After serving in the United States Army, Susan moved to New Mexico and has called New Mexico home for over 20 years. Susan graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in May 2013. Susan’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of New Mexico (cum laude). She began her legal profession as an Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the District Attorney 2nd Judicial District.
Susan was admitted to the State Bar of New Mexico in 2013. She has gained extensive trial experience from serving as an intern to both district and appellate state judges to representing clients in complex interstate environmental litigation before the Supreme Court of the United States. Susan has served as an Assistant District Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, and has represented clients in civil, criminal, and commercial litigation in government and the private sector.
Susan has earned Basic Mediation Training and Mediation in Practice Certifications, and has participated in numerous mediations before Santa Fe, Bernalillo, and Valencia Counties.
While in law school, Ms. Barela served on the New Mexico Natural Resources Journal and served as Vice-President of the Student Bar Association. Additionally, Ms. Barela served as a teaching assistant for the first-year legal writing course. As a 3L, Ms. Barela was recognized by the Mexican American Law Student Association with the Outstanding 3L Award.
Susan is admitted to practice before the State Bar of New Mexico, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Susan is professionally associated with the Albuquerque Bar Association, American Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association, and is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.
While in the United States Army, Susan served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 864th Engineer Battalion as a combat life saver. Upon her honorable discharge, Susan was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.