Damian Shapes Padilla
Recent law school graduate

Damian Shapes Padilla, a Belen native and graduate of Valencia High School, graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in May.

Padilla has accepted a position as a justice fellow at the Georgetown Climate Center in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s leading sources in providing practice strategies to respond and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

As a justice fellow, Padilla will work with the staff in research, writing and legal analysis related to GCC’s federal, state and local resilience work. He will be engaging with government practitioners, community-based organizations and other stakeholders to provide climate-informed planning and policy making.

Padilla will also be involved in the process with tribal nations regrading the development of a Tribal Adaptation Network. This includes working to provide resources related to tribal-led climate adaptation practices.

He hopes to work in public interest and advocacy, as well as in natural resources and environmental law. The GCC justice fellowship provides an introduction to working in these areas, and he is thankful for the opportunity.

Prior to joining GCC, Padilla earned his B.A. in political science at the University of New Mexico. He then received his juris doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law, graduating with a certificate in natural resources and environmental law.

Damian Shapes Padilla is the son of Raul Padilla, of Belen, and Francine Jaramillo, of Isleta. He is the grandson of Al and Dolores Padilla, of Belen, and Valentino and Shirley Jaramillo, of Isleta.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.