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University of Iowa News Release

March 7, 2005

Sanchez Tells Law Program Participants To Always Persevere

Alejandro Sanchez, chief executive officer of the Florida Banker's Association, urged participants in the University of Iowa College of Law's Bridging the Gap seminar to never let anyone stop them from achieving their goals.

"The only person who's going to stop you from going anywhere in America in 2005 is yourself," said Sanchez, a 1983 graduate of the UI College of Law, on Friday. "When someone gets in your way, go around them, go under them, just get by them."

The law school's 28th annual Bridging the Gap minority pre-law conference was aimed primarily at current undergraduate students from minority groups underrepresented in the legal profession who may be considering careers in law. The conference brought 73 participants to the law school from colleges and universities from around the Midwest and as far away as California, including Luther College, University of Chicago, Truman State University in Missouri and the University of Illinois-Chicago. They heard Sanchez discuss the importance of education, hard work and perseverance during a short and entertaining lunchtime keynote. A son of Cuban immigrants raised in poverty in the Bronx and Miami, Sanchez used his Iowa law education to become a key player in Florida business and politics.

"This is a great law school and I received a fantastic education here," Sanchez told the students. "They really are committed to diversity at the University of Iowa and I loved the three years I studied here."

The Bridging the Gap conference provides the information undergraduates need about the law school admission process, the types of programs offered at law schools, and the opportunities available in law-related fields. Students also met with legal professionals and with law students currently attending the UI College of Law. The conference also sponsored a law school recruiting fair to provide participants an opportunity to speak to law school representatives and determine which law schools best meet their needs. Participants also attended a mock law school class with professor Hillary Sale and a question-and-answer panel featuring minority lawyers.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,