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University of Iowa News Release

 

March 19, 2010

New law student group guides undergrads through application process

A new organization in the University of Iowa College of Law is working to help the law school become more accessible to underrepresented students by helping UI undergraduates with the law school application process.

A group of students from the Latino Law Student Association was awarded a Catalyst Award Diversity Seed Grant of $800 earlier this year to create a new organization, the Law School Admissions Outreach. The organization will assist UI undergraduates in preparing for law school applications by purchasing books and supplies that participants can use.

Margaret Weirich, a second year UI law student and president of the new organization, said that underrepresented students include racial minorities, international students, people from underrepresented economic classes and first generation college students.

The grant will be used to purchase books and resources students can check out from the organization's office in the Latino Native American Cultural Center, 308 Melrose Ave. in Iowa City. Some books include LSAT preparation texts and others that help students craft essays for admissions, for example. Weirich said she is hoping this grant will sustain the group for many years, but if it doesn't, the group may reapply for a future grant.

The idea came when Weirich and another group of students were discussing affirmative action in a class. Afterwards, the group discussed the issue more and eventually learned about the Catalyst grant. Weirich decided to apply with the new outreach program in mind.

Currently, group members are reaching out to undergraduates through the campus's different cultural centers and undergraduate groups, like the Black Student Union and the GLBT groups on campus. The Law School Admission Outreach has also held two informational meetings this semester on campus.

"We won't turn anyone down, and we'd love to help anyone interested in applying to law school," Weirich said.

Although the new organization is available for any undergraduate student, Weirich said there is a need for this type of resource on campus to help increase diversity in the law school.

"I think the law school benefits from having more diversity," she said. "We can bring in more people with different viewpoints and backgrounds, which is really important for creating a law school with a wide variety of opinions and influences."

For more information on the Law School Admissions Outreach, contact Margaret Weirich at margaret-weirich@uiowa.edu.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell), tom-snee@uiowa.edu; Writer: Ashton Shurson