant alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, or an alien otherwise authorized to work lawfully in the United States.

****

E. Examination. All applicants shall be required to take and pass the written examination except as otherwise provided with respect to law faculty at the University of New Mexico.

N.M. R. Gov. Admiss. Bar Rule 15-201

Written examination
A. Necessity. All applicants for admission to the bar of New Mexico shall be required to take and pass a written examination prescribed by the Board of Bar Examiners in accordance with these rules.

N.M. R. Gov. Admiss. Bar Rule 15-204

Questions
The bar examination shall include hypothetical questions requiring essay answers, the MBE and the MPRE. The Supreme Court will establish a minimum passing scaled score for the MPRE. Beginning in July 1997, the bar examination may also include multi-state performance test questions. Questions shall not be generally designed to test knowledge uniquely based upon local case or statutory law; however, subjects of substantial local interest may be included. Questions will not be labeled as to subject matter. Sufficient time will be allowed for answering the questions to permit the applicant to make an analysis of the facts and to prepare answers.

N.M. R. Min. Cont. Legal Ed. Rule 18-201

Minimum educational requirements
A. Hours required. Every active licensed member of the state bar shall complete twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education during each year as provided by these rules.

****

B. Legal substantive credits. Ten (10) of the required twelve (12) hours may include legal subjects or subjects which relate to the individual attorney’s practice of law. The hours shall be defined as general credits.
C. Legal ethics credits. At least one (1) hour of the twelve (12) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics or code of professional responsibility subjects.

****

D. Professionalism credits. One hour of the twelve (12) hours of continuing education shall be devoted to the subject of professionalism.

****


Inside New Mexico Admission Laws