In 1982, four Black attorneys filled a void in the New Mexico legal community. There was no entity in place that addressed the particular needs of African American attorneys in the state.

The New Mexico Black Lawyers Association (“NMBLA”) was incorporated by charter members and incorporators: Tommy Jewell, retired Chief Children’s Court Judge; Hannah Best, who now heads the law firm of Best and Associates; Raymond Hamilton, retired Assistant United States Attorney; and Angela Jewell, retired District Court Judge, who notarized the documents of incorporation.

Today, that group of four has now expanded to over 75 attorneys who hold dear to the original tenets of the organization: to conduct a program of continuing legal education for the membership; to improve the method of judicial selection and tenure; to study the needs of the State and community for legislation, and to protect the civil rights of the citizens of the community though the legal profession.