Skip to main content

About me

As a criminal defense lawyer, Lee has dedicated her skills to protecting the constitutional rights and liberties of her clients. Before re-locating to New Mexico in 2001, Lee practiced in South Dakota.  While serving on various committees and boards, Lee has been a tireless advocate for the rights of accused and convicted persons.  Her service on the South Dakota Elections Board resulted in significant changes in South Dakota law concerning the voting rights of convicted felons. As the Chair of the South Dakota Criminal Law Committee she recommended many needed changes in the law and procedure in South Dakota.

Lee’s special legal interests include medical, DNA and psychological evidence.  

Lee is a wife, mom, step-mom and grandma and step-grandma.  She has a dog and 2 cats. Her hobbies include downhill skiing, politics, reading and cooking.


Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 100%
    26 years, 3 thousand cases

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Lisa Torraco

    I endorse this lawyer. She is a brilliant mind and the premier legal research and appellate attorney in the state!


    Lisa Torraco Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Jennifer Burrill

    Lelia is a tireless advocate for her clients. She leaves no stone unturned. I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the zeal and dedication with which she approaches every case. Her knowledge, experience, and professionalism set her apart from others in her field.


    Jennifer Burrill Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

505 Marquette Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM, 87102


NMAuthorized to practice law200504/13/2011
SDAuthorized to practice law199004/13/2011
TXNot Eligible to Practice - Administrative200507/16/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Board MemberNew Mexico Justice2014
Regional DirectorNew Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association2012
Committee MemberDNA Identification Oversight Committe2010
Criminal Uniform Jury Instructions CommitteeNew Mexico Supreme Court2007
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
LawyerNew Mexico Public Defender, Capital Crimes2004 - Present
OwnerHood Law Office1997 - 2002
Managing PartnerWurm & Hood, Prof.L.L.C.1993 - 1996
LawyerPennington County Public Defender1991 - 1992
Managing AttorneyDakota Plains Legal Services1990 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
New Mexico DNA Identification Oversight CommitteeBoard Member2010 - Present
UJI Committee, New Mexico Supreme CourtMember2007 - Present
New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers AssociationMember2005 - Present
National Legal Aid and Defender AssociationMember2005 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1992 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysMember1991 - Present
State of South Dakota Board of ElectionsBoard Member2000 - 2002
South Dakota State Bar Criminal Law CommiteeChairperson1998 - 2001
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
State of South Dakota v. Red Star, 625 N.W.2d 573, 2001 SD 54.The client got a new trial.
State v. Smallwood, 152 P.3d 821, 2007 -NMSC- 005The death penalty was not allowed.
State v. Dillon, 2001 SD 97, 632 N.W. 2d 37 (S.D., 2001)Client got a new sentencing hearing.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
For the Defense (New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association)You May Be Gone, But Your DNA Lingers On2014
The Champion magazineProving Self-Defense: Gunshot Wound Analysis in Crime Scene Reconstruction2011
For the Defense (New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association)Exposing the Gauntlet of Death Penalty Decision-Making2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of South Dakota School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1989
University of South Dakota School of LawPolitical Science and Criminal JusticeOther - Bachelors1987
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
New Mexico School of Law PD Annual TrainingOvercoming Child Abuse Allegations2013
Gjovik, Norway High School StudentsCriminal Defense Practice in American State of New Mexico2013
PD TrainingExpect Resistance:The Mental Health Defenses of Insanity and Negation of Specific Intent2012
Forensics CLEEthically Utilizing Experts2012
PD CLEClient Comptency2011
Driving Your Case Home with ExpertsLadies and Gentlemen of the Jury Meet My Experts2011
Appellate Defender CLEDrafting Jury Instructions With an Eye Toward Appeal,”2010
Annual Summer SeminarHow to Unpack a DNA Case2010
Annual Department CLEEvidence for Trial Lawyers2010
Making the Case for Life – XIMitigation and Jury Selection in Capital Cases2008