A law school addendum is a brief (no more than one page) essay that is written with a purpose to legitimately rationalize or give an explanation to weak points in your application.
There are two main types of law school addendums that can be written in addition to your application.
On the other hand, poor performance addendum due to a poor LSAT score can be more difficult to explain, taking into the account the fact that you can retake the test and cancel scores if you feel you hadn’t showed your expected abilities. This type of addendum will demonstrate that your less-than-perfect score poorly represented your intellectual abilities, and that your excellence academic history is a far more tale of your true potential than this score.
Denying is in human nature. When things go awry, people’s first instinct is to find a scapegoat or anything at all in order to push the blame on somebody else. But when it is about your law school addendum, you should be cautious to write an optional addendum unless you have a very good excuse.
It is not recommended to write an addendum on low grades or poor written LSAT unless you can explain the reason for that logically, honestly, and reasonably. Your explanation doesn’t have to be a dying parent, serious disease, or tragic accident. However, if you think your reasons are not good enough for the explanation, the admission committees will most likely feel the same way and your efforts will be frowned upon.
Every properly written addendum for a law school contains of two parts: Introduction and How I’ve Grown.
The introduction section should plainly and clearly indicate why you are writing an addendum. If you are writing the Fitness and Character addendum, make sure to introduce the problem, when and where the incident took place, and what resulted from it.
If you are writing a Gap in Professional/Academic Career or a Poor Performance addendum, introduce the issue and when it occurred.
Note that your introduction should be clear and stick to the point. It should simply state the facts of the issue, what occurred and the results.
The committees at law schools want to know about the experiences that influenced your life. But more importantly, they want to see how you handled the situations in your life and what you have learned from them.
If you are writing a Fitness and Character addendum, you need to give details of what you have done to improve yourself, making sure that the issue is in the past and won’t happen again in the future. Do not make excuses in you addendum. Admit that you were wrong, and demonstrate that you have grown.
If you are writing a Gap in Professional/Academic Career or a Poor Performance addendum, you still need to demonstrate that you have frown from your experiences.
To Sum Up:
The addendum of one page is written and submitted independently from the DS and PS. As we have found out sometimes you are required to answer a certain question and sometimes there is something you want to address. In the latter case you have the right to include one page addendum, even if it is not required.
The addendum is not a document where can get deeply argumentative or emotional. You are writing the addendum to either meet the obligation to reveal or persuade a law school’s admission committee to overlook or detriment on your record. You don’t want to put them off by exaggerating your issue or making emotional requests that imply you don’t understand the gravity of your own situation. The best thing to do in an addendum is just to provide the facts. If you want to make an argument, you can do it in your personal statement.
Many applicants believe that admission committee seeks in-depth explanations in an addendum, but it is recommended to keep additional materials as short as possible. Admission committees have a lot of documents to read, so they probably won’t appreciate if you present a long addendum to them. The other thing to remember is the more your addendum, the more you risk to provide excuses rather than objective explanations.
The structure should also be very simple, as this is not an essay, and doesn’t require an introductions, body and conclusion. Instead, state the topic you wish to discuss and note the point you are trying to get to. After that, give several sentences to prove your point.
As there are no strict guidelines on how to write an addendum, when one should or should not include an addendum and how to format it, many students omit this step of the application process. This can have bad results for prospective students.
Two main problems students have when it comes to the addendum is adding to much unnecessary information to the addendum, or not using the opportunity to elaborate on a unique circumstance when it is really useful.
It is very simple to determine whether you need to provide any additional supplemental materials to the admission committee. If there is anything you are concerned will raise questions for the admission committee, then you should address the issue proactively yourself in an addendum.