From the Comments: Errors, Mistakes, and Typos Oh My!

Law School Expert Blog

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Each week, I try to set aside at least an hour or two to personally respond to the dozens (and sometimes hundreds!) of comments my blogs usually get. These comments cover a very wide range of concerns and specific situations, but every once in a while there are a few comments that I think are worth really highlighting because they apply to so many applicants.

What To Do If You Discover A Problem

This week, I could tell that many of you are deep in the process of submitting (and stressing about) your law school applications. It seems that, very often, the moment after you finally hit submit is the moment a mistake pops out. So what to do when you discover — or realize — a problem?

First, breathe. Mistakes happen. Even in law school applications that are reviewed, re-reviewed, and read over 10 times before they are submitted, it happens.

Second, figure out exactly what the mistake is, and check each application for it. You might have simply uploaded the wrong draft to one school – your other applications might be error free. Look for that same mistake in all of the law school applications you have not yet submitted, and of course correct it before you forget. Then, decide whether the mistake is crucial. (See below for examples).

Third, if it’s a mistake worth correcting, then own up to it and correct it as simply and quickly as possible. Often times, a short email to the admission office will be sufficient.

So how about some real life examples?

A Mis-stated Year

In three applications I have submitted I listed the wrong year for a course I took at a community college between freshman and sophomore year of college. Should I e-mail the admissions offices at each school? They should have the correct date on the transcript sent by CAS. Thanks!

This is a great example of a mistake that isn’t a big deal. If it’s correct on the transcript, then schools should have the right date. This is a great example of a mistake where a simple, one-line email correction would work. Something like:
“I have found that my application has a small error, and would like to ensure it is correct; my community college attendance was in 2012, as my transcripts show, not 2011, as my application states.”

Admitted Even With Typos

Thank you so much for the information on this site. It has been invaluable. I have already submitted my applications to every school and JUST noticed an error in my personal statement. I wrote that I “poured over readings” instead of “pored over readings.” I had multiple people read through my essay and no one noticed it. I’ve already been accepted to several schools in the T14 and so far 1 in the T6. I’m wondering if I should send an updated personal statement to my reach schools that haven’t given me a decision yet, or if this would just put more attention on it?

Just ignore it! It’s a good kind of typo – one where the reader won’t be sure which is correct anyway in most cases. And since it’s obviously not hurting you at very competitive law schools, you probably don’t want to call attention to it. In the age of electronic applications, schools (usually) can’t just staple the new version on top of the old version anyway.

Getting the ID Number Wrong

I just realized that in the personal statement I submitted to a few law schools, there is a typo in my LSAC account number, which I included in the header. Is this something I should contact the schools about and try to fix? Thanks!

YES! This is an example of a mistake that you absolutely should correct. This is your personal information, and a mistake on this could lead to some application materials not being filed with your application.

Missing Words & Doubled Words

What about a missed word in your personal statement, like “the the” or misspelling a word like “ailen” for “alien” or mixing up “their” and “there”? These can be the most painful, palm-to-forehead moments for law school applicants. You can email a cleaned up document to each school explaining that it’s an “updated” version of your personal statement and hope for the best. I usually don’t worry about one issue, especially if we’re talking about safety or target schools, but if you find 2-3 of these errors in an application it can hurt your credibility as an applicant at a big reach school.

99 Responses

  1. Is June 2015 too late to retake my LSAT, even if I have already turned in my applications? I would like to start law school this Fall, but my first 2 scores are not as high as I would like for them to be…

  2. I just submitted applications and realized that I did not include some courses that I am taking this semester at a community college. This is my first semester at this college (I already have an undergraduate degree), and will not receive grades for my work there until May. This means that my omission of this fact does not affect my GPA for law school consideration. Should I still email the law schools and mention that I am currently taking a few courses at a community college? Thanks!

  3. Hi Ann,

    I just found this blog. I wish I had found it sooner. I submitted all of my law school applications yesterday, but during the process, I realized that I had a typo of missing “to” in my very last sentence of the concluding paragraph for five schools that are all my “top choices.”

    It should have said “I am eager to begin my next chapter,” but it says “I am eager begin my next chapter.”

    I felt as if my heart sunk, and sent out an email to those five institutions asking them to replace my personal statement with the proper version. I admitted to them that I made an error in uploading not the final version of my personal statement, and asked them if it is okay for me to send them the final version that I intended to upload. Was this a bad idea…?

    If you could please advise me on this matter, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!



  4. I forgot to include Phi Beta Kappa on my resume under Honors. On several applications, there was a place for Honors and I did include Phi Beta Kappa there. Should I send a brief email to explain the discrepancy? Attach a corrected resume? Do nothing?

