Penn State undergraduates spend week immersed in law

After wrapping up his last final exam of sophomore year at Penn State, Jake Plevelich headed to the Lewis Katz Building on Penn State's University Park campus to practice being a law student.

“This program has divided my life into two periods -- pre-Explore Law and post-Explore Law,” said Plevelich. “I believe this program is imperative for anyone who wants to attend law school. The vast amount of information I have learned, has left me feeling that I have a distinct advantage over someone who has not attended the program.”

Forty Penn State students from University Park and four Penn State branch campuses spent their first week of summer vacation immersed in the Socratic method, law books, and professional possibilities at Penn State Law. Directed by Penn State Law Professor Michele Vollmer, the program is designed to foster relationships with members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession and provides Penn State undergrads with a realistic picture of law school.

“Explore Law introduces students to the study of law, the legal profession, and helps them develop key foundational skills, enabling them to make a more informed choice about a legal career,” said Vollmer. “Additionally, students learn about the admissions process so they have a better chance of being accepted into law school.”

From learning how to brief a case and analyze a statute to conducting direct and cross-examinations for trial and presenting oral arguments before a court to taking a practice LSAT essay exam, students were fully immersed in the study of law for the entire week.

Hear what other participants had to say

“The Explore Law program has truly facilitated my pursuit of the law as a career .... The instructors are extremely helpful in providing a real world glimpse at the rigors and actual opportunities available in the profession.” -- Devante Jones

“This invaluable experience has increased my confidence in writing and speaking both in the classroom and outside the classroom.” -- Nick Loukides

“The Explore Law program is a great opportunity for undergraduate students interested in law to have the chance to meet current law students, learn about admissions and get hands on experiences with cases and mock trials. It really helped me to decide if law school is for me.” -- Alysha Preston

“Attending the Explore Law program helped me to understand and experience what law school will be like and opened my eyes to the many careers that are available with a law degree.” -- Gabby Rosenblum

“I had thought that I wanted to be a lawyer; now I know I want to be a lawyer. Thanks to the Explore Law Program, I finally feel comfortable choosing law as a career path. I now plan to tailor my undergraduate experience, without second guessing my decisions, to prep for law school.” -- John Satira

“Explore Law was five days of anything and everything you could possibly want to know about law school. I’ve spent my undergraduate career toggling between law school and graduate school as options for post graduate education. I now know that the law is something that I can be passionate about ... and I am excited about researching law schools now.” -- Jessica Skocik

“The environment was very intellectually stimulating. All students admitted to the program are goal-oriented, which made discussions with professors extremely interesting. I have made many friends during the program and have gained a new knowledge and appreciation for the law.” -- Devin Weakland

”It was great talking to professors, students, and deans. We heard their stories, experiences and got to ask them all of our questions.” -- Pattie Weir

For additional photos of Explore Law, click here.


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Last Updated June 29, 2011