John Newell JEC Director
John Newell, new director of the Judicial Education Center at the UNM School of Law.

John Newell, Esq., was recently named director of the Rozier E. Sanchez Judicial Education Center of New Mexico (JEC), which provides education and training to the judges, administrators and other staff of the New Mexico judicial branch. The JEC is part of the Institute of Public Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles W. Daniels was on the search committee for the position. "Our search committee was fortunate to receive applications from a number of impressive applicants,” he said. “We ultimately selected John Newell because his National Judicial College experience in providing training and education to judges and court systems around the country, including in New Mexico, would be of great value in improving even further the quality and quantity of the training we will be able to provide for New Mexico judges.”

Newell brings a distinctive combination of expertise in delivering legal education to judges. Prior to joining the JEC, Newell worked as a program attorney at The National Judicial College (NJC) for six years, where he developed and coordinated NJC courses as well as taught sessions on writing, procedural fairness and social media and the courts to judges from all over the world. Before that, he served as a staff attorney in the Reno office of Nevada Legal Services, a non-profit law firm providing legal services to indigent people.

His experience includes teaching legal writing for paralegals and criminal justice classes, as well as writing, literature, critical thinking and humanities classes. He received his Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Calif., and holds a master's in linguistics from Rice University, as well as a bachelor's in anthropology and English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

While at the NJC, Newell worked on joint programs with the JEC and with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), which provided him the opportunity to meet and work with many New Mexico judges.

“I’m honored and excited to be leading the JEC and look forward to enhancing judicial education statewide,” Newell said. “Two of my goals are to update online programs to make them more compelling and to improve the delivery methods of online education to enhance the learning experience.”

The JEC, which provides mandatory in-person Continuing Judicial Education to New Mexico judges (consisting of 12 credit hours, two of which must be on ethics), also offers online learning modules. Newell said he plans to create more innovative webcast opportunities to foster more interaction and to improve the experience for judges in rural areas.