  5. I two of my applications, under the employment section, I put Summer 2014 instead of the name of the position. Should I contact the schools?

  6. Hi Ann,

    I just submitted an application and for some reason, one sentence has a font of 11.5 when the rest of the essay is 12. The essay has a 2 page limit and I end up coming within a few spaces of going into the third page, I don’t want it to look like I was trying to pull a fast one on them (Note: even when I changed the font back to 12 it still didn’t go onto 3 pages). What are your thoughts? Thank you!!

  7. I recently submitted my applications, and I realized that I had one mistake on my interest statement and one mistake on my resume.

    Interest Statement: I wrote, “Moreover, after speaking to Ms. ________ at University of Maryland in November 2015, I became excited about the extensive externship opportunities…” I forgot to write “the” in front of University of Maryland. Should I send an updated statement because of this?

    Resume: I wrote, “Argued that ethnic diversity promotes mistrust between ethnic groups, which decrease interethnic cooperation and adversely affect economic development.” I forgot to add the “s” for “decrease” and “affect.” Should I send an updated resume for this mistake as well?

    Thank you!

  8. Hi,

    I just submitted my application to my top law school. In my personal statement, I mentioned the name of a book that was instrumental in my desire to pursue environmental law. I spelled the authors name as “Dwyer” instead of “Dyer.” Should I correct this mistake? I’m worried about calling attention to it.

      1. Hi,

        I submitted a personal statement for transfer. In 2 of my 4 applications I accidentally wrote “prospective” instead of “perspective.” I’m a competive applicant, but they’re still a reach. The typo is in the paragraph explaining why I want to go to the school. Should I fix it and email a new personal statement?

        Thank you,

  9. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for your help. In my application, I accidentally put August-May 2012 instead of August-December 2012 for my first college. Is this worth correcting via email, or is this something to let go because it’s on my transcript? Thanks so much.

  10. Hi Anne,

    I submitted my personal statement to 3 law schools but realized that two of them reference the incorrect law school. For example, I have a sentence that states “I await to bring my experience to X Law School.”

    Is there any remedy to this mistake and how bad is it when it appears in front of admissions?

    Thank you!


    1. Art! (Face palm……)
      I’m so sorry this happened. Send the updated, corrected version and hope for the best. For all my blog readers, this is why I urge you not to do school-specific personal statements unless a school asks for them!

  11. I just submitted an application in which I said “University of X School of law”– that is, I didn’t capitalize the L. This happened only once (mentioned the school name or some version of it a few times); is it worth emailing the admissions office asking if I can submit an updated version? They won’t have opened the file yet, that’s for sure; just not sure if it’ll reflect poorly on me to ask for an update.

  12. Hello Ann,

    On my application to my top law school I mistakenly put that I interned from 5/2015-7/2015. However on my resume I have it as 5/2015-8/2015. Should I email them to correct this mistake?

    1. Hello, I have a similar issue where two of my activities listed in the application have different dates than the activities on my resume. What should I do ?

  13. Hi Ann,

    I just submitted my applications and realized that I wrote “the more I to scrutinized my beliefs” (I had changed it and forgotten to take out “to”.) My question is whether or not it is worth it to send an updated version (I submitted my applications over the holidays so I don’t believe they’ve been looked at yet) or whether this is a small enough mistake that it would be best not to call attention to it.


  14. Hi! I submitted my application yesterday, and realized I missed the word “raised” in “I was in raised in California.” The sentence is in my personal statement. Should I correct this?

  15. I had a mistake in my personal statement. Should I email schools with the correction ? I said “Student Government Body” instead of “Student Government Association”

  16. LSAC autopopulated my highschool into two applications – one that asked for highschool and one that did not. In both, my graduation year was off by 4 years. What is the best way to address this? Should I call? email? or ignore this?

  17. Hi Ann, I realized after I submitted two applications that the town of my college, Bethlehem, was accidentally misspelled as “Bethelehem,” Pennsylvania. Should I email the schools and fix it? It was in the education section of the application. Thanks!

  18. Hi Anne,

    Thank you for all your excellent advice, both here and in your book. Here’s my worry: I just submitted an application to UC Berkeley. Because Berkeley doesn’t have an “employment” section, they ask that applicants include a resume addendum if you can’t fit every job you had on one resume. I submitted a resume addendum, but I am just realizing now that I accidentally listed one of my jobs twice- both on my resume and on the resume addendum. Should I send a new addendum? Or is this not worth stressing over?

    Thanks again,

  19. Not a law application, but a business school one. I accidentally reported my ending salary in the starting salary annual bonus field. It was for Teach For America so I imagine it will be obvious that it is a mistake to someone reading the application. Should I let it go or email admissions?

