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University of Iowa News Release

June 23, 2006

Hubbard Program Introduces Undergrads To Law School

Before this summer, Kwesi Seals and Tiffany Silvera were both sort of considering going to law school someday and studying for careers in law.

But now there's no sort of considering about it. After participating in the Philip G. Hubbard Law School Preparation Program at the UI College of Law this month, both know law is exactly the career for them.

"Before, I wasn't really very serious about the law," said Silvera, a native of Miami who will be a junior at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala. "But my experience here changed my mind completely. I know I have what it takes to succeed in law school."

"I've been able to keep up with the work, and it's made me realize this is something I can do," said Seals, an Iowa City native who will be a senior at UI. Silvera and Seals are two of the 22 undergraduate students who are spending the month of June at the UI law school for the fifth annual Hubbard Program. The program is an introduction to law school targeting current undergraduate students from groups historically underrepresented in the law and encourages them to consider careers in the field.

The month-long fellowship is intended to build skills as well as introduce students to the legal profession, said Marcella David, a UI law professor and one of the program's directors. It's a rigorous program of classes, homework, reading and writing assignments and field trips designed to not only introduce fellows to the study of the law, but to give them an idea of the amount of work law requires.

On that point, both Silveri and Seals agree the program has succeeded.

"There is a lot of reading," said Seals, a theater arts major at UI. "At the end of class, just as you get up to leave and you're planning your evening, they hand you 80 pages of reading and tell you to read it tonight because these are the cases we'll be studying tomorrow."

The students are studying trademark law cases with visiting professor and co-director Willajeanne McLean of the University of Connecticut School of Law. The students recently discussed a trademark dispute involving civil rights leader Rosa Parks and the rap group OutKast.

Silveri said the program has shown her that discipline and time management are crucial for success in law school.

"I really need to be prepared for class each day," said Silveri, a finance and accounting major who hopes to pursue a career in finance and tax law. "You never know when you're going to get called on, and when that happens, you don't want to embarrass yourself. When you go to bed at night, you have to be ready for class the next day."

Other activities the Hubbard fellows are participating in include skills training, a writing curriculum introducing them to legal writing and strengthening their writing skills, study skills training and other activities intended to build skills in legal analysis and the study of legal concepts. Courses help develop critical reading, analytical and logical reasoning, problem solving, advocacy and listening skills. They will also practice with the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) with tips on how to prepare for the real test.

Students took field trips to the law offices of McDermott, Will & Emory in Chicago, John Deere & Co.'s corporate headquarters in Moline, Ill., and to the United States District Court House for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, where they met with Chief Magistrate John Jarvey.

All classes and programs are held in the Boyd Law Building, while the Fellows live in Mayflower Residence Hall. This year's program started June 2 and ends June 30.

Seals said he'll leave the fellowship knowing there is a place for him in law.

"There are all kinds of options for me to pursue," he said, adding that the UI law school would be one of his top choices to enroll in next year. "I never thought I'd like something like contracts or trademarks, but after taking classes about them, I love it."

Silveri also puts the Iowa law school at the top of her list of prospective law schools, in part because she's never seen snow before.

"I really like that it's so remote and laid back, and you can really concentrate on your studies," she said.

The Hubbard Program is named for Philip G. Hubbard, the former UI vice president and mechanical engineering professor who was the first African-American professor at the university. Hubbard died in January 2002. His son, Peter, Associate Director of Academic Services for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, discussed his father during the opening luncheon.

The Hubbard Program is the only program of its type in Iowa and is funded in part by a $100,000 PLUS Grant from the Law School Admission Council, with additional funding provided by the University and the College of Law.

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,


For more information about the Philip G. Hubbard Law School Preparation Program: