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Local lawyer Olsen receives career award

Submitted Photo Local attorney A.J. Olsen is seen in 2017 after receiving an award from the National Water Resources Board. He has just been recognized by a section of the State Bar of New Mexico.

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A local lawyer is receiving recognition from a section of the State Bar of New Mexico.

A.J. Olsen, a partner in the Roswell and Ruidoso firm of Hennighausen, Olsen & McCrea LLP, has been selected for a Career Achievement Award from the Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law section of the state bar.

The award will be presented officially Dec. 17 in Albuquerque at an annual meeting of the NREEL group.

“I must say that I was quite surprised and humbled by recognition,” Olsen said.

Olsen, who was nominated by members of his firm and earned his law degree in 1983 from the University of Tulsa, was one of the people to start the Hennighausen & Olsen firm in 1985. According to the nomination letter, he has since become a recognized expert in water and natural resource law, including having presented at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Olsen, whose full name is Arnold J. Olsen, has been recognized several times as a “super lawyer” in the state in the area of energy and natural resources. Super Lawyer, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service that makes its selections using independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. He also has been listed as a “Best Lawyer” by a national publication which makes its selections based on peer reviews.

“Mr. Olsen has always put his clients’ needs first, and he has managed to do so with honor, dignity, professionalism, ethics, and collegiality,” the nomination letter indicated.

The letter also praised Olsen for his willingness to share his knowledge with others.

“Mr. Olsen has also provided education mostly in the area of water law, but also many other areas of litigation and transactions, to numerous attorneys and staff members and local, regional, and state officials with and against whom he has worked,” the letter stated.

Outside of law, Olsen’s contributions have included service with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, being an active member and leader in the National Water Resources Association, and acting as a director of the New Mexico Groundwater Districts Association and as a member of the board of directors for the Assurance Home, the Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and Chaves County Crime Stoppers. He is also a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

Mark Rosebrough, chairman of the Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Section of the state bar, said that this is the first year the group is giving a Career Achievement Award. Steven Hernandez of Las Cruces is also a recipient.

“It was clear from our review of Mr. Olsen’s work and achievements demonstrated by the nomination letter that he is not only an excellent attorney, but he is a good and ethical attorney for others to work with,” Rosebrough said.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.