In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision on race-conscious admissions, we have seen more law schools making changes to their application components and instructions this cycle than in any other we can recall.
For easy reference, we will be compiling these changes below, adding new schools as their applications and instructions are posted.
Please note that, even though all of the below have been announced officially by the law schools, these questions are subject to change prior to the actual application opening date. You can find a list of all law schools' application opening dates here.
Updated September 6, 2023
Fall 2023 Law School Application Essay Changes
Yale Law School
Prior to this 2023-2024 cycle, Yale Law School's application required a Personal Statement and a 250-word essay on a subject of the applicant's choice. Applicants were also offered the option to write a Diversity Statement. This year, the application still requires a Personal Statement and 250-word essay, but in lieu of the Diversity Statement, there are now four different options for Optional Essays to write. Full instructions below.
New Yale Law Optional Essay Instructions:
Applicants may choose to submit an essay in response to one of the four questions below, each related to a value that is central to the Law School community. This is an opportunity to provide readers with relevant information that may not be found elsewhere in your application. If you choose to answer one of these questions, your essay should focus on your relevant personal, professional, and/or academic experiences and not on specific reasons why you wish to attend Yale Law School.
The optional essay should be approximately one page double-spaced. The prompts for the optional essay are as follows:
- Option 1: The Law School has a strong tradition of public service and encourages its students to contribute to the community in a wide variety of ways. Describe a community that has been particularly meaningful to you. Discuss what you have gained from being a part of this community and what you have contributed to this community.
- Option 2: The Law School encourages its students and alumni to be leaders, innovators, and changemakers across many different sectors. Describe one of your most important accomplishments and explain why it is important to you. Discuss how you demonstrated leadership, helped innovate, and/or drove change as part of that accomplishment.
- Option 3: The Law School values determination and resilience and recognizes that these traits are critical to success at the Law School and in the legal profession. Describe a significant challenge, disappointment, or setback that you have faced. Discuss how you approached this experience and what you learned from it.
- Option 4: In order to succeed at the Law School and in the legal profession, you must be able to have discussions across difference and be open to changing your mind. Describe a time when you changed your mind on an important topic after discussing it with a person with whom you disagreed or learning additional information. Discuss what you learned from this experience.
Harvard Law School
Prior to this year, Harvard Law required one two-page Personal Statement and gave applicants the option to submit an additional Diversity Statement. This year, HLS has replaced both with two required essays: a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Perspective. Instructions below.
New Harvard Law Essay Instructions:
Every applicant must submit both a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Perspective, responding to the prompts below. Each Statement must be one to two pages in length, using double-spacing, one-inch margins, and a font size that is comfortable to read (no smaller than 11 point). We expect every applicant to use at least one full page for each Statement.
Statement of Purpose: What motivates you to pursue law? How does attending law school align with your ambitions, goals, and vision for your future?
Statement of Perspective: The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand who you are as an individual and potential Harvard Law School student and graduate. Please share how your experiences, background, and/or interests have shaped you and will shape your engagement in the HLS community and the legal profession.
University of Chicago Law School
Prior to this cycle, UChicago Law gave applicants the option to write a Diversity Statement. This year, they have removed that statement and now include the below prompt as an optional Addendum.
New UChicago Law Addendum Prompt
Source: UChicago Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
UChicago Law aims to train well-rounded, critical, and socially conscious thinkers and doers. Describe how your background or experiences will contribute to the UChicago Law community. Example topics include: lessons you have learned; skillsets you have developed; obstacles you have overcome based on your background or upbringing; or topics you have become passionate about studying in law school based on your lived or educational experiences.
Columbia Law School
Prior to this 2023-2024 cycle, Columbia Law School asked for a traditional Personal Statement and gave applicants the option to write a Diversity Statement. This year, applicants will have the option to submit one Supplementary Statement from five options, which are included below.
New Columbia Law Supplementary Statement Options:
Source: Columbia Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Optional Supplementary Statements. Please note that these questions are completely optional and if an applicant chooses not to submit a response to any of these questions, it will not have an impact on their admissions decision. Applicants should choose no more than one supplemental statement, which should be no longer than 500 words double spaced. Kindly note that supplemental statement may be shorter than 500 words.
