Addenda are short essays that explain weaknesses in the application. They can be written for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Low grades

  • Low LSAT score/ LSAT score variation

  • Withdrawal from classes

  • Discrepancies in your academic history
  • Mistakes on a prior application
  • Leave of absence in college

  • Academic misconduct

  • Disciplinary action in college

  • Criminal record (DUIs, felonies, etc.)

Keep each addendum under one page if possible. Admissions officers read your personal statement, resume, and usually other supplemental essays; they do not want to read long addenda too. In fact, writing an addendum that is too long may bring more attention to the negative issue than necessary. However, an addendum gives prospective students a chance to address outstanding issues in their application.

The question is, just because an addendum can be written, should it be written? Not always. It is important that your addendum does not sound like an excuse. Addendum should be written when there are unforeseen events causing and/or contributing to an issue.  An addendum can also be written to further explain any potential issues in an applicant’s application materials or for re-applicants, the changes they made since the last time they applied to become a stronger applicant.


Typical structure of an addendum:

  • Introduction: What are the facts?

    • Explain what happened. Include date(s) of the incident(s).

  • What caused the issue?

    • What was the cause and how did you react.

  • How did you change?

    • Was there something you learned from this situation?

    • Has your behavior/thinking changed?

  • Conclusion: End on a positive note

    • Be concise!



  • Related or similar incidents can be written in the same addendum

  • Be cautious of your tone. Do not force the reader to conform to your mind set. Let the reader make up their own mind.

  • Keep the addendum as short as possible.


If you would like the PAC Pre-Law Advisors to review your addendum, please feel free to e-mail us your addendum at:  We will review your addendum and provide feedback at an in-person advising session or by e-mail.

Information gathered from “The No B.S. Guide to the Law School Addendum” by Peg Cheng.  To purchase this guide, please visit



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