VAP Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO Program

Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO), or Project ECHO, was originally created as a medical model to tele-mentor doctors across geographic distances. The goal of this model has been to create better outcomes among patients by sharing best practices among doctors treating specific illnesses. This model has since been adapted and is now being used around the globe in other fields, including education and civics.

The VAP Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO is the first of its kind, utilizing the platform as a resource and learning tool that seeks to expand the knowledge and expertise of volunteer attorneys across the state through tele-mentorship while building a collaborative community of practice focused on the legal needs of low-income rural New Mexicans. Together, we hope to empower the pro bono community and ensure New Mexicans can access expert knowledge wherever they live!

We welcome:

  • General legal practitioners interested in attending the sessions regularly;
  • Subject Matter Experts who would like to present on a topic of interest to the legal community and
  • Case presenters who would like to introduce a case study/problem of practice relating to a topic for discussion.

If you are interested in presenting on a specific topic or submitting a case study/problem of practice, please email

Upcoming Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO Sessions

The VAP Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO’s FREE sessions are not your ordinary CLE!

  • Monthly interactive sessions are currently being scheduled on the fourth Thursday of each month from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
  • Each session includes a Topic Presentation by a Subject Matter Expert and a Hands-On Case Study for discussion.
  • This innovative platform serves as a resource and learning tool for legal practitioners to share support, guidance, and feedback with peers.
  • Through an All Teach/All Learn framework, our goal is to expand the pro bono community in New Mexico.

By joining the VAP Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO, all participants will gain full access to all session material and resources, and participants consent to be added to the VAP volunteer attorney pool.

Click here to Join the Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO and attend upcoming sessions.

Upcoming 2024 Sessions

2024 VAP Pro Bono Collaborative ECHO_3-Part Tax Series

Empowering Families/Clients: An Income Tax Perspective (1 General CLE Credit per Session)

Presented by: Grace Allison, Staff Attorney and Former Director, New Mexico Legal Aid Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

Prior to joining NMLA, she served for six years as Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law and Qualified Tax Expert in the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at the UNM School of Law.  A graduate of The University of Chicago Law School and Wellesley College, Grace has practiced as a tax attorney for more than 44 years, “retiring” in 2011 as Tax Counsel, Tax Strategist and Senior Vice President at the Fortune 500 wealth manager, Northern Trust.  She has published numerous articles on tax topics in professional journals over the years, and has served on the boards of four New Mexico nonprofits.  She is a past Chair of the Charitable Planning and Organizations Group, Real Property Trust and Estate Section of the American Bar Association and is Treasurer of the Tax Section of the State Bar of New Mexico.

3-part series held from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 – Part 1: Helping Low- & Middle-Income Families Get Their Money From the IRS
    • NMLA tax attorney Grace Allison will provide an overview of income tax benefits available to low- and middle-income families from the IRS and the State of New Mexico, and how families can apply for these benefits to boost their available resources.  Examples will be provided.
  • Thursday, February 22, 2024 – Part 2:  Understanding Income Tax Benefits for Low- & Middle-Income Families
    • NMLA tax attorney Grace Allison will take a deep dive into income tax benefits, including tax credits, available to low- and middle-income families in New Mexico to boost their available resources, explaining how to determine eligibility.  Examples will be provided.
  • Thursday, March 28, 2024 – Part 3:  Allocating Income Tax Benefits Between Parents in a Split-Up
    • NMLA tax attorney Grace Allison will explain how to allocate income tax benefits, including tax credits, between parents in a split-up.  Case studies will be provided to demonstrate the principles.



Adult Guardianship 101 (1 General CLE Credit per Session)

Presented by: Patricia M. Galindo, Esq.- Supervising Attorney, Administrative Office of the Courts

Patricia Galindo has been licensed to practice law for over 25 years. She has extensive legal experience in both civil and criminal matters working with the State of New Mexico, City of Albuquerque and private law firms. She has varied litigation experience as a prosecutor and in private civil practice. 

Ms. Galindo is currently a supervising attorney for the Administrative Office of the Courts. She supervises the Guardianship Annual Report Review Division (GARRD) and is the subject matter expert for the judiciary on adult guardianship and conservatorship, intimate partner violence, and federal firearm prohibitions.  She provides systemic and policy support to the judiciary on the assigned subject matters.


  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024 – Part 1: Petition to Hearing
  • Part 1 – Petition to Hearing will include: concepts in filing for adult guardianship and conservatorship; common scenarios; and an in-depth discussion of the AG process from filing of the petition until the hearing



  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024 – Part 2: Appointing 3 Professionals & Filing Their Reports
  • Part 2 – Appointing the 3 Professionals & Filing Their Reports:  Discussion of the 3 professionals whom petitioner must name to assist in determining the functional limitations and capacity of the alleged incapacitated person; the responsibilities of the Guardian ad Litem, Qualified Healthcare Professional, and Court Visitor; and filing of the professional reports.



  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024 – Part 3: Dealing with Family Conflict
  • Part 3 – Dealing with Family Conflict:  This session will include discussion of how to stay focused on the best interests of the alleged incapacitated person (AIP) when family members disagree on the AIP’s care or asset management, including options to keep costs down to preserve the AIP estate.


  • Tuesday, April 09, 2024 – Part 4: Post-Adjudication Issues
  • Part 4 – Post Adjudication Issues:  This session will focus on issues that arise after issuance of the guardianship orders, including bonding requirements, required reports from guardian/conservator, on-going judicial review, audits, and grievances.