- A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia’s diverse and collaborative community.
- We recognize that many applicants have faced adversity in myriad ways and to varying extents throughout their lives. Tell us about an example of adversity or a challenging circumstance in your own life and describe how you overcame it and how that experience has shaped your life and your own perspective.
- Columbia Law School aims to prepare its students to be advocates as well as effective leaders. Tell us about an example of leadership in your own life whether in an educational, professional, or personal setting and how those leadership skills and qualities would contribute to your legal education and the profession.
- Columbia Law School’s mandatory pro bono program requires that every student devote at least 40 hours to public interest law service during their time in law school. Tell us about your own commitment to public service and describe how volunteer work, advocacy, community service, pro bono work, and/or extra-curricular activities have shaped who you are today and how you want to continue serving the public good during law school.
- Tell us why you are applying to Columbia Law School and how the Law School's programs, faculty, curricular and extra-curricular offerings, location, and/or community would be a good fit for your legal education given your own academic, professional, or personal goals.
NYU School of Law
Prior to this year, NYU Law offered applicants the option to submit an Underrepresented Group statement. This year, that statement has been replaced by an Optional Additional Information attachment with the below prompt.
New NYU Law Optional Additional Information Prompt:
Source: NYU Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
New York University School of Law seeks to enroll a student body from a broad spectrum of society. The Committee on Admissions encourages you to provide any information that may be helpful to us in reaching a thoughtful decision on your application. While the choice as to whether and what information to submit to the Committee is entirely yours, any information you provide will be used to give the Committee a more complete understanding of your academic, professional, and personal background; to help the Committee reach an informed decision on your application; and to aid the Committee in selecting a student body with a range of experiences.
This is an opportunity to share with the Committee information about how your background will enable you to contribute to the NYU Law community. Information that has been helpful in the past includes but is not limited to meaningful leadership experience; significant community involvement; personal/family history of educational or socioeconomic disadvantage or unusual circumstances which may have affected academic performance and how you exceled despite those circumstances; and skills you have developed to overcome adversity. This list is not all-inclusive, but we offer it for you to think about as you consider whether such information might be relevant in your case, and to assure you that it is quite appropriate.
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
Prior to this year, Penn Law gave applicants four choices for optional essays—one on diversity (wording changed this year, see below); one on core strengths, goals, and values (same this year); one asking, "What do you find valuable (or challenging) about a collaborative environment?" (removed this year); and one on reasons that the applicant's academic record or test scores do not accurately reflect their aptitude (i.e., a GPA/LSAT addendum) (same this year). This year's new prompts are below.
New Penn Law Optional Essay Prompts:
- Penn Carey Law is committed to achieving an expansive and inclusive law school community that brings a diverse range of ideas, experiences, and perspectives to our classrooms. Tell us how your lived experience informs who you are today.
- Describe a significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge.
- What strength or quality do you have that most people might not see or recognize?
- What don't we see in your application file that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee?
University of Virginia School of Law
UVA Law added an optional "Why UVA Law" statement to their application this year (prompt below).
New "Why UVA Law" Statement Instructions:
Source: UVA Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Why UVA Law (optional) (suggested page limit: two pages double-spaced in 12pt font)
We recognize that some applicants have personal reasons for applying to UVA Law. Such reasons might include, but are not limited to, being a child of someone who graduated from or works for UVA Law, being a descendant of ancestors who labored at UVA, prior participation in other UVA programs, specific interest in our academic offerings, and/or a personal connection to the Charlottesville area. If these reasons are not already addressed elsewhere in your application, you are welcome to include that information here. Please note this question is optional.
Duke University School of Law
Prior to this year, Duke Law required a Personal Statement and gave applicants the option of submitting either or both of two additional essays, a diversity statement and/or a statement of interest in Duke. This year, in addition to the Personal Statement and optional statement of interest in Duke, they are requiring applicants to write 1-2 short essays from a group of six prompts/options, all of which are listed below.
