Both New Mexico natives, Brendan McDonald and John Duran have made it their goal to serve the community that raised them.
McDonald is a third generation New Mexico lawyer from Belen. His grandfather was an attorney from 1921-1981, and his father is going on 38 years as an attorney in Belen. Though unsure what career path he would follow, during his undergraduate studies at UNM, McDonald realized that he, too, wanted to continue the family tradition.
For Duran, working in the legal field was not his initial focus. Duran spent several years working for non-profits in several cities around the country before being attracted to the idea of advocating for people as a lawyer.
"We both knew each other when we were at UNM, but we had no idea we'd both be going to the same law school in San Diego," McDonald says. "We had the benefit of working with a very gracious employer in San Diego who really let us learn how to run a practice. After John moved back to Albuquerque and told me how nice the pace was, I moved back, too."
Modeling their office in Albuquerque after the office in San Diego, Duran and McDonald are able to fill the void between the old guard and new attorneys.
"This is a scary process for our clients, and we are proud to be their trustworthy advocates," Duran says. "We were trained in a cut throat, aggressive environment and it's nice to be able to apply those skills to our clients' cases here."
After many generations in New Mexico, Duran and McDonald know how to relate to their clients.
"We consider the client our boss," Duran says. "This is not a large 'firm' mentality that is purely financially driven. We offer free consultations and we are readily accessible to our clients. Basically, you get two lawyers for the price of one because Brendan and I will both collaborate on all cases."