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May 2009 Graduates Headed to Harvard Law School

August 09, 2009
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Abril and Del Riego

Patricia Sanchez Abril and her former research
assistant Alissa Del Riego.

Two members of the undergraduate class of 2009 are headed to one of the nation’s top law schools this fall. Alissa Del Riego, a political science major, and Christopher Swift-Perez, a finance major, have been accepted to Harvard Law School, an accomplishment they credit in large measure to the mentorship of Patricia Sanchez Abril, assistant professor of business law and a graduate of Harvard Law.

“It is a testament to the quality of students who are attracted to the University of Miami, the strength of our programs, and the research opportunities available to our students. The environment allows this to happen,” said Abril.

Del Riego and Swift-Perez were not only Abril’s former students but also worked with her as research assistants after taking her Introduction to Business Law class as freshmen. The class piqued their interest in law and left them yearning to learn more. As research assistants, Del Riego and Swift-Perez worked closely with Abril, whose research focuses on privacy. Long hours of research and collaboration led to strong mentorship relationships between the professor and her students.

“When applying to law school Professor Abril was there to help every step of the way,” said Swift-Perez.  “Her guidance throughout my four years of university had a considerable influence in my continued interest in law and my ultimate acceptance into Harvard Law School.”

Abril and Swift-Perez

Abril at the School with student, Christopher

Del Riego was also accepted into prestigious programs at the University of Chicago, University of Virginia, and Northwestern but in the end could not pass up the opportunity to attend Harvard. Del Riego attributes the opportunity to develop a close mentor relationship with a professor to UM’s small student body.

“When I was coming to college I was trying to decide between UM and Northwestern, in the end I chose UM and have not regretted my decision for one moment. I feel that the opportunities I have had at UM to form close personal mentor relationships with teachers would not have been afforded to me had I attended a larger university, where I probably would have gotten lost in the crowd. I am very grateful for Professor Abril who has been a great mentor, friend and support.”
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