New Duke Law Short Answer Essay Instructions:
Short Answer Essay(s) (required): Our admissions process is guided by the view that a law school class that includes actively engaged students who possess a variety of skills, personal qualities, and life experiences helps to advance the Law School's mission, improves the learning process, and enriches the educational experience for all. Please write one or two short essays from the list below. Be sure to label the essay(s) you are answering and use only one attachment even if you submit two short answers. Please limit your answer(s) to approximately 250-500 words per essay.
- What does the rule of law mean to you, and what special background or experience do you have that may help you contribute to its advancement or that underscores its importance to you personally?
- The promise of equal justice is fundamental to our legal system. Why is equal justice important to you personally, and what personal experiences or knowledge do you have that may help you become an effective advocate for equal justice under law?
- Exposure to a diversity of perspectives and experiences can enhance one's ability to deliver effective professional services. Please describe any opportunities you have had to serve clients or your community, either through work or on a volunteer basis, and how your own exposure to different perspectives and experiences helped you.
- Lawyers are members of a learned profession, and are often called to serve the public in a variety of ways. Please describe your interest in public service and any experience that you have had to prepare you for a life of service in the public interest.
- Please describe your interest in learning the law in an open, rigorous, and collaborative environment. Why is a commitment to the free expression of ideas so important in the learning process?
- What does ethical leadership mean to you? Please provide examples of how you have prepared yourself to become an ethical leader.
University of Michigan Law School
Prior to this year, in addition to a Personal Statement, Michigan Law gave applicants the option to write 1-2 additional essays from a selection of prompts. Some of those prompts have been updated this year; full list below.
New Michigan Law Supplemental Essay Instructions:
Supplemental essays allow you an opportunity to provide us with relevant information that you were not able to include elsewhere in your application materials. If you think writing on any of the topics suggested would help us get a better sense of who you are, we encourage you to consider submitting your responses to one or two (but no more) of the following topics. Each essay should be between one and two pages. For ease of reading, please use double-spacing and at least an 11-point font. Please be sure to include the number of the prompt you are addressing at the top of your essay.
- Essay One: Say more about your interest in the University of Michigan Law School. Why might Michigan be a good fit for you culturally, academically, or professionally?
- Essay Two: Describe a challenge, failure, or setback you have faced and overcome, whether long-term and systemic (e.g., socioeconomic, health, or complex family circumstances) or short-term and discrete (e.g., a workplace scenario or a particularly demanding course). How did you confront it? What, if anything, might you do differently?
- Essay Three: How has the world you came from positively shaped who you are today?
- Essay Four: Describe a quality or skill you have and discuss how you expect it will help you in your legal career.
- Essay Five: Tell us about a time in the recent past when you changed your mind about something significant.
- Essay Six: We seek students who are encouraging, kind, and collaborative, even when it is not convenient or easy. Describe a recent experience where you exhibited these characteristics.
- Essay Seven: One of the goals of our admissions process is to enroll students who will enrich the quality and breadth of the intellectual life of our law school community, as well as to expand and diversify the identities of people in the legal profession. How might your experiences and perspectives contribute to our admissions goals?
- Essay Eight: Think of someone who knows you, but doesn't know you well (i.e., not a family member or a close friend). How would they describe you? Would their description be accurate? Why or why not?
- Essay Nine: If you could have dinner with any prominent person, living or dead, who would it be and why? What would you discuss?
UC Berkeley School of Law
This year, UC Berkeley Law added some additional language to their diversity-focused essay prompt and added a new optional statement on applicants' interest in the legal profession. The latter prompt also gives applicants the option to record a video submission in lieu of a written statement.
New UC Berkeley Law Optional Statement Prompts (including Kira video submission)
Perspective and Experiences:
How will you (your perspective, experience, Voice) contribute to diversity in our classrooms and community? Feel free to address any factors or attributes you consider important and relevant. In the past, applicants have included information about characteristics such as: race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic background, first generation college or professional school student, student parent, re-entry student, geographic diversity, ideological diversity, and others. (500 word maximum)
Interest in the Legal Profession (Video Submission Option):
Please share more about why you are applying to law school by answering one or more of the following questions:
- What about you (your experiences, your values, your perspective, etc.) calls you to law school?
