The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

UI College of Law hosts 20th annual conference for prospective minority law students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Minority college students interested in careers in law are invited to learn more about studying law at the University of Iowa's 20th annual "Bridging the Gap" pre-law conference Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7.

The conference, which typically attracts about 100 students, will be held in the Boyd Law Building, home of the UI College of Law. Sessions begin at 11 a.m. March 6 and continue until about 7 p.m. Friday. Sessions begin at 9 a.m. March 7, and the conference concludes at about

5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Gregory Williams, dean of the Ohio State University College of Law and a former associate dean at the UI College of Law, will be the keynote speaker at a special dinner Friday evening to mark the 20th anniversary of the conference. Williams, a founder of the Bridging the Gap program while at Iowa, is the author of the book, "Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black."

Other honorees include long-time conference supporters David E. Ramirez, juvenile court judge in Denver, Colo.; Phillip Jones, vice president for student services at the UI; Silas Parnell of the Education Services Division of Ada S. McKinley Services, a community services agency based in Chicago; James Thomas of the University of Madison-Wisconsin; and Mary Robinson, a UI law graduate who is pastor of Valley View Baptist Church in Cedar Falls.

During the two days of activities, students will attend workshops and presentations on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the application process and financial aid opportunities.

N. William Hines, dean of the UI College of Law will convene the conference, and

Susan Mask, director of the UI Office of Affirmative Action, will give the welcoming address.

Students will also attend a mock class led by Marcella David, UI associate professor of law, and a roundtable discussion on juvenile justice issues with Judge Ramirez.

A panel of students of color will also give a presentation of their experiences at the UI. Faculty and staff of the UI College of Law will also lead discussions with students.

"Bridging the Gap" was created by the law school in recognition that minority students are under-represented in the legal profession (about 15 percent of law students nationally are minorities; about 22 percent at the UI College of Law).

The primary purpose of the conference is to provide students of color with information about legal career options and to give them contact with admissions professionals, faculty, practitioners and advisers who can help prepare students for law school.

There is a $30 registration fee for the conference. For more information, contact

Camille deJorna, director of admissions and assistant to the dean, at (319) 335-9095.