Photo of Sam Adams


Samantha (Sam) Adams has once again been named a Benchmark litigation star and a Southwest SuperLawyer® in addition to her previous selection by her peers and the publisher as a Top 25 Southwest Super Lawyers® in New Mexico (2016).

Sam’s practice is focused on litigation for business, government and non-profit organizations.  As a trial lawyer, her experience spans the insurance, employment, education, health care and among others, trucking industry.  But, also as a trial lawyer, Sam understands the value of good legal advice in advance of a trip to the courtroom. She regularly advises members of management and boards of directors on issues related to insurance coverage, employer/employee disputes, contract relations and negotiations, covenants not to compete, trade practices and, among other things, how to avoid litigation.

Sam Adams is an AV® Preeminent lawyer and has been awarded the highest ratings for professional ethics and legal ability by her peers. Benchmark Litigation has repeatedly recognized Sam as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation in the United States and as a Litigation Star in New Mexico.  She is regularly named among those in Southwest SuperLawyers® and is proud to have been recognized locally by New Mexico Business Weekly as a “Woman of Influence.” Sam is a two-term past-president of the New Mexico School of Law Alumni and currently serves on its board as well as the boards of the Albuquerque Bar Association and the Domestic Violence Resource Center . She is an active member of the State Bar of New Mexico and a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Sam has also been appointed to the Advisory Council for the Southwest Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (SWIDA).

Sam advises clients large and small including, as just a few previous and/or current clients: Turner Enterprises, Donegal/Mountain States Insurance Group, the Board of Education of Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, San Juan Coal Company, New Mexico Legal Aid, Domestic Violence Resources Center, New Mexico Community Capital, WESST Development, Century Administration, Remax Classic Realty, EMCORE Corporation and High Desert Residential Owners Association. 

Prior to attending law school, Sam was a senior claims representative for Farmers Insurance Company of Arizona, handling litigation and arbitration of insurance disputes.  Today, in addition to her law practice, Sam is also an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law teaching education law and employment law while incorporating instruction on torts, civil procedure, constitutional law and civil rights matters and, among other topics, alternative dispute resolution. Sam also often instructs for continuing ed services providing core legal education and updates in the areas of human resources/employment, education and business.


University of New Mexico – School of Law J.D. (May 2003), Cum Laude

Order of the Coif – graduated in top 10% of class

National Association of Women Lawyers – Outstanding Law Graduate (2003)

Dean’s Award (2003)

New Mexico Law Review – Manuscript Editor/Staff (2001-2003)

National Moot Court Team Assistant Coach (2002-2003)

National Moot Court Team Regional Finalist (2001-2002)

Marquette University – B.A. in Psychology (May 1995)

Legal Experience:

Adams+Crow Law Firm, (June 2016-present) Managing Partner

Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk, P.A. (June 2002-May 2016) Law Clerk, Associate, Shareholder

Other Legal Experience:

Adjunct Professor – University of New Mexico School of Law

District Attorney Clinic – University of New Mexico School of Law (Oct. 2003-Nov. 2003)

Senior Claims Representative – Farmers Insurance Company of Arizona (Nov. 1997-July 2000)

Legal Assistant/Paralegal – Richard L. Everson, Attorney at Law, Milwaukee, WI (Nov. 1990-July 1992)

Related Experience:

Staff Manager – Marquette University Service Learning Program (Sep. 1993-May 1995)

Grants Assistant – Marquette University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (July 1992-Sep. 1993)

Bar Admissions:

New Mexico

U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico


Qualified Immunity and “Factual Correspondence” in New Mexico: The Tension between Formalism and Legal Realism, 32 NMLR 439 (2002)

Community Service:

Fellow of the American Bar Association (2016)

Second Judicial District, Emancipation Project (2016)

Inn of Court Board of Directors

UNM School of Law, Board of Directors (2006-present, Past President, 2012-2014)

Second Judicial District, Volunteer Attorney Pool & LawLaPalooza (intermittently)

Federal Court Pro Bono Panel 

Domestic Violence Resource Center, Pro Bono General Counsel (2014-present)

Phi Delta Phi (2002-2003)

Women’s Law Caucus President (Spring 2002-2003)

Dismas House Volunteer (2001-2003)

College Recruitment Outreach Volunteer (2002)

High School Recruitment Outreach Volunteer (2003)

Internship with HONOR, Honor Our Neighbor’s Origins and Rights, Writer/Advocate, Milwaukee, WI (Jan. 1991-May 1991)

Students Enhancing Education, SEE, Milwaukee, WI, President/Advisor (Jan. 1992-May 1995)


Verbal and written proficiency in Spanish

Public speaking and public relations training

Extensive diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging training