Trace Rabern has been an appellate writer for thirteen years. She graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1996, and began a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Judge Benny Flores of the New Mexico Court of Appeals. In 1997 she began writing as judicial clerk for the late Justice Dan McKinnon on the New Mexico Supreme Court. For eight and a half years, Trace was proud to be an appellate attorney with the Appellate Division of the New Mexico Public Defender Department, and litigated over a hundred criminal appeals. She now runs a solo specialty criminal law writing practice in Santa Fe.
Trace is a member of the bar of the State of New Mexico, a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, a member of the bar of the the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and a member of the bar of the the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. She is counsel on over forty published appellate opinions. (A few of them are even wins.)
Trace is an amicus writer for the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and also one of its legislative analysts. Trace is a member of the Tenth Circuit CJA Panel, and divides her time between federal practice, state appellate practice, and writing support in complex and capital criminal trial cases. Recently Trace has been offering the niche service of zealous, timely front-loaded representation of people who have received grand jury target letters or subpoenas--something that calls for a crack writing practice in New Mexico. Because I do not take trial representation cases myself, I have every reason do everything we can to avoid an indictment.
Trace has been an enthusiastic supporter of expanded civil rights under the New Mexico State Constitution. Her current practice focuses on cases posing mental health issues, legal competency issues, and defending child abuse allegations. Trace is particularly delighted to be working as writing counsel and second chair with some of the trial attorneys she considers personal heroes and mentors in the area.
Trace sits on the board of directors of Tara School, a remarkable Santa Fe K-6 school that provides an individualized curriculum to each child. Trace is a recovering long distance runner and mountain climber, avid dancer, aspiring violist and never has been able to sit still. Her aspirations include making a day longer than just 24 hours, a week contain more than 7 days, fitting a pilates ball, punching bag and ballet bar in her office, and getting her second-grader to all her dance, music, and riding lessons on time.
State of New Mexico Bar
Supreme Court of the United States
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States District Court for the District of New Mexico
JD 1996 UNM Law
Professional Associations & Memberships
New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Amicus Committee
Areas of Practice
- Appellate Practice
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
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