- How will you use your law degree with integrity, vision, creativity, and/or to innovate?
- What makes you hopeful, optimistic, or excited about entering the legal profession?
- How do you see yourself contributing to or advancing the public good as a lawyer, scholar, or advocate?
(4 minutes or 500 words maximum)
For the optional statement, “Interest in the Legal Profession,” applicants are invited to complete this statement in an alternative modality: video submission. This is not an interview. It is another opportunity to share insight into your potential for study at Berkeley Law, and it gives you an additional tool (video recording) for the communication and presentation of that information. You may also choose to complete this statement in written format.
Optional video statements, as with all statements, are unscored and intended only to augment your application. While we will consider the information shared and will use it within our holistic review of your application, no value will be assigned to whether you choose the written or video format.
Candidates will submit this statement via a free, third-party platform called Kira. Kira will allow you to respond to the prompt either via video recording or in writing and provides comprehensive support and trouble-shooting. Please only submit your response through Kira; written or video “Interest in the Legal Profession” statements sent separately will not be considered.
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Prior to this year, Northwestern Law offered one Optional Essay prompt asking about diversity. This year, they are offering applicants four different Optional Essay prompts, allowing applicants to respond to any or all of them.
New Northwestern Law Optional Supplemental Essay Instructions:
Source: Northwestern Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Responding to the following questions is entirely optional and should not be viewed as required. You may include responses to as many of the four optional essays as you wish or none at all. These are intended to give you an opportunity to provide additional information that you were unable to include in other portions of the application. Please limit your response to each essay that you complete to 1-2 pages, double-spaced, and at least an 11-point font.
- Describe your interest in attending Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
- Describe any experiences in your life or unique qualities you think would benefit Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and/or your classmates. (Relevant information may include but is not limited to financial hardship, educational adversity, special talents, work or community service experience, first generation or immigrant experience, an unusual rural or urban upbringing, foreign residence, military background, or unique family and/or personal circumstance.)
- What does public service mean to you and how do you see yourself engaging in public service or pro-bono work to meet the needs of the underserved?
- Did you face any particular challenges we should know about when considering your academic history or test scores?
Cornell Law School
Prior to this year, Cornell Law School offered an optional Diversity Statement. They have removed that prompt this year and added additional instructions to their personal statement (below). They also used to have a question in their application about reasons for applying to Cornell with a 600-character limit and the option to attach a longer essay. This year, they have made a one-page "Why Cornell" essay required.
New Cornell Law Personal Statement Prompt
Source: Cornell Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
RESPOND TO AT LEAST ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PROMPTS (required). YOU MAY RESPOND TO AS MANY AS YOU WISH, BUT DO NOT EXCEED A TOTAL OF FIVE (5) PAGES.
- We aim to train excellent lawyers. GPAs and test scores have some predictive power, but they don't tell the whole story. Please describe any significant challenges you have overcome, including but not limited to economic hardship, discrimination, trauma, or disability, and/or significant accomplishments of which you are proud.
- In the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War, Ezra Cornell wrote, "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." For over 150 years, Cornell University has remained deeply committed to Ezra's vision. Explain how your life experiences will help inform your contributions to a law school learning community devoted to "...any person...any study." We encourage you to think broadly about what you will contribute to a law school class and eventually to the legal profession, including bu not necessarily to expertise you have, experiences you can share, and how communities of which you have been part have shaped your perspective.
- From its founding, Cornell Law School has not only focused on producing excellent lawyers, but "lawyers in the best sense." A law school education teaches you a craft, and prepares you for a great career, but law is also a calling, and a lawyer in the best sense is one who will, in some way, serve justice. If your career goals include representing under-served populations or otherwise vulnerable individuals or groups, please tell us about those goals and how you hope to pursue them.
- Is there anything else you wish the Admissions Committee to know about you beyond what you have revealed in other parts of your application? You can describe a formative experience, or your motivation to go to law school, or a story that reveals your character, personality, or strengths, or whatever else you think is relevant.
Georgetown University Law Center
Georgetown Law updated their "Diversity Statement" to an "Optional Statement" this year. Additionally, they updated their (separate) Optional Response prompts, as they have many times in the past. All of the new prompts are below.
