A member of the UNM law school faculty since 1992, Professor Montoya has taught torts, contracts, clinical law, and employment law courses and in her seminars, she examines issues of race, ethnicity, gender and language. She is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico. She has worked extensively in civil rights, especially in education and employment. She has worked on affirmative action plans in business and academic settings, analyzing, writing and implementing student admissions policies at the undergraduate and professional school level. She has been a member of the UNM School of Medicine’s admission committee for its Combined BA/MD Degree program. In 2003, a group of law students under her supervision filed an amicus brief in Grutter v. Bollinger, the affirmative action case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Her article Mascaras, Trenzas y Grenas: Un/Masking the Self While Un/Braiding Latina Stories and Legal Discourse uses personal stories to critique coercive forms of cultural assimilation and is used in many courses throughout the U.S. Her articles appear in law reviews, anthologies, and casebooks.
Professor Montoya is also a regular commentator on The Line, a weekly PBS show that analyzes current events in New Mexico. Professor Montoya has been featured onDemocracy Now in connection with her portrayal of the prosecutor in the day-long mock trial sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee on September 24-26, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Video and pictures of the mock trial of the prosecution of major Bush administration figures, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former CIA Director George Tenet, “indicted” for aiding and abetting torture around the world, are available at this URL: http://www.uusc.org/programs/STOP/mock_trial/index.html.
She has been recognized by her peers and by the Hispano community for her work. She is the recipient of the prestigious Clyde Ferguson Award, given annually by law professors of color for accomplishments in scholarship, teaching and service. In 2003, the National Latina/o Law Students Association awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004 she was given the Walk the Talk award by the NM Hispano RoundTable, a coalition of some 60 Hispano/Latino organizations. In 2005, she was named by Hispanic Business Magazine to its list of Elite Latinas and also received the Kate Stoneman Award from Albany Law School for expanding opportunities for women.