SCLO will be moving on July 15, 2024 to:
1240 Pennsylvania St. NE, Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87110

Our Staff

Brwyn Downing, Executive Director

Brwyn Downing received her J.D. with honors and awards from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2018.  She first joined SCLO as a paralegal in 2014 and continued working with SCLO through law school.  After graduation, Brwyn was hired as a law clerk and then as a staff attorney upon passage of the bar examination.  In 2020, Brwyn left the organization to work for New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department, primarily giving legal advice and providing representation to Adult Protective Services.  Brwyn rejoined SCLO as the Executive Director, and is honored to continue SCLO’s long history of advocacy and legal services for New Mexico’s most vulnerable elders.

Cristóbal Muñoz, Health Law Director

Cristóbal Muñoz who is bilingual is SCLO’s Health Law Director. He is a licensed New Mexico attorney. Cris received his J.D. degree from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. in 2013; and his M.A. in Education from the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain in 2002. Prior to joining SCLO’s staff in 2017, Cris was a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, worked under a temporary contract with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, and served a brief internship at United South Broadway Corporation. At SCLO, Cristobal focuses primarily on federal benefits (Medicare, Social Security, SSI) and state administered benefits (Medicaid and SNAP). Because of the intersection between healthcare, income, nutrition and housing, Cris also works on issues related to housing subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Marsha Shasteen, Supervising Attorney

Marsha Shasteen holds a Bachelors’ in Social Sciences and Secondary Education, with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling. After working in the delivery of Social Services. Marsha earned her JD from UNM School of Law in 1989. She managed a full caseload of civil and some criminal misdemeanor work, as a Solo Practitioner for about three years. Marsha then moved to Texas to pursue a lifelong interest in political affairs, and eventually made her way to Capitol Hill, gaining a wide range of extensive policy experience, but with six of those years being assigned specifically as Counsel to the Committee on Science and Technology. After a total of thirteen years in the legislative field, Marsha made a decision to return to New Mexico.  She joined SCLO in 2007, handling a wide spectrum of SCLO case issues, and also serving as Outreach Director, until 2016. Marsha rejoined SCLO in 2021, working on special projects. Currently she serves as Supervising Attorney, while also handling a caseload with a concentration on housing related issues, as well as serving as lead counsel on all SCLO-New Mexico Adult Protective Services referral cases.

Elena Spielman, Staff Attorney

Elena received her B.A and J.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin (Madison WI). After moving to New Mexico in 1976 she worked for the Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque and then Northern New Mexico Legal Services (now New Mexico Legal Services). Subsequently Elena practiced family law in the private sector for many years. Elena joined SCLO’s staff as a part-time attorney in 2014.

David Ray Rosales, Estate Planning Attorney

David Rosales is originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University (B.A. and M.B.A.) and the University of New Mexico School of Law (J.D.).  He has been a licensed attorney in New Mexico since 1995 and joined SCLO in 2023. David’s legal practice has included much trial work and as a former insurance defense attorney, David has experience with a wide range of insurance related matters in the commercial lines to personal lines of insurance coverage, where he has represented both consumers and insurance companies in resolving disputes on insurance related matters. David’s experience has included practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Divorce, Guardianship and Personal Injury. David joined SCLO as a part-time, dedicated Estate Planning Attorney, where he is primarily assisting eligible clients with the drafting of their Wills, Transfer on Death Deeds, and execution of their financial Powers of Attorney and Advanced Directives for Health Care. David has always had an affinity for working with senior citizens. He has historically worked to champion and advocate for members of the LGBTIQ community and under-represented members of our community. David enjoys being able to provide experienced advocacy for his clients and being able to support them through an unfamiliar, and sometimes overwhelming process. David’s greatest accomplishments are his three (3) girls. He is a self-described “Yogi” who practices Yoga religiously and he loves to run and hike. His current ambitions are seeking his certification as a Yoga instructor.

