Pearson's are generally well-made boats, so you can be confident in the manufacturer; the big question is how well she has been treated over the years. As mentioned, do check out the "Boat Inspection Trip Tips" sticky on this site: Boat Inspection Trip Tips
you may want to get a book from the library (e.g. Don Casey "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat'). Ideally take a sailor with you and inspect the boat carefully, looking in particular at the motor, the standing (wire) rigging, and the sails - the more expensive items - as well as checking for obvious defects (like the keel falling off!). She may need some work, which is fine, but what you probably don't want to do is to get a reasonably-priced boat, and then have to drop $1-2K+ before you can sail her!! Good luck - it should be a great starter boat.