  20. Hi! I said “you” instead of “your” on my optional essay, does this warrant sending an updated version? Please let me know!

  21. Hi Ann,

    Thank you so much for all of your very helpful tips! I read my personal statement to discover 3 typos…and yes, I’m kicking myself over them. Thankfully I only sent the statement to one school, and am writing an email with the updated version. My questions are:
    1. Should I call and email the school, or is an email enough?
    2. What should the subject line be and is there a template you recommend for these types of emails?

    Thank you!

    1. Oh no! Glad you caught it early.
      Don’t call – just explain that you are embarrassed that you attached the wrong version of your personal statement and you’re attaching the correct one. Good luck!

  22. Hi Ann,

    In the Education portion of the application, I mistakenly put the following for one of the institutions:
    Type of degree: “no answer provided”
    Date degree awarded: “XX/20XX”

    I actually didn’t get a degree at this institution, but forgot to get rid of the date. The correct information is, however, available on the transcripts that were included in the CAS report. Is this something I should email the AdCom about? My application has been complete and under review for about a week.

  23. Hi Ann,

    I think I used a word incorrectly in my personal statement-I wrote “matriculated through college” but I think it’s grammatically incorrect and should be “matriculated at [insert university name]” or “progressed in college.” It was an addition suggested by one of my professors so I assumed it was correct without double-checking. Should I email the schools I applied to with an updated personal statement? Or is this a mistake they’re unlikely to notice?

    Thank you!

  24. Hi Ann,

    I submitted two applications today–both I made in the beginning of December–and I listed all of the institutions that I attended up until then. I was supposed to take my last undergraduate course at a community college that I have attended in the past; however, at the last minute I had to take it elsewhere. I forgot to add this institution to my list. Is this something that I should contact the schools about?

    Thank you,

  25. Hi Ann,

    I’ve submitted my application to a law school back in December 23, 2017. I’ve just now noticed that I put 99 months for the time I’ve worked since graduating undergrad school instead of 55! I was nervous the whole time while doing application for this particular school. It’s now mid-January.
    My application is under review and I received an email saying a second committee will now be looking over my application.
    Do you suggest I email and let them know the change? Or just let it be? thanks so much.

  26. Hi,

    I submitted an application and in my addenda I noticed that there was no period at the end of one of my paragraphs. Additionally, in the following paragraph where the period mistake occurred, i type “that risk that” when it should read as “the risk that”. Other than these two mistakes everything was flawless. Should I be worried and send an “updated” copy of this addenda, or should I leave it alone? This is not a T14 school.

  27. Hi Ann,

    In the personal statement I have a sentence that goes ” Receiving a legal education from, will grant me the chance and ability to help resolve disputes in a just manner.” This sentence should not have “from,” in there. several of my personal statements have this mistake in there and they are under review for over a week now. How bad is this?

    1. It’s an unfortunate typo and looks obvious that you were going to include a school’s name in there… It’s probably too late but you can ask schools if you can replace your PS. How much it matters will depend on how competitive you are at the school in the first place.

  28. Hi Ann,

    I accidentally sent the incorrect version of my resume with an incomplete bullet point job description and a repeating bullet point from a copy and paste error. Is this worth sending over a new resume?

    Thanks so much,

  29. Thank you so much for this! I had a misstated year in an education addendum explaining circumstances surrounding an LOA. I sent a one-line correction to admissions and have since been hyperventilating thinking this was a huge deal. This definitely calmed me down. Thank you.

  30. Hi Ann,

    Does it matter that dates are incorrect for when i finished my A levels and took them? I cant remember the dates and my documents are packed away in my house (currently in uni house).



  31. Hi Ann,

    I liked your book a lot. I recently submitted to Stanford and all is great except my very last line reads “as Stanford Law graduate” instead of “as a Stanford Law Graduate.” I am afraid it stands out because the mistake phase is on its own line at the end. What should I do?



  32. I made a typo error on my personal statement. I used a period when it should have been a colon or semicolon. Should I email?

  33. Ann,

    I wrote “one in the same” instead of “one and the same” in my personal statement. Should I update it and send the correct statement to the schools or should I just leave it?

  34. I accidentally put “perspective” instead of “prospective” twice on my application that I submitted a month ago.

    I am applying binding decision, so the applications won’t be reviewed until after the deadline in January. This is my top / reach school. Should I send an updated personal statement and supplemental essay?

  35. Hi Ann, I realize I submitted my PS with a typo that said “vison” as opposed to “vision.” I feel so terribly stupid as it’s spelled correctly in another place in my statement. I remember looking at it and thinking it was wrong but since Word didn’t mark it I just left it :/.

