Shammara H. Henderson practices in the areas of criminal defense, plaintiff’s injury, employment discrimination, civil rights, and victim representation. She also presents throughout the country on issues regarding law enforcement; heroin and opiate addiction; civil rights and criminal civil rights; implicit bias, affirmative litigation; and electronic discovery (eDiscovery).
After graduating from law school, Shammara clerked for Justice Charles W. Daniels at the New Mexico Supreme Court. She started her career as a prosecutor with the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque, N.M., where she prosecuted DWI/DUI and domestic violence cases. She later became the Associate General Counsel for the Office of Governor Bill Richardson. Shammara advised the governor’s office on legal matters ranging from pardons and paroles to criminal legislation, environmental legislation, and higher education. She regularly testified before the New Mexico Legislature on each of these issues.
In 2011, Shammara joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico. There, she prosecuted reactive narcotics, bank robberies and other burglaries, identification fraud, and child pornography cases, including international production of child pornography. She focused on long term drug investigation cases, large drug trafficking organizations, and diversion cases. She also frequently prosecuted criminal civil rights cases, involving issues like excessive force, hate crimes, and reproductive rights. She successfully prosecuted hundreds of cases to include sentences up to 120 years.
Alongside her duties as a prosecutor, she engaged in extensive outreach with the community and law enforcement to ensure the best allocation of finite resources. She successfully promoted fairer enforcement of the laws to alleviate disparate impacts of the criminal justice system, especially racial impacts, and ensure more just punishments for low-level, nonviolent convictions. She advocated for bolstering prevention and reentry efforts to deter crime and reduce recidivism, and strengthening protections for vulnerable populations. She helped train federal and local law enforcement to work more closely with federal and state prosecutors to focus on the most violent criminals in the state. She developed and presented training and outreach programs across the state. Finally, Shammara practiced civil law, defending the United States in personal injury, civil rights, and employment discrimination cases.
In 2017, Shammara co-founded her own law firm Henderson & Grohman, PC. She successfully appealed a race-based detention order for their African American client that resulted in his release, dismissed criminal cases base on discovery violations, and successfully settled multiple plaintiff injury cases in New Mexico. Henderson & Grohman, PC recently joined Freedman, Boyd, Hollander, Goldberg, Urias, & Ward, PA.
Shammara received a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from American University in Washington, D.C., where she received a full ride with the highly competitive Frederick Douglass Scholarship. Shammara received her J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law where she received the W.E. Bondurant Scholarship and University of New Mexico Graduate Fellowship and upon graduation the Dean’s Award.
Shammara has received the following awards: Albuquerque Business First 40 Under 40 (2016); National Bar Association Nation’s Best Advocate 40 Lawyers Under 40 Award (2018); University Of New Mexico School Of Law Alumni Promise Award (2018); State Bar Outstanding Young Lawyer Of The Year Award (2018); National Bar Association Presidential Award (2018).
Shammara’s community involvement includes: President, UNM School of Law Alumni/ae Board; Board Member-At-Large, National Bar Association; Treasurer (Former President), New Mexico Black Lawyers Association ; Member, NM Board Of Bar Examiners; Fellow of the American Bar Foundation; Parliamentarian, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., Iota Xi Omega Chapter; and Parliamentarian, Albuquerque Chapter of the Links, Inc.Shammara is licensed to practice in New Mexico, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
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