Erika Vasques, a Penn State senior, was interested in law as a possible career direction after her junior year but hoped to get a better understanding of whether law school was the right choice for her. She read about a program called Explore Law offered exclusively to Penn State students by Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. She applied in March 2012, was accepted into the program, and attended last May. The weeklong program is offered again this year and is open to Penn State undergraduates from all campuses. This year’s application deadline is April 1.
“The Explore Law Program at Penn State Law was a life changing experience. The relationships I have made with law professors, practicing attorneys, and other future young lawyers will truly last a lifetime. Through this program, Penn State Law has shown a dedicated interest in our success as future law students who will become strong young lawyers that lead and represent the Penn State name," according to Vasques.
This year, Explore Law is set for May 13-17, 2013, under the leadership of Penn State Law Professor Michele Vollmer
. Explore Law is tuition-free and provides meals and housing. It provides a structured way for students to gain insight into the experience of going to law school. “It is the perfect way for students to get a taste of the law school experience,“ said Vollmer. “Students learn to brief a case, analyze a statute, and write like a lawyer, along with negotiating like a lawyer. As a significant change this year, a substantial part of the program will be devoted to teaching the students how to study for the LSAT. That part of the program will be led by a LSAT expert,” she said.
Law professors and practicing attorneys join the class to discuss what they do and the fields of law in which they practice. In addition, participants will learn about the law school admissions process and how to succeed in being admitted to law school, and will build relationships with other students with similar interests and possible career goals.
Vollmer said applicants should be undergraduate students who have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher and who will have completed at least two semesters of undergraduate study by the start of the program. She added that one of the goals of the program is to introduce the study of law to students from groups that are underrepresented in law school classrooms and the legal profession who may need support to facilitate their interest in the study of law. A $40 fee will be charged for the LSAT practice book used by the expert LSAT instructor. Grants are available if payment of the fee presents a financial hardship.
Informational Meeting set for March 15
All students interested in applying to the program are invited to an Explore Law Reunion and Informational Meeting in the Commons of the Lewis Katz Building on Friday, March 15, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. Past participants in the program will join us at the gathering, as well as current law students. This event is an informal gathering with light refreshments. We will answer questions about the program and law school.