Pre-Law Self Assessment

Print this form and answer the questions below to assess your interests, goals, and motivations as they relate to law school. Use these questions and your responses to reflect on your direction and preparation for law school and to guide your conversation with the pre-law adviser. Bring this completed form with you to your appointment.

Characteristics

  1. Do you enjoy working with people on events or issues that may significantly affect their lives (positively and negatively)?
  2. Can you empathize with a client’s situation yet remain objective and able to analyze the issues and consequences even if they are detrimental?
  3. Do you enjoy educating people about subjects they do not understand or know little about?
  4. Are you able to articulate your analysis of a problem clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing?
  5. Do you enjoy being an advocate? Can you argue BOTH sides of an issue (including those with which you personally disagree) with enthusiasm?
  6. Do you like detail work? Do you enjoy searching for the precise facts of a situation?
  7. Do you like to read and study?
  8. Do you enjoy the competition of games or sports (as player or fan)? If so, do you care who wins?
  9. What is your level of tolerance for ambiguity?
  10. Are you a “people pleaser”? Are you comfortable telling people what they do NOT want to hear?
  11. Are you comfortable with public speaking? Can you think on your feet?

Motivations

  1. Why do you want to be a lawyer?
  2. If you do not intend to practice law, by what other means have you explored meeting your goals?
  3. What would you like to do with a law degree? Do you have any ideas about what fields of law you would like to practice?
  4. What exposure have you had to law and lawyers? Have you observed any court proceedings?
  5. If you will not be going directly from college to law school, what are you thinking about doing in between?
  6. What do you expect to get out of a legal education in addition to the diploma?

Admissions Factors

  1. Why do you think a law school should admit you?
  2. What courses/teachers have influenced you the most? Why?
  3. Which non-academic activities have been most important to you and why?
  4. What in your life makes you most proud? Why?
  5. If you have taken time off from college, what were you doing?
  6. If you transferred to Penn State, where did you transfer from and why?
  7. What multicultural background or influence do you have?
  8. Do you wish to be identified in the admissions process as a member of a minority group?
  9. Are there any noticeable changes/trends in your academic record? If so, how do you explain them?
  10. What other factors would be helpful for a recommender/admission committee to know?

Law School Choice Factors

  1. What geographic area(s) do you prefer for law school?
  2. Where would you like to practice law eventually?
  3. Do you have any preferences about size and setting of the law school?
  4. What specific courses or clinics might you like to take while in law school?
  5. Have you considered your undergraduate education debt in your plans to go to law school?