Carol S. Helms

Albuquerque - Partner

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Carol S. Helms returned to Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP in 2016 as a partner, after a brief time at another firm. She is a 1994 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center.  Before becoming an attorney, she taught high school English and history for 15 years and served as a teaching assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University for one year while she completed a Master of Education degree.

Prior to coming to New Mexico, Ms. Helms practiced environmental law in Houston, Texas for six years, specializing in mass tort litigation particularly in the areas of groundwater contamination, air quality contamination and surface water damages and destruction associated with flooding. Ms. Helms’ experience in the environmental law sector included extensive work with federal and state governmental agencies, as well as all phases of litigation associated with multiple-parties, multiple-issues and class action lawsuits.

After moving to New Mexico in 2000, Ms. Helms continued working in groundwater litigation for a little over a year before accepting the position as general counsel for the Santa Fe Public Schools. Ever grateful to the Santa Fe Public School for pulling her back into education, in 2002, Ms. Helms expanded her representation of New Mexico public schools by joining the then existing iteration of what is now Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP.

Ms. Helms is licensed to practice law in both Texas and New Mexico, and her practice area focus is school law, serving school districts in day-to-day counseling, and litigation when necessary. As an attorney participating in the area of school law her experience includes board governance, employment issues, constitutional law, labor relations, and disability law, and particularly, special education law.  Ms. Helms has participated in more than a twenty due process hearings and the subsequent federal actions.  Mr. Helms frequently assists public entities appearing in a number of administrative venues, including but not limited to proceedings before the EEOC, the Human Rights Bureau, the Labor Relations Board, the Workers’ Compensation Administration, and the Unemployment Compensation Commission.

Ms. Helms is a long-standing member of the National School Boards Association/Counsel of School Attorneys (NSBA/COSA), and has been a presenter for COSA School Law Seminars.  On the State level, Ms. Helms frequently lectures and presents training for the New Mexico School Boards Association (NMSBA), the New Mexico Association of School Business Officials (NMASBO), as well as individual school districts on a variety of topics germane to school law, employment and civil rights issues, including Federal programs, administrative law, board governance, labor relations, student rights and responsibilities, and the development of school board policy and associated procedures and guidance documents for school boards, education professionals and public entities.

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