Stephanie Welch

Ms. Welch works to strengthen public enforcement of the minimum wage and overtime laws in New Mexico, promote worker protections such as paid sick leave, and improve farmworkers’ pay and working conditions. Prior to joining the Center, she worked as a supervising attorney at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where she represented farmworkers in federal litigation and advocated for the civil rights of border residents.

J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 2006.

Maria Griego

Maria Griego is the Director of NMCLP’s Economic Equity Team. She works to expand and protect access to safe and affordable housing in New Mexico and to eliminate unjust fines and fees imposed by the legal system. Maria has been at the Center for 6 years. She previously worked on both the Healthcare and Public Benefits teams where she focused on improving hospital financial aid policies and increased access to child care assistance and Medicaid. Prior to joining the Center, Maria practiced in the area of family law and served as a volunteer family court settlement facilitator, helping parents reach mutual custody agreements in the best interest of their children.

J.D. from University of New Mexico School of Law.

Sovereign Hager

Ms. Hager has more than 10 years of experience working to advance economic and social justice. In the last five years, as an attorney at the Center, she worked extensively to increase access to public benefits in state and federal court, as well as in community, administrative, and legislative forums. She is an established expert in New Mexico on the complex regulatory framework for public benefits programs, eligibility for families that include immigrants and frequently provides expert testimony to the legislature. Ms. Hager has secured major court victories on behalf of her clients to increase access to food and medical assistance, drivers’ licenses, and other programs.

Before joining the Center, Ms. Hager worked for two years on the Navajo Nation for DNA People’s Legal Services’ Medical Legal Partnership, where she handled a broad range of legal issues impacting the health of patients at an Indian Health Service facility. Her advocacy included public benefits, domestic violence, special education, housing, consumer and workers’ rights. Ms. Hager has past advocacy experience working to improve farmworker pay and living conditions and enforcing fair housing laws.

J.D. and MA from Syracuse University in 2011.