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Supplemental law school admissions essays

In many of my previous articles, I’ve shared strategies for writing your main law school personal statement.

Many schools also require a supplemental essay that answers the following question: Why do you want to attend this law school?

On the surface, it seems like a simple question. You can probably answer it easily.


But it’s actually not quite as simple as most students think.

Here’s why: your main law school personal statement aims to show why you deserve to be accepted to the school. It should show what the school would gain by having you attend.


That’s only half of the equation.

Your “why this law school” essay addresses the other part. It shows why the school is a good fit for you.


Ultimately, law school admission officers need to be convinced of both.

Just how do you do that? As with your main law school personal statement, you must use the supplemental essay to make your case.


Remember Sarah, from my most recent articles? I showed you some examples from her law school personal statement, which revealed the powerful role feminism played in her education. Through her essay, we discovered how Sarah became passionate about using feminism to make a positive impact.

Sarah’s personal statement was thought-provoking, powerful, and ultimately did everything the PS should do. But it only shows why Sarah would be a great student to have.


In fact, it shows that Sarah would be a great student to have at any law school. But why Cornell in particular?


That’s what the supplemental essay explains.

Sarah could say that Cornell Law a top school. She could say she’s heard they have a great program in her area of interest. She also could have written that having a law degree from Cornell will increase her employment prospects.

But she didn’t write any of that.

Just as with your law school personal statement, you’ll want to use your supplemental essay to tell admission officers something they don’t already know.


Here are some things Sarah included, for example:

• She already visited the campus.

• She sat in on two classes and was excited by what she learned in them.

• She’s not only interested in Cornell Law’s academics, but also their legal clinics (which she names specifically).


As you can see, Sarah gave very specific examples about what makes Cornell Law the right fit for her. It’s far different from her personal statement, which, again, shows why she’s a good candidate for Cornell.


What about you? Which law school have you selected, and why do you think it’s the right fit? If you can’t answer that question or you haven’t yet decided on your top-choice schools, take a look at this video where I discuss law school selection.


Once you do find the right fit, it’ll make writing your supplemental essays much simpler. In fact, in my next article, I’m going to share some important advice for writing the perfect supplemental essay. Keep an eye out for it!


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