Johanna Pickel has her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Estate Planning and Elder Law from the Western New England University School of Law. She attended the University Of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) for her Juris Doctorate (J.D.), graduating in 2004. After graduating from the University of New Mexico Law School, Mrs. Pickel joined the United States Air Force as an assistant Judge Advocate General (JAG), serving in Florida, Japan, and Colorado. She is a veteran of the Iraq conflict, deploying with the Law and Order Task Force (LAOTF) in 2008.
Mrs. Pickel served as a JAG for almost seven years. Throughout her time with the Air Force, she provided estate planning services to service members, including deploying members and retirees. Her last military assignment was in Colorado, where she taught law at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. After separating from the Air Force, she moved back to New Mexico in 2011. After having a second child, Mrs. Pickel and her family decided to move back to her home town in Montana, but she travels back and forth between New Mexico and Montana on a regular basis.
Mrs. Pickel is originally from Kalispell, Montana. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana and worked with at-risk youth in Montana and the Bahamas. Mrs. Pickel then attended the University of Washington for her Master of Arts in Education, specializing in Special Education. She was brought to New Mexico State University for her final semester in order to teach special education at Oñate High School in Las Cruces and received her MA degree from New Mexico State University. After teaching for two years, she began law school at the University of New Mexico School of Law where she was selected to be a part of the Natural Resource Journal and was twice chosen to represent the school for the National Health Moot Court competition. She graduated from UNMSOL in 2004. Deciding to focus her career on Estate Planning and Elder Law, Mrs. Pickel went back to law school to earn her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the Western New England University School of Law.
Mrs. Pickel practices in the areas of estate planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare documents), elder law (Medicaid planning, VA Aid and Attendance, and Special Needs Trusts), Special Needs Planning, probate, trust administration, guardianship and conservatorship, and business succession planning and formation. Mrs. Pickel is a VA accredited attorney. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Mrs. Pickel is the past Chair for the Elder Law Section of the New Mexico Bar, and past division Chair for the Trust & Estate Division of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Section of the New Mexico Bar. Mrs. Pickel is also a past board member of the Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity.