Lawrence E. Chacon Memorial Scholarship in Law

Lawrence (Lorenzo) E. Chacon practiced criminal defense law in Albuquerque for over 30 years. He began his practice as a public defender, recognizing those most in need of equal justice.

Being born and raised in New Mexico’s Mora valley, shaped Lawrence’s understanding of land and water rights, as well as the need to protect culture in the state. His further education in California, Colorado, and Mexico developed his passion for fighting against racial and societal injustices in the world. Prior to pursuing his first degree in political science, Lawrence was a part of the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles. These experiences shaped his decision to become a trial lawyer. He completed his law degree in 1986 at UNM.

From Lawrence’s perspective, although there are many admirable attorneys fighting for the environment and in the realm of policy, there are never enough lawyers to defend those marginalized individuals who are targets of injustice. He believed that we are all born with a debt to humanity and saw himself working in the spirit of past revolutions fought by oppressed people. His life’s work was to pay this debt.

This scholarship is for Native American and Chicana/o students studying law with a focus on criminal defense.