Pre-Law Advising

Penn State Pre-Law Advising is housed in the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park. Pre-Law Advising services are available for all Penn State students who want to explore, prepare and apply to law school.  Penn State students in all colleges and at all campuses as well as alumni are invited to utilize our resources. 

Pre-Law Advising Resources:

  • Pre-Law Information Sessions:
    • Pre-Law Orientation  Session
    • Applying to Law School Session
  • Individual advising appointments: in-person, telephone, or via Skype technology
  • Pre-Law Workshops on topics such as drafting personal statements and selecting the right law school
  • Advice and guidance on goal clarification, preparing for law school and the law school admissions process
  • Personal statement/diversity statement/addenda review
  • Pre-law event coordination
  • Group presentations
  • Pre-law listserv
  • Referrals to additional resources
  • Guidance with navigating the LSAC account and explaining policy/procedures
  • Administration of LSAT preparation workshop
  • Networking and collaboration with other college advisers, law school admissions professionals, career services, and Penn State’s Social Science Library

Pre-Law Information Sessions:

Pre-Law Advising holds two different information sessions.  The sessions are both facilitated by the pre-law adviser.  They are limited to ten students to provide an atmosphere conducive to conversation and questions.  Please read the descriptions and prerequisites of the two sessions carefully to determine which session is most appropriate for you.  Ideally, students will progress through Steps One – Three in order:

  1. STEP ONE: Attend a Pre-Law Orientation Session:

    Pre-Law Orientation Sessions are open to all students considering law school. First- and second-year students must attend a Pre-Law Orientation Session prior to scheduling an individual appointment with the pre-law adviser or attending the Applying to Law School Session. Juniors and seniors are also encouraged to attend, particularly juniors and seniors who have recently started to explore law school as an option.

    Topics covered in the Pre-Law Orientation Session include:

    • Preparing for law school and strengthening your application now (even if you are not yet certain that you want to attend)
    • Skills required for law school
    • Learning about law school
    • Learning about the practice of law
    • Deciding whether to apply to law school
    • Introduction to the LSAT (very brief intro to this topic)
    • Law school application timeline (very brief intro to this topic)
    • Pre-Law Advising resources

    Spring 2016 Pre-Law Orientation Session dates:

    All dates are full. Please check back next semester for additional Pre-Law Orientation Session dates.

  2. STEP TWO: Attend an Applying to Law School Session:

    The Applying to Law School Session is designed for juniors and seniors who are getting ready to apply to law school.   First- and second-year students who have attended a Pre-Law Orientation Session are also invited to attend, but it may be more helpful to wait until your junior year to attend so that this information is fresh during your application process.

    Topics covered in the Appying to Law School Session include:

    • Introduction to the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
    • Strategies and options for LSAT preparation
    • Review of law school application timeline
    • Using to apply to law school
    • Drafting personal statements/diversity statements/résumés/addenda
    • Obtaining strong letters of recommendation
    • Selecting/Evaluating law schools (brief intro to this topic)
    • Financing law school (brief intro to this topic)
    • Pre-Law Advising resources

    Spring 2016 Applying to Law School Session dates:

    • Thursday, February 4, 2016: 3:00 - 4:00pm
    • Monday, February 22, 2016: 10:00 - 11:00am
    • Wednesday, March 23, 2016: 1:00 - 2:00pm FULL
    • Thursday, April 14, 2016: 10:00 - 11:00am

    Location: Fireplace Room, Grange Building.

    • Please check in at the front desk in Grange Building lobby upon your arrival.

    Registration is required.

  3. STEP THREE:  Schedule an individual appointment with the Pre-Law Adviser.

    • See below.

Individual Advising Appointments:

Schedule an individual appointment with the Pre-Law Adviser

To schedule an individual appointment with the Pre-Law adviser:

  1. Please call the Division of Undergraduate Studies at 814-865-7576.
  2. Complete the required Pre-Law Appointment Prep and submit it to the Pre-Law Adviser prior to your scheduled appointment.  If you do not submit this document prior to your appointment, you will need to fill it out upon arrival which could result in reduced time with the Pre-Law Adviser.
  3. Email any draft documents for review (personal statements, addenda, résumés) to the Pre-Law Adviser at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment.

Please note that first- and second-year students cannot schedule an individual appointment with the Pre-Law Adviser until they have attended the Pre-Law Orientation Session.

Individual advising appointments are tailored to a student’s needs and questions.  Common topics discussed in individual appointments include but are not limited to:

  • Discussing your interest in law school.
  • Deciding whether law school is the best fit to reach your goals.
  • Understanding the impact of your LSAT score and academic record (including GPA) on the likelihood of your admission to law school.
  • Reviewing and providing feedback on draft documents for submission with law school applications including personal statements, addenda and résumés.
  • Selecting a list of schools, or refining your list, of law schools for application based on your criteria for evaluating schools and each schools’ past admissions criteria.
  • Understanding law school financing and comparing offers from several law schools.

Personal Statement and other document review.

If you want the Pre-Law Adviser to review draft documents such as personal statements, diversity statements, addenda or résumés, please email them to her at least 24 hours in advance of a scheduled appointment. Please review Pre-Law Advising policy on draft document review prior to your appointment.

Your time is valuable! To get the most out of your advising discussion, it is important that you prepare for your appointment.

Upcoming Pre-law Events

Pre-Law Advising holds and co-sponsors events throughout the year. Please check the Pre-Law Advising calendar for upcoming events on a regular basis. Events include workshops on topics such as drafting personal statements, selecting a law school, financing law school, legal practice areas and more. If you would like to sign up for the Pre-Law Listserv to receive notice of these events, please click here.

Contact Us

Katherine E. Garren, J.D.
Pre-Law Adviser
Division of Undergraduate Studies
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Grange Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-7576
Fax: 814-863-8913
Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm (Mon-Fri, Eastern Time)