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We are pleased to introduce the HNBF’s 2023 Academic Leadership awardee. Please join us as we honor Sergio Pareja for his outstanding achievements and his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Sergio Pareja

Sergio Pareja served as dean of UNM School of Law for seven years, from 2015 to 2022. From 2015 to 2018 he was one of two co-deans (with Alfred Mathewson), and he served as the sole dean of the law school from 2018 to 2022. He currently holds the Henry Weihofen Chair at the School of Law.

Pareja joined the law faculty at UNM in 2005 after nearly nine years in private practice in Colorado and Indiana. Most recently, Pareja was a partner in the tax department at a large Denver law firm. While in private practice, he specialized in federal individual and corporate income tax planning, state and local tax matters, and estate and gift tax planning.

As a UNM School of Law faculty member, Pareja primarily teaches courses in the areas of business, tax, and estate planning. Since he started teaching, he has taught Federal Income Tax, Contracts, Practicum, Estate and Gift Tax, Taxation of Business Enterprises, International Business Transactions, Wills & Trusts, and Estate & Retirement Planning. He also taught in the law school’s Business & Tax Clinic (now called the Economic Justice Clinic).

Pareja’s recent research interests include estate and gift taxation, with a focus on liquidity issues, as well as incapacity planning. In addition, Pareja currently is exploring ways to make our federal income tax system simpler and more equitable in connection with incapacity and transfers that take place at death.

Pareja has lived with family in Colombia and Venezuela, and he is very dedicated to giving students the opportunity to live in other countries while studying law. He has taught in and directed the Guanajuato Summer Law Institute in Guanajuato, Mexico. Pareja is fluent in Spanish, and he also spent a year teaching Spanish law students as a visiting professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain.

Pareja also is the founding director of the ABA-approved Madrid Summer Law Institute. Professor Pareja continues to direct and teach in this successful program, which offers students the opportunity to study law in Spain during the month of June.

Pareja is a highly dedicated teacher. In 2011, he was identified by The National Jurist as one of the top law teachers in the country: The Bucket List: 23 Law Profs to Take Before You Die. In 2013, Pareja was honored by the University of New Mexico with a university-wide “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” award. In addition to teaching at the University of New Mexico, Pareja has taught in the University of Alabama’s tax LL.M program.

Outside of his interests in the law, Pareja is a dedicated guitarist who has performed at Swallow Hill in Denver, as well as at numerous convalescent hospitals in the Denver area. In Albuquerque, he has performed at UNM Hospital through the innovative Arts-in-Medicine program. Pareja is even known to play his guitar in class on occasion.

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