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UTSA's ILPA Receives Texas Bar Foundation Grant

By Ashley Harris
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 11, 2007)--The University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute for Law and Public Affairs (ILPA) has been awarded a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation (TBF). The $17,900 grant will be used to increase opportunities available for students accepted into the ILPA's Summer Law School Preparation Academy (SLSPA).

"The Texas Bar Foundation award is greatly appreciated, not only because it provides much needed scholarship assistance for undergraduate students who are earning a premier pre-law education in our summer program, but also because its a contribution towards UTSA's goal to become a premier public research university," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

The Summer Law School Preparation Academy began in 2002 through the vision and leadership of UTSA President Ricardo Romo, then UT School of Law Dean William Powers, Jr., and Institute Director Richard Gambitta.

The goal of the SLSPA is to increase the number of Texas and minority students who gain admission to and excel in high quality law schools. A 2004 National Law Journal survey indicates that minorities make up only 9.64 percent of the total number of lawyers in the nation's largest firms. One hundred students will attend the summer 2007 institute, of which approximately 80 percent represent racial or ethnic minorities.

"This Texas Bar Foundation award allows UTSA to augment the wonderful programs that we have initiated over the past five years, allowing our students to get a premier pre-law education and to gain admission to some of the most prestigious law schools in our state and nation. The grant provides recognition of the fine work our faculty is doing and empowers us to do more," said ILPA Director Richard Gambitta. "The grant will be used to provide stipends to groups underrepresented in both law schools and the Texas Bar so that they may attend the UTSA Summer Law School Preparation Academy. We will also initiate a pinnacle lecture with panel discussions on a major topic of law and public affairs."

UTSA students have secured acceptances to all nine law schools in Texas and to over sixty law schools nationally including schools as diverse as the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia, Georgetown, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, NYU, State University of New York-Buffalo, Penn. State, Denver, Idaho, Boston University, Akron, Hofstra, St. Thomas, Ave Maria, Syracuse, Tulane, and City University of New York, among many others. The ILPA is part of the Honors College at UTSA. Entrance into the Summer Law School Preparation Academy is by competitive admission.

The Texas Bar Foundation solicits charitable contributions and provides funding to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in Texas. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably funded bar foundation.

TBF grants are administered to programs and persons committed to the TBF mission of advancing justice in Texas. Award winners aid in this cause by providing opportunities and support of the rule of law in Texas. Grants are made possible by the generosity of Fellows and charitable gifts from individuals and law firms across the state.

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