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John W. Day is a Santa Fe attorney who practices in criminal defense, civil litigation and government misconduct/civil rights litigation.

Prior to John Day Law, John had a successful tenure as a partner in one of Santa Fe’s oldest and largest law firms where he practiced in the same areas of criminal defense, civil litigation and government misconduct/civil rights litigation.

John has represented clients in courts throughout New Mexico. He has successfully defended cases involving national security clearance matters, white-collar offenses, homicide, violent crime, and drug offenses, among others. He has provided personalized legal representation to families and institutions with special legal problems and crisis situations, both here and abroad.

John’s prior careers as Deputy District Attorney in northern New Mexico and as an award-winning investigative reporter covering political corruption in the Southern U.S. have served him well in the field of law.

John’s family began cattle ranching in New Mexico in the 19th century, and founded the (now-ghost) town of Dayton, New Mexico, in Eddy County. He graduated from Harvard University in 1985 with a degree in history, focusing on New Mexico’s past, and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 1995.


Harvard University (B.A. 1985)
University of New Mexico (J.D. 1995)

Bar Admissions

Bar of New Mexico (1995)
United States District Court for the District of NM (1995)
United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (1996)

Memberships and Affiliations

State Bar of New Mexico
American Bar Association
New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

“When it became necessary, meeting and working with John Day proved one of the best decisions I ever made. Knowledgeable and compassionate, his experience proved invaluable as he maneuvered through the gauntlet of our criminal justice system.

He pulled me through, dignity intact, so that I felt like more of a human being and less like a criminal. A calming presence in a dire situation, I highly recommend having Mr. Day on your side.”

A. H. • Santa Fe, New Mexico

News and Media

Read more news and see videos from a selection of John’s past cases.