Should I Submit an Optional Essay with My Law School Application?

Law School Expert Blog

Should you write an optional essay – in addition to your personal statement – and submit it to law schools?

(The following is a brief excerpt from Chapter 11 of The Law School Admission Game, Second Edition, which will be released on on June 11, 2013.)

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).

For another excerpt of the book, see: The Law School Application Timeline: When Should You Apply to Law School

2 Responses

  1. Hi Ann,

    I’ve been trying to figure out what an appropriate topic would be for my Diversity Statement. Would an essay about being raised by my mother, but still having a father that was present be a good topic? I would emphasize the point that being brought up by my mother, while having a father that still managed to be there made a huge impact on my relationship with him and my perspective on parenting.

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