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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law



  1. You have been assigned a Preceptor who is a judge or an attorney.
  2. The purpose of the program is twofold:
    1. For you to build a lasting professional relationship with a Pepperdine Caruso Law alumnus or friend.
    2. For Preceptors to model professionalism and help you navigate and thrive during their first year of law school and beyond.
  3. Students who gave a practice area preference were matched with a practice appropriate attorney, where possible.


  1. In order to pass Introduction to Professional Formation you are required to meet with your Preceptor three (3) times during the year for one hour. It is recommended and encouraged that you meet with your Preceptor once in September/October, once in October/November, and once in January/February.
  2. You are required to initiate contact with your Preceptor and take the lead in scheduling your appointments. You are expected to travel to your Preceptor to make the meetings as convenient as possible for them.
  3. You are required to send me an email after each meeting with one paragraph describing your meeting with your Preceptor. You will get credit for your meetings when we receive your email. Please email to danny.dewalt@pepperdine.edu.
  4. We have provided prompts for your discussions with your Preceptor, these topics are encouraged but optional.
  5. After the three initial meetings, you encouraged to sustain your relationship with your Preceptor throughout law school and beyond.

 Connection 1 - Sometime in September/October

"Taking Care of Yourself"

  1. Student and Preceptor tell your life story highlights in 10 minutes each.
  2. Preceptor: Knowing what you know now, what would you do the same or different if you went back to law school? Discuss your challenges and develop a plan of attack.
  3. Preceptor: How do you suggest balancing professional stress, family, exercise and vacation time, and is that achievable during law school?
    Student: Discuss challenges and develop a plan of attack.

 Connection 2 - Sometime in October/November

"First Impressions"

  1. Student: Discuss the best parts of law school and the greatest challenges you are facing. Preceptor: What suggestions do you have for overcoming these challenges?
  2. Preceptor: What catches your attention negatively when you read a cover letter or resume'?
  3. Preceptor: What are the most important things to you and what impresses you the most when you read cover letters and resumes'?
  4. Give feedback on the student's cover letter and resume.

 Connection 3 - Sometime in January/February

"Personal Impressions" The purpose of this meeting is to refine your interviewing skills.

  1. Ask your Preceptor to do a 15-30 minute interview with you as if you were apply for a position in their firm. Tell them they may invite others to participate if that will help create an actual interview feel.
  2. Ask the Preceptor and other interviewers to provide you with honest feedback on at least the following:
    1. Professional attire
    2. Professional demeanor
    3. Eye contact
    4. Pleasant face
    5. Confidence
    6. Quality of answers
    7. Impressions of you
    8. Any other suggestions they may have
  3. Take notes for future review on all of your Preceptors feedback.


The Professional Mentor Program is provided to all upper division students who request one. The assignment is based on practice area and there are no specific requirements for the number of meetings. It is truly a professional relationship for the student and mentor to work out. The Professional Mentor Program is structured this way because we want to activate initiative, responsibility, and relational intelligence in our upper division students as they get closer to entering the profession.