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About New Mexico Legal Aid:
In a state where almost half a million or 25% of its residents live below the poverty line, New Mexico Legal Aid strives to maintain a high level of service to promote family safety and economic security for its clients. For every 14,000 poor persons, there is one legal aid attorney at NMLA. Its work is dedicated to individuals and families who lack adequate resources for basic human needs with the goal of securing safe housing, food, income, and personal safety.
NMLA’s 2018 priorities include: 1) family law, especially cases involving domestic violence; 2) access to affordable housing; 3) access to and retention of public benefits; and 4) access to quality health care. NMLA also assists clients who have employment and consumer problems, and civil rights issues. In addition, NMLA gives special focus to land, acequia and water rights issues; federal and tribal legal issues affecting Native Americans, including jurisdictional disputes, and civil and criminal cases occurring in tribal court; cases involving migrant farmworker rights, including safe working conditions, wage theft and human trafficking; and tax disputes in a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
New Mexico Legal Aid has 11 office locations serving all counties in New Mexico. NMLA connects its offices and individual staff computers with teleconferencing and video capabilities. Its statewide computer network provides for secure file sharing and remote access. It has received several Legal Services Corporation Technology Initiative Grants that have supported its online 24/7 intake portal.
During the past four years, NMLA has closed 14,250 cases statewide. Approximately 54% of all NMLA cases during the past four years originated in the State’s urban areas in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe Counties in the north central part of the State and in Dona Ana County in the south. The remaining 46% of cases came from rural and tribal communities throughout the State.
In addition to case services, NMLA’s community outreach and online information provide potential clients, their families, and local community leaders information as to NMLA’s services. Its main web site – www.newmexicolegalaid.org – logs 6,000 visits a month.
NMLA’s budget of $7.5 million comes from grants and contracts from federal, state, and private sources. Its largest sources of funding are the federal Legal Services Corporation (approximately 48%) and State Government Civil Legal Services and other state contracts (approximately 36%). NMLA has 68 staff, including 42 attorneys.