Michael McGuire, Staff Attorney

Michael McGuire received a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 2007 and graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2012. Prior to joining SCLO in 2016, he worked with legal services programs in Louisiana and Ohio representing low-income taxpayers and military veterans. Michael legal practice has focused on a variety of legal issues including: identity theft; evictions; veterans’ benefits; family law; tax disputes; and estate planning.

Paul Spear, Foreclosure Defense Project Attorney

Paul grew up on a farm south of Fargo, North Dakota, studied Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University and worked several years as a farm loan officer with USDA and private banks in northwestern Minnesota. Graduating from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 2005, Paul moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has represented creditors and insurance companies with insurance subrogation, foreclosure, asset and debt recovery, and tort defense. Paul represents SCLO clients with active foreclosure cases before the courts.

Sean Kinniry, Staff Attorney

Sean Kinniry graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2020.  Following law school, Sean worked as a staff attorney for New Mexico Legal Aid, Inc. Native American Program, providing no-cost legal services to members of New Mexico’s 19 Pueblo communities.  His work included civil legal services involving unfair consumer practices, family law, and property issues.  Additionally, Sean provided representation to criminal defendants and respondent parents in child-in-need-of-care cases in various tribal courts.  Sean is committed to providing quality legal services to vulnerable populations in New Mexico.  Prior to attending law school, Sean worked as a criminal defense investigator.  Sean’s interests outside of work include exploring the vast outdoors of the Southwest with his partner and their two dogs, working in the garden, and finding new restaurants and food trucks in the Albuquerque area.

David H. Pankratz, Staff Attorney

Mikayla Jaramillo, Foreclosure Legal Assistant

Mikayla Jaramillo joins SCLO as a  graduate of the Post Degree Paralegal program with the University of New Mexico Continuing Education. She additionally holds Bachelor degrees in English and Religious Studies, and a minor in Philosophy. She has a strong professional background in training and client care. She looks forward to advocating on behalf of New Mexican Seniors that are facing foreclosure.

Kathy Heyman, Administrative Director

Kathy Heyman joined SCLO in 1990 after working with private attorneys in the area of consumer law for five years.   In her current role as SCLO’s Administrative Director, she utilizes her education at Palm Beach College and UNM’s Anderson School of Business along with her work experience in human resources and in the paralegal field to supervise support staff and assist attorneys in their advocacy work on behalf of seniors.

David J. Monson, Fiscal Officer

Jan Thomson, Paralegal

Jan is a recent graduate of the Post Degree Paralegal Program at Central New Mexico Community College. Jan received her  Bachelors degree from UNM in 1975 and worked for many years in a medical laboratory field. Jan works in the area of Estate Planning and also assists SCLO’s attorneys in all areas of elder law.

 Dean Shelton, Paralegal

Dean Shelton, an SCLO paralegal, has more than 30 years of experience in the private legal sector in Albuquerque and, most recently, Portland, Oregon. He holds a Bachelor of University Studies from the University of New Mexico, which speaks to his eclectic interests. Dean worked for many years as an estate planning paralegal, but assists SCLO’s legal staff in all areas of the law. Dean has also worked at a non-profit public radio station and has an enduring passion for music.

Damien Garduño, Legal Administrative Assistant

Damien Garduño earned a BA in Anthropology, a BA in Communication, and a BFA in Film and Digital Media from the University of New Mexico. He has experience in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and is working to build a career helping others. Damien looks forward to learning the legal aspects of community support.

Jay Benson, Receptionist

Jay joined the SCLO team as a receptionist in February 2023. She began work in her local communities in high school and brings years of experience working with and volunteering for the various cities she has lived in. She believes strongly in the importance of SCLO’s work and works hard to ensure that our clients get the help they deserve. She is currently completing her BS in Environmental Science and looks forward to future degrees in legal services and furthering her work in helping her community.

Olivia Kadinger, Receptionist

Olivia  joined SCLO as a receptionist in March 2024.  She is excited to be a member of the SCLO team.  Olivia has enjoyed volunteering and serving her community in New Mexico for several years.  She looks forward to the opportunity to learn and grow.  Olivia is currently studying at New Mexico State University for a degree in Agricultural Business and Economics.

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