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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 12, 2007

Mari Culver First UI Law Alumna To Become Iowa First Lady

Iowa's new First Lady Mari Culver is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, the first UI law alumna to hold such a position.

"We're very proud that a graduate of our law school will serve such an important role in Iowa, and we look forward to one of our own representing the state in so many ways for the next four years," said Carolyn Jones, dean of the College of Law.

Culver received her law degree in 1990 as Mari Thinnes. She graduated with honors and participated in moot court as a law student, serving on the moot court executive board as first vice chair during her third year.

"I remember her as a very sharp and focused student," said Patrick Bauer, a law professor who taught Culver in a civil procedure class and has followed her legal career ever since. "She's an accomplished civil litigator and has handled some extremely complex civil cases. Her professional success as an attorney doesn't surprise me."

Law professor William Hines was dean of the law school when Culver was a student and noted that her father, William Thinnes, was a U.S. bankruptcy court judge based in Cedar Rapids.

"She was a student leader and a well-respected member of our law school community," said Hines. "As she was the daughter of Judge Thinnes, many of us knew her family background and had high expectations for her as a student. She exceeded every one of them."

Culver is currently an attorney with the Des Moines law firm of Duncan Green Brown & Langeness and has said she plans to continue her part-time practice as First Lady. She and her husband, Chet, who was sworn in as governor today, have two children, Clare, 5, and John, 4.

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,