Patricia A. Matthews

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1981, Patty started her career as a middle-school teacher. While teaching, she completed a Masters in Education in Secondary Administration from the University of Oklahoma, during which she became interested in Education Law. In 1988, she completed her Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma, and started her career at a mid-sized firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Patty is licensed to practice in New Mexico state and federal courts, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

After working for law firms, Patty decided to open her own practice in 1996. She began representing charter school clients in 1998, and in 2009 Susan Fox joined her in opening their law firm of Matthews Fox, P.C.

Patty’s legal practice concentrates on all aspects of education law, including employment, regulatory and contract issues involving charter schools as well as related nonprofit organizations and education management companies. Ms. Matthews represents clients in all areas of public school law, including special education, School Personnel Act, school financial compliance, charter school facilities issues, policy guidance and all matters related to charter drafting and defending, from the application through renewal or revocation and the appeal process.

She has also advised and represented Native American clients in school matters as well as on economic development projects. She represents the statewide charter school membership organization and advises on legislative policy.

Patty is a member of the National Alliance for Public Charter School Attorneys and the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys. Patty was a founding board member of the New Mexico Coalition for Charter Schools has taught school law as an Adjunct Professor at New Mexico Highlands University. She has also provided numerous trainings for governing councils and charter school administrators.


  • University of Oklahoma, College of Law, (J.D. 1988)
  • University of Oklahoma, (M.E. 1984) (Secondary Administration)
  • University of Oklahoma, (B.S. 1981 with distinction)

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court, District of New Mexico
  • New Mexico Coalition of Charter Schools (co-founder and former president)
  • Participant, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program:  Creating New Schools (August, 2004)
  • National School Board Association – Council of School Attorneys
  • The Alliance for Public Charter School Attorneys

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