(June 2, 2010)--The UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs Summer Law School Preparation Academy (SLSPA) celebrated its ninth annual opening day ceremony this week at the UTSA Downtown Campus. This year's class of 125 students is the largest since the academy was established in September 2001.
SLSPA provides a rigorous academically intensive 12-credit-hour training course over a three-month period led by faculty from UTSA and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
The ceremony featured presentations and panel discussions by local dignitaries, legal professionals, faculty members and former academy participants currently pursuing legal studies or practicing law.
Speakers included Mayor Julian Castro, state Senator Jeff Wentworth, state Representative Ruth Jones McClendon, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, 407th District Court Judge Karen Pozza, 150th District Court Judge Janet Littlejohn, City of San Antonio Attorney Michael Bernard, UT Austin School of Law Dean Lawrence Sager, UTSA President Ricardo Romo and other professionals.
"We are not producing more lawyers. We are assuring that our students secure their rightful share of the attorneys that are being produced nationally," said Richard Gambitta, director of the UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs. "We are demonstrating that enhanced higher education translates into results."
Over the last nine years, SLSPA has helped students gain acceptance to more than 140 law schools across the nation including Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, Columbia University, New York University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Georgetown University, Cornell University, University of Virginia, University of Texas at Austin and all other law schools in Texas.
"The skills and knowledge I received at the institute allowed me to excel in my first year of law school at the University of California at Berkeley," said Gretchen Harting , attorney for McKool Smith PC. "I was stunned by how far my knowledge exceeded others with undergraduate degrees from prestigious schools like Brown, Princeton, Stanford and Harvard."
The UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs enhances pre-law educational opportunities and increases the number of Texas students who gain admission to and excel in high-quality law schools. The institute also executes the UTSA Legislative Scholars program, which provides $10,000 to students selected to be legislative assistants during the Texas House of Representatives legislative session.
Throughout the summer, UTSA offers more than 60 camps in science, engineering, architecture, sports, music, writing, language, culture and more.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
Chat with members of the Downtown Campus Initiative Task Force about changes taking place as the Downtown Campus grows and transforms to offer a comprehensive living and learning experience. Table topics will include curriculum changes, orientation updates, transportation, food and living options.
Frio Street Building Commons Area, Downtown Campus
UTSA and the San Antonio Express-News will jointly host this town hall meeting to discuss Unequal Justice in Bexar County and in Texas.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Finance and Budget Modeling Task Force presents a panel presentation of experts from 4 universities with experience in incentive-based budgeting. All UTSA campus community is invited to attend and be informed about budgeting processes.
Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
This event showcases the work of trainees, faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines and public health agencies across San Antonio.
H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104), Main Campus
This exhibit highlights the UTSA Special Collections, which includes historic photographs from Texas, San Antonio and UTSA history.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.
Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.