Preston Sanchez (Diné and Jemez/Laguna Pueblos), born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, graduated from UNM’s School of Law in 2012. In 2013, he began his legal career at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, where he worked primarily on high-impact litigation against the State and the Public Education Department, i.e. Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico, for failing to provide generations of New Mexico students a sufficient opportunity to achieve academic success. During an eight-week trial in 2017, Mr. Sanchez, along with a team of attorneys, fought to demonstrate to the First Judicial District Court the glaring failures within the education system for Native American, low-income and English language learner students. A ruling by the District Court in the Yazzie case is expected any day now.
In 2012, Mr. Sanchez co-founded UNM law school’s Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a law program whose purpose is to empower high school students from culturally diverse, high-poverty communities – via constitutional-rights literacy – to become advocates for themselves and their communities and to prepare them for future roles as democratic leaders. As co-director, his duties are to: establish partnerships with local high schools, mentor law students, instruct high school students on how to assert their legal rights during police encounters, prepare a high school team for the National Marshall Brennan moot-court competition, and oversee the program and budget.
J.D. from University of New Mexico School of Law in 2012.