Should I Submit an Optional Essay with My Law School Application?
Should you write an optional essay – in addition to your personal statement – and submit it to law schools?
Many law schools provide opportunities to submit a second essay (or even a third) with your law school applications. Sometimes it’s referred to as a “Diversity Statement” and sometimes it’s referred to as an “optional essay” and a particular topic is provided. [In the book, I address examples of such essay prompts, including the “How do Our Values Match?” essay and the “Describe Your Ideal Day” essay.] If an essay topic applies to your situation and does not repeat your personal statement, then you really should do the essay, even if a law school says your admission chances won’t be impacted should you choose not to do it. Not only does the essay provide you with another opportunity to show something new about yourself, but it’s also a way to show that you are really interested in the law school because you went the extra mile in your application to create something just for them. (The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert, Second Edition, page 135).
Ann Levine is the author of the best selling law school admission guide book: The Law School Admission Game and made admissions decisions at two ABA-approved law schools. In 2004 she founded Law School Expert and has helped thousands of applicants navigate the tough process to get into law school. She has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, US News, Above the Law, Blueprint Prep, and more.
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