New Georgetown Law Optional Statement & Optional Responses Prompts:
Source: Georgetown Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
If you would like to share any additional personal perspectives, reflections, or experiences – whether positive, challenging, a combination of both, or something else entirely – that have contributed to who you are as a person and as a future legal scholar and lawyer, we invite you to do so in an additional statement.
- What’s the best (or worst) piece of advice you ever received?
- If you could “uninvent” one thing, what would it be?
- Tell us about a moment in your life that you regret.
- Describe your perfect day.
- Share a top ten list with us.
- Prepare a one-minute video.
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law
UCLA Law slightly altered the wording of their optional "Challenges Addendum" this year. The updated prompt is below.
New UCLA Law Challenges Addendum Prompt:
Source: UCLA Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Please share any information about adversity or challenge that you would like us to consider about your personal life experiences. This may include socio-economic challenges; educational challenges; health issues; disability; immigration status; surviving abuse; or complex family circumstances like an incarcerated parent, homelessness, living in foster care, or others. This is not an inclusive list, but simply an opportunity, if you wish, to share any additional aspects of your background that may give us a deeper sense of your strengths and who you are.
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Prior to this year, UT Law required a Personal Statement and gave applicants the option to submit a Statement of Economic, Social, or Personal Background. This year, they are giving applicants the option to write responses to one or both of two prompts, below.
New UT Law Optional Statement Instructions:
Applicants may submit one or more of the following optional statements to provide to the Admissions Committee additional insight when reviewing their application. Each optional statement may not exceed one (1) double-spaced page with a minimum 11-point font size and 1-inch margins.
- Please address any information that you believe your application would be incomplete without and that sheds more light on your unique potential to succeed in the J.D. program and contribute to the University community and the field or profession.
- Civil dialogue and reasoned debate over contested ideas are core values both for the practice of law and in legal education. In light of this, Texas Law is interested in learning about experiences you may have had engaging with ideas with which you disagreed, and how such experiences have impacted you.
Boston University School of Law
BU Law modified the language in their diversity-focused optional essay prompt this year. New language below.
New BU Law Optional Essay Prompt
Source: BU Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Consistent with the American Bar Association, Boston University School of Law believes that knowledge about bias, cross-cultural competency (ability to understand people from different backgrounds and engage with them effectively), and racism are central to the legal profession. Please tell us how your education, training, or lived experience has deepened your knowledge about bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism and/or prepared you to explore these topics at BU Law.
University of Florida Levin College of Law
Prior to this year, UF Law included a Diversity Statement prompt that they have removed this year.
Source: UF Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
George Washington University Law School
GW Law altered their optional Identity Statement prompt this year—new prompt below.
New GW Law Identity Statement Prompt:
Source: GW Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
We are proud of the perspectives brought to the GW Law community by individuals from around the United States and the world. To that end, how has your identity contributed to the person that you are today? Examples might include, but are not limited to, lived experiences, obstacles overcome, areas of intellectual or professional interest, background/upbringing, and service.
University of Georgia School of Law
UGA Law has kept their optional Diversity Statement this year. The slightly altered prompt is below.
New UGA Law Diversity Statement Prompt:
Source: UGA Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
The School of Law believes the overall educational environment of the law school may be enhanced by life experiences that significantly add to the academic, cultural, geographic, or socioeconomic diversity of the student population. You are invited to explain how your own life experiences would significantly add to the diversity of the student population and enhance the educational climate of the law school. This may also include discussion of your status as a first-generation college graduate or veteran.
Notre Dame Law School
Notre Dame Law has updated the wording of their Different Kind of Lawyer Statement prompt this year—full text below.
New Notre Dame Law Different Kind of Lawyer Statement Prompt:
Source: Notre Dame Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
The mission of Notre Dame Law School is to educate a "Different Kind of Lawyer" - one who sees the law as more than just a profession, but as a service to others. Students are encouraged to explore not only the moral and ethical dimensions of the law but also their unique roles in furthering the cause of justice.
