LSAT Kung Fu Blog / How To Get Into Law School: Application and Addenda
How To Get Into Law School: Application and Addenda
Today is the last entry in our look at each piece of the law school application. We’ve worked chronologically—that is, we took each item in the order that you should (in a perfect world, one in which you can maybe go back in time and fix your mistakes) have been working on it. I’ve chosen to use a Q+A format, to make you feel like we’re in this together. It will be fun. I
promise absolutely do not promise that.
Last week, we looked at how your résumé figures into your admissions decision. This week, we’re taking a crack at the application and addenda. Again, we’re going with the Q+A structure, because it’s delightful:
What is it? The LSAC application form is a single electronic application that you can use to apply online to most law schools. Addenda are written additions that you’ll send directly to any law school to which you apply.
Wait. Why would I send a school a “written addition” to my application? Because you had bad grades. There are other conceivable reasons, but that’s the big one.
I don’t understand. Why is this a thing? Addenda exist because law schools want to give you a chance to address any deficiency (or perceived deficiency) in your application. For most people who feel their applications may not be superb, that deficiency is their low undergraduate GPA.
What if my deficiency is a low LSAT score? Don’t do it. Writing an addendum to explain a low LSAT score is almost always a bad idea. If you weren’t able to to apply yourself and succeed for the admission test, why would a law school believe you’re likely to apply yourself and succeed at your law school exams? There had better be a real and pressing reason for your score to merit such an addendum.
What if I have multiple LSAT scores? Ah! That’s when you might want to write an LSAT addendum; to let schools know why the second, higher score is more indicative of your abilities than the lower score.
Any other reason to write one? A criminal record. You have to disclose any record, and you definitely want to take the chance to explain yourself. If you have anything on your record (criminal or simply school-related, like a suspension or the like), you’ll write a short, declarative statement giving the facts, and maybe briefly explaining why those facts should not be held against you. It’s not a place to make excuses or to justify your mistakes. It is a place to let law schools know that you acknowledge your mistakes, that you’ve learned from them, and that you won’t repeat them.
What else? If you think there’s anything about your application that might make a school not want to admit you (again, having a weak LSAT score doesn’t cut it; if your score is weak, take my awesome course and get a strong score), then address it in your addendum. Do not write an addendum to make excuses.
You said that already. Yeah, it’s important. The addendum has a real function and purpose, and if you abuse that purpose, nobody will like you and they won’t invite you to go to their school.
Really? Meh, I’m overstating it. But there’s no reason to give a law school any reason to doubt or dislike you. Write an addendum to explain or fill in any gaps or question marks. That’s the only reason to write it.
OK, overstater. How long should the addendum be? A half page. Just enough to stipulate the facts and briefly explain why they aren’t a mark against you anymore.
And together with the application, how much are they worth? It’s like everything else (beside your LSAT score)—for most people, an addendum won’t make much difference. But if a decision comes down to it, then you definitely want the best, clearest, simplest explanatory addendum you can write. The application? That’s nuts; a crazy number of students never get considered because they didn’t complete their applications. It’s easy. Just take your time and fill the whole thing out.
OK. I think, together with your previous posts, I now have a good strong idea of what to expect from the application process and what my job is in that regard. Well, if that’s true, then I’ve done my job here. Next week, we’ll talk about the LSAT again, if that’s cool with you.
There is nothing on earth I would love more than to read a blog post about some LSAT-related topic. You’ve come to the right place.
THAT. WAS. SARCASM. I chose to view it as a compliment. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
You’re the worst. Then I say good day to you, sir.
Literally the worst. I said good day, sir!
Questions? Comments? Complaints? Post them below, or shoot me an email.
Be good to one another, for we need it now more than maybe ever,
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