Senator Joseph Cervantes (JD ’91) of Cervantes Scherr Legate, Las Cruces, James F. Scherr and Sam J. Legate of Scherr Legate, El Paso, Joseph G. Isaac, formerly of Scherr Legate, El Paso, and Daniel Anchondo of Anchondo & Anchondo, El Paso, have contributed $2 million to the University of New Mexico School of Law.
The gift will establish two endowed scholarship funds. The first, The Cervantes Scherr Legate Isaac and Anchondo Scholarship Endowed Fund, has an initial gift of $1.5 million. Recipients must have a proven record of strong academic achievement and maintain a high GPA to remain eligible for the award.
The second endowed fund, the Judge Sarah Singleton Endowed Scholarship Fund, has an initial gift of $500,000. This scholarship honors Judge Sarah Singleton, who retired from the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico in 2017 and passed away in 2019. Judge Singleton presided over many influential cases during her long career and was a highly respected judge. In 2013, she became the first New Mexico judge to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Joseph Cervantes and attorneys Jim Scherr, Joseph Isaac, Sam Legate, and Danny Anchondo for their incredible generosity,” Dean Camille Carey said. “This gift will change many of our students’ lives for years to come. It is also incredibly beneficial to the law school, as it allows us to recruit talented law students. We are proud that these new scholarships represent a commitment to civil justice and honor Judge Sarah Singleton.”
“The UNM Law school embodies the best of what law school can be. It cares about its students. Its influence on jurisprudence in New Mexico has kept it humble, spiritual, and caring. It is a fantastic law school. Students come here wanting to become a lawyer, and they learn what it's like to be a human being in addition to being lawyer. The level of competence of the faculty is incomparable. I went to law school somewhere else, and I wish I had had an environment like this,” attorney James Sherr said.
The donation was inspired, in part, by the wrongful death lawsuit against FedEx stemming from a 2011 deadly crash near Las Cruces involving a Texas family and a contract driver for the delivery company. The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the $165 million verdict against FedEx earlier this year. The attorneys prepared for the trial at the UNM School of Law.
“We learned so much when we were here getting ready for the case. Everybody was so warm and friendly that we wanted to give back,” attorney Daniel Anchondo said.
Cervantes Scherr Legate PLLC is a Las Cruces-based firm offering legal services in the areas of personal injury, product liability, workplace accidents, and employment law. Scherr Legate PLLC Attorneys at Law is an El Paso-based firm specializing in wrongful death, personal injury, and employment law cases. Anchondo & Anchondo is an El Paso-based firm offering legal services in the areas of criminal law, divorce, DUI and DWI, family law, and personal injury. Any individual or organization may make additional gifts to either of these endowed funds at any time. To learn how to donate to the School of Law, visit https://lawschool.unm.edu/alumni/.