    Do you think I should try to fix it? I am a URM with ok scores but have better work experience. I’m trying to get into some T-6 schools. Have I tanked my chances?

  36. Hi Ann,

    I’m really, really freaking out over an error that came up on the Employment section of one of my applications. On the Resume I submitted with my application, it correctly states that I worked at a certain job from 8/18 to 10/18, but on my application’s “employment” section it says that I worked there from 9/18 to 11/18 (the application had a drop-down menu and none of my reviewers (or myself) caught the error until it was too late). I don’t want to come off as being untruthful. How should I go about this?

  37. HI Ann,

    in an optional supplementary essay (not the main PS), I made the error of writing
    “condor” instead of “candor.” It appears that this is the only typo in my documents.
    Should I email the adcom the revised version of the supplementary statement?
    I submitted the application yesterday, and it’s been less than 24 hours.

  38. Hello!

    I just found two typos in the app I submitted to my first-choice school. One sentence is missing the article “a” and another is missing the “had” in “had been.” Should I email an updated statement or let it go?

    Thank you!

  39. On the signatures to several programs affirming that everything in my application is correct I doubled up a letter in my last name without noticing it. What should I do?

  40. It appears that my citizenship status was imported from my profile as “US permanent Resident” and my country of citizenship as “US”. I just missed this in my reviews! I filed my application a few hours ago. What do I do?

  41. It appears that my citizenship status was imported from my profile as “US permanent Resident” and my country of citizenship as “US”. I just missed this in my reviews! I filed my application a few hours ago. What do I do? Should I email or call them or leave it alone?

  42. Hi,

    On one of my applications – I did not list the Major/GPA and Academic Honors (which would just be Dean’s List and Summa Cum Laude) on the electronic form we complete through the LSAC website. The university and degree type & date are listed. It just says “no answer provided” for major/gpa and academic honors. However, I do have it written on my resume and transcripts. Do I need to email them about that or should I leave it? It also says “no answer provided” for what my native language is. I thought that was optional.

    Thank you

  43. Hi Ann! In my diversity statement I wrote “role of Vice President” instead of “role of vice president.” I also did this for another role so this error appears twice. Should I just let this go or correct it?

  44. Hi Ann,

    I made the mistake of not filling in part of the education section based on thinking it had been auto-filled (GPA, degree) on a few application. This information is obviously stated in my resume, and transcripts. Should I bring attention to this?

  45. Hello Anne. Thank you for your helpful article.

    I have a missing word in my personal statement, and I am wondering if I should send in a correct copy. The mistake is below, and the missing word is *attorneys*

    “Learning from these talented *attorneys* has been fascinating and insightful.”

    My stomach dropped when I saw the mishap. Should I fix it? Thanks so much.

  46. Hi Ann,

    Thank you for taking your time to provide us with valuable advice!
    I am in the process of submitting my apps. I reviewed my LSAT writing sample and noticed some typos and missed words, how screwed am I? Is it worth writing another one? I’m afraid even if I write another one they may still read the one with the typos. I’m afraid I may have ruined my application with those stupid errors. Any advice would be highly appreciated!

  47. Hi Ann,

    For a GPA addendum, I referred to the wrong term. Shall I contact the schools to correct this error or I shouldn’t draw attention to it and leave it as is? Thank you!

  48. Hi Ann,

    On my application, I but birthplace as “United States” and clicked the box for “U.S. Citizen” and everything looks exactly right. However, just when I went to go click submit, I looked at the PDF version of my application to verify everything and it says: “Citizen: No” but further down it shows that I am. I have gone over every field carefully and everything looks perfect. I even tried different spellings of U.S. like United States of America etc. What should I do? I don’t want to call the admissions office and make it appear that I can’t fill out an application.

  49. I submitted an application I submitted on 2/1/2020 and just realized that I left a note that I wrote to myself in brackets next to the question of my supplement. This is for a huge reach school. should I reach out to them to explain the error? I have already been over a month since I submitted it. Or Is it bad to bring attention to it?

    For the supplements, I bolded the questions and then typed my answers in a regular font so that what I submitted read as the following:

    QUESTION. [Did they mean X or do they mean Y?]
    My Response

  50. Hi Ann! I just submitted some applications and realized I capitalized ‘summer’ when it was incorrect to do so in my PS. Is this an issue big enough to contact the schools, or should I let it go?


  51. Hi,

    I applied to two “reach schools” as a transfer applicant and just noticed that my resume says that my summer internship has an expected start date of “June 2019” instead of “June 2020.” I wanted to send an updated resume if I get either a Journal offer and/or a federal judicial externship offer (interview is in the next few weeks) but I am concerned my application will go complete before I hear back from either of them.

    Thanks for your insight.