New Mexico Paralegal Requirements & Resources
Becoming a Paralegal in New Mexico
New Mexico placed minimum requirements on those individuals seeking to become paralegals in 2004 when the state legislature adopted Rules of Professional Conduct outlining education, training and work experience demands.
A paralegal shall meet one or more of the following educational, training or work experience qualifications:
A. Graduation from a paralegal program that is:
(1) approved by the American Bar Association;
(2) an associate degree program;
(3) a post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
(4) a bachelor’s degree program;
B. Graduation from a post-secondary legal assistant program which consists of a minimum of sixty (60) semester hours or equivalent, as defined by the American Bar Association guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs, of which at least eighteen (18) semester hours or equivalent are general education courses and eighteen (18) semester hours or equivalent are legal specialty courses;
C. A bachelor’s degree in any field plus two years of substantive law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Successful completion of at least fifteen (15) semester hours of substantive paralegal courses may be substituted for one year of law-related experience;
D. Graduation from an accredited law school and not disbarred or suspended from the practice of law by the State of New Mexico or any other jurisdiction;
E. Certification by the National Association of Legal Assistants, Incorporated, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Incorporated or other equivalent national or state competency examination plus at least one (1) year of substantive law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney; or
F. A high school diploma or equivalent plus seven (7) years of substantive law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
Professional Paralegal Associations
State Bar of New Mexico Paralegal Division
The Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of New Mexico was formally organized in August 1995 to serve the needs of legal assistants throughout the state.