Cabinet Secretary for Children, Youth & Families Department
Barbara Vigil has worked as a judge and lawyer in New Mexico for more than three decades, in that time ascending to the state’s highest court and earning the respect of colleagues in the legal community and in public service more broadly for her diligence, dedication and breadth of experience. Elected to the New Mexico Supreme Court in 2012, she served with distinction for almost 9 full years, including a stint as Chief Justice, before her retirement in June.
Prior to serving on the high court, she was a judge in the First Judicial District Court beginning in 2000, presiding over more than 16,000 cases over 12 years and playing an instrumental role in the establishment of juvenile justice boards — which serve as a vehicle for the receipt of state and federal resources to create and sustain many critical social programs for at-risk youth. She also presided over Children’s Court for a decade, advocating for improved systems to meet the critical needs of New Mexico children and families. Before her time as a judge, Vigil worked in private practice. She earned a degree in accounting from New Mexico State University and her law degree from the University of New Mexico.
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