HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – A new judge is joining southeast New Mexico’s district court system. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced the appointment of Efren Cortez to the Fifth Judicial District Court.

Cortez has worked as an attorney for the City of Hobbs since 2013. Now, the 41-year-old will help rule in court cases.

Cortez studied political science and criminal justice at Eastern New Mexico University. He graduated from law school at Michigan State University in 2012, according to the governor’s office.

Cortez will begin work with the district court on August 19, 2023. He fills the vacancy left by Judge William Shoobridge’s retirement.