Work Drive Matters: An Assessment of the Relationship Between Law Students' Work-Related Preferences and Academic Performance

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



educational psychology and metacognition, study methods


This article explores the dimensions of law students' schoolwork-related preferences and discusses an empirical assessment of those preferences. The assessment revealed two findings: (1) a positive correlation between students' schoolwork-related preferences and their first-year law school cumulative grade point average (LGPA); and (2) students' schoolwork-related preferences significantly enhanced the predictive power of the traditional law school success predictors, law students' LSAT performance and their undergraduate cumulative grade point average (UGPA). During spring 2014, 215 law students responded to a survey that included questions from the Multidimensional Work Ethic Profile (MWEP) and Work Drive Inventory. Analysis of the responses indicated that while the students' high LSAT and UGPA explained eighteen percent of their LGPA, the students' Work Drive, LSAT and UGPA explained twenty-eight percent of the students' thirty-hour LGPA. The article concludes with a discussion of the significance of these findings and their impact on legal education.