ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico announced that it has tapped Albuquerque civil rights attorney Leon Howard to lead the ACLU’s litigation and legal efforts in the state of New Mexico. Leon, a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law, comes to us from the Law Firm of Lucero & Howard, where he was a partner specializing in civil rights. This is Leon’s second stint with the ACLU of New Mexico, having served as a Staff Attorney for the organization earlier in his career.
“We are thrilled to have Leon returning to the ACLU of New Mexico as our legal director,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “Leon is an ACLU veteran who brings a wealth of experience litigating civil rights cases in New Mexico courts and a passion for advocating for the rights underrepresented New Mexicans. We are confident that under Leon’s leadership our litigation efforts to protect basic freedoms in New Mexico will grow even more impactful during this critical time in our nation’s history.”
Leon began his career working as an Assistant District Attorney in the First Judicial District of New Mexico, primarily prosecuting DWI and domestic violence cases. After Leon left the district attorney’s office, he joined the ACLU of New Mexico as a staff attorney where he worked on First and Fourth Amendment cases. After two years with the ACLU, Leon gained experience in the private sector as a criminal defense attorney for the Dan Cron Law Firm, and then opened his own practice where he specialized in civil rights law. During his time in private practice, Leon continued to work with the ACLU as a volunteer attorney on several cases.
Leon is a board member of the New Mexico Innocence & Justice Project, Co-Chair of the New Mexico State Bar Committee on Diversity, Part Time Faculty at the University of New Mexico, and Past Vice President of the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association. Super Lawyers Magazine has named Leon a “Rising Star” in the area of civil rights from 2014 through 2017, and in 2015 he was recognized by Albuquerque Business First Magazine as one of New Mexico’s “40 Under 40”.