Albuquerque and Santa Fe are separated by about sixty miles of beautiful New Mexico landscape. Called the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico is home to some of the most intriguing culture and geography in the nation.
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state, originally built by the Spanish and maintaining a strong connection to its roots while simultaneously being on the cutting edge of modernity. The city is in the middle of the Rio Grande valley, with the Sandia and Manzano mountain ranges providing an amazing backdrop to the west (as well as a convenient spot for both hiking and skiing).
Since the development of the atom bomb, Albuquerque has become an important part of what is called the Rio Grande Research Corridor, making it a hub for high-technology industries which traditionally focused on atomic energy and space travel. The presence of these industries is largely responsible for making Albuquerque what it is today: a thriving city that easily accounts for nearly half of New Mexico's total economic activity.
Even with this technological influence, there remains an incredible diversity in the local economy, which includes agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and research and development. Albuquerque is also home to the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a large portion of the legal community in New Mexico is comprised of its graduates.
To the northwest of Albuquerque along Interstate 25 is Santa Fe. While smaller in population, Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and every bit as impressive as its neighbor. The second-oldest city in the United States, Santa Fe has preserved most of its original architecture through careful urban planning, giving it a distinct appearance and feel. Santa Fe is seated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and surrounded by the Santa Fe National Forest, one of five national forests in New Mexico.
Like Albuquerque, a large portion of Santa Fe's economy is based on tourism. The state government is the largest employer in the city, with scientific research, healthcare, and manufacturing being other prominent sectors.
The center of activity in Santa Fe for tourists and residents alike is the downtown plaza, a historic area that features restaurants, shops, museums, and art galleries. The rich culture of the downtown area is reflected in the various music, theater, and dance groups, of which Santa Fe has more than twenty, which contribute to the city's reputation for being a haven for the arts.
Albuquerque and Santa Fe are home to a wide variety of legal practices that span most practice areas. Most law firms
in New Mexico are regional in scope; however, several out-of-state firms have satellite offices in the region as well, further expanding the opportunities for those interested in living in a state so full of rich history and natural beauty. While lawyers undoubtedly work hard in the region, they are much more likely to enjoy a better quality of life and work/life balance than in many other larger, fast-paced legal markets