ABA SCLAID and Moss Adams collaboratively conducted the New Mexico Project, an analysis of public defense attorney workloads. Published in January 2022, the New Mexico Project included an analysis of historical public defense caseloads and staffing, as well as a Delphi process, which resulted in attorney workload standards. Comparing these analyses, the project determined that New Mexico has a significant deficiency of public defense attorneys.
Specifically, New Mexico needs an additional 602 full-time attorneys –more than twice its current level - to meet the standard of reasonably effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. In other words, with a consistent annual workload, New Mexico has only 33% of the public defense attorneys it needs to handle its adult and juvenile caseloads.