New Mexico Legal Aid

Advancing fairness & justice for all
Free legal aid in New Mexico



Fostering Connections: NMLA's Month of Community Engagement

At New Mexico Legal Aid (NMLA), we pride ourselves on being more than just legal advocates; we’re active participants in the vibrant communities we serve across the Land of Enchantment. Over the past month, our team has been on the move, engaging with local, regional, and national organizations and making meaningful connections that further our mission of equal access to justice for all. Here’s a recap of some of the exciting events and outreach initiatives we’ve been a part of:

Las Cruces Staff Attorney Katalina Hadfield (pictured right) had the opportunity to connect with Las Cruces City Councilors Johana Bencomo (center) and Becki Graham (left) at the Las Cruces City Council District 4 Open House

Connecting in Las Cruces

Our Las Cruces Staff Attorney, Katalina Hadfield, had the privilege of connecting with Las Cruces City Councilors Johana Bencomo and Becki Graham at the Las Cruces City Council District 4 Open House on April 2. Our booth was abuzz with activity as we shared valuable resources with community members, strengthening our ties with local government and community leaders.

Empowering Seniors in Los Lunas

Sonya Bellafant presenting at the Los Lunas Library

On April 19, NMLA’s Executive Director, Sonya Bellafant, took the stage at the Los Lunas Public Library to present about Legal Services for New Mexico Seniors. Sonya delved into important topics such as beneficiaries, powers of attorney, and wills, empowering attendees with essential legal knowledge to navigate the complexities of estate planning and senior care.





Supporting Disaster Relief in Albuquerque

Emily Scheinberg and Mara Yarbrough from Disaster Legal Services

The Disaster Legal Services team was on hand at the Emergency Response Resource Fair hosted by the Albuquerque Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on April 20 at the International District Library in Albuquerque. Amidst resources for disaster preparedness and recovery, our team provided vital legal assistance to those affected by emergencies, reaffirming our commitment to serving the most vulnerable members of our community in times of crisis.


Advocating for Fair Housing in Las Cruces

Emma Stahl and Katalina Hadfield

Emma Stahl and Katalina Hadfield proudly accepted the “Fair Housing Month” proclamation from the City of Las Cruces on behalf of our Housing Law Practice Group. This recognition highlights our ongoing efforts to combat housing discrimination and ensure access to safe and equitable housing for all New Mexicans.








Celebrating Legal Services in Washington, D.C.

Southwest Executive Directors and the NM LSC Board Member – Gloria Valencia Weber.

Executive Director Sonya Bellafant and Board Chair Karen Meyers represented NMLA at the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C. Their presence at this milestone event allowed them to advocate for increased funding for legal aid programs and showcase NMLA’s impactful work on a national stage. Karen shared insights from their meetings with Congressional staff, emphasizing the critical need for continued support for legal aid initiatives across the country.

“As part of the event, LSC urged each program to arrange meetings with their Congressional delegation,” Karen recounted. “Sonya and I had the opportunity to meet with staff for two members of the NM delegation – staff from Senator Heinrich’s office and staff from Representative Leger Fernandez’s office. I had the opportunity to observe Sonya in action as she talked about the work of NMLA’s staff. Her presentation was persuasive and effective. She talked about the critical nature of the problems faced by clients, the excellent and committed legal work of the staff, and the need to protect and expand funding for the programs.”

Sonya’s dedication to highlighting the vital work of NMLA and advocating for increased support resonated deeply with Congressional staff, reinforcing the importance of legal aid in addressing the pressing needs of our communities. Through their participation in the LSC 50th Anniversary Celebration, NMLA reaffirmed its commitment to advancing justice and equality for all New Mexicans.

As we reflect on the past month of outreach and engagement, we are reminded of the importance of community collaboration and advocacy in advancing our shared goals of justice and equality. At NMLA, we remain committed to being active participants in the communities we serve, building bridges, and fostering connections that make a real difference in the lives of our clients.

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