New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon (center) speaks at a swearing-in ceremony for new attorneys Monday. The other justices are (from left to right): Justice Julie J. Vargas, Justice Michael E. Vigil, Justice David K. Thomson and Justice Briana H. Zamora. Photo courtesy of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
SUPREME COURT NEWS RELEASE
Seventy-two new attorneys were admitted to the practice of law in the state of New Mexico Monday during a swearing-in ceremony.
“I encourage you to find a way to serve others in need of legal services,” Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon told the new attorneys during a ceremony outside of the University of New Mexico Law School.
“You just took an oath that you ‘will never reject from any consideration personal to yourself the cause of the defenseless and the oppressed.’ You are in a unique position to serve those without means. To meet this portion of your oath, always embrace your pro bono work and responsibilities. By giving to others in need you will undoubtedly benefit from doing so by becoming a better lawyer,” Chief Justice Bacon said.
The oath of attorneys was administered by Supreme Court Chief Clerk Elizabeth A. Garcia. The new attorneys also signed the official roll of attorneys, which contains the names and signatures of people licensed to practice law in the state.
The Chief Justice along with Justices Julie J. Vargas and Briana H. Zamora served as sponsors to move the admission of their law clerks – Lionel Betsch, Royce Deller, Kristen Edwards and Kori Nau – during the ceremony.
Chief Justice Bacon encouraged the new attorneys to consider practicing law in rural areas of New Mexico, noting there were “legal deserts” in portions of the state. Three counties have no practicing lawyer and more than a third of the state’s counties have 10 or fewer attorneys.
“When people have access to legal advice, they are empowered with knowledge about their full rights and the legal process, giving them access to the justice they deserve,” Chief Justice Bacon said.