Following the murder of George Floyd, Dean G. Marcus Cole wrote an open letter to the Notre Dame Law Community in June 2020 in which he stated the following:
One thing that each and every one of us can do is to end the cycle of hate by ending the separation that leads to it.... Each of us needs to get to know people who differ from us. We must all make a conscious decision and effort to expand our circles.
Considering the mission of Notre Dame Law School, Dean Cole's open letter, and his call to action, please provide a response to one or both of the following:
- What experiences, hardships, or adversity have you faced that have shaped your perspective on law and justice?
- How has your own circle, culture, and community inspired you, your morals and ethics?
The "Different Kind of Lawyer" statement must be the applicant's own work in their own words. It should be no more than two double-spaced pages. If an applicant plans on providing this statement, it must be included with their application at the time of submission. The statement's header must include the applicant's name, LSAC account number, and be titled "DKL Statement."
University of Minnesota Law School
Prior to this year, Minnesota Law offered applicants the option to write a one-page Diversity Statement. This year, applicants will have the option to submit a one-page Supplemental Statement answering the below (similar) prompt.
New Minnesota Law Supplemental Statement Prompt:
Source: Minnesota Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Applicants may attach additional statements to highlight or discuss any of the following: Unique backgrounds and lived experiences; demonstrated commitment to racial justice/equity; obstacles or adversity overcome; absences or breaks in academic history; or other matters that may be of importance to the Admissions Committee. Each additional statement should be no more that one-page, double spaced.
USC Gould School of Law
USC has updated their Diversity Statement this year to be a "Diversity of Background and/or Experience Statement"—prompt below. They also removed the prompt for a "Why USC" statement that had previously been an optional essay.
New USC Law Diversity of Background and/or Experience Statement Instructions:
USC Gould's admissions process is guided by the view that an individual student that reflects the broad and rich diversity of our society provides a superior educational environment for all law students. The primary goal of our admissions process is to enroll students who demonstrate outstanding academic and professional promise and whose background and experience will enrich USC Gould's educational environment or enhance the diversity of our student body or the legal profession.
- Based on the above, we invite you to discuss any ways in which your lived experiences offer a unique ability that you may contribute to the Gould School of Law. Examples include (but are not limited to) students who:
- Have overcome racial discrimination if that is tied to the student's courage and determination.
- Have been motivated by your heritage or culture to assume a leadership role or attain a particular goal.
- Have struggled against prejudice, economic disadvantage, family or personal adversity, or other social hardships (perhaps as a result of disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation)
- Have lived in a foreign country or spoke a language other than English at home
- Have unusual career goals, employment history (perhaps military or law enforcement experience) or educational background (including graduate study)
- Demonstrate unusual extracurricular achievement (including school or community service)
Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
ASU Law added a new "elevator pitch video" to their application this year.
New ASU Law Elevator Pitch Video Instructions:
Source: ASU Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
You may submit an optional elevator pitch video as part of your ASU Law application in addition to your written materials. The elevator pitch is a concise and compelling summary of yourself that shows your oral advocacy skills. The video should be no longer than 30 seconds. You may only submit one video.
University of Illinois College of Law
Illinois Law added seven Supplemental Essay prompts to their application this year.
New Illinois Law Supplemental Essay Options:
Source: Illinois Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Supplemental essays allow you an opportunity to provide us with relevant information that you were not able to include elsewhere in your application materials or that did not fit thematically with your personal statement. If you think writing on any of the topics below would help us get a better understanding of what you individually bring to the law school class, we encourage you to consider submitting your responses to one or two (but no more) of the following topics. Your response to each essay should be less than 500 words. Please use a minimum of 11 point font and double space your responses. Please be sure to include the number of the prompt you are addressing at the top of your essay.
Essay Prompt #1
Describe a challenge, failure, or setback you have faced and overcome, whether long-term and systemic (e.g., socioeconomic, health, or complex family circumstances) or short-term and discrete (e.g., a workplace scenario or a particularly demanding course). How did you confront it? What, if anything, might you do differently?
Essay Prompt #2
Describe a quality or skill you have and discuss how you expect it will help you in your legal career.
Essay Prompt #3
Tell us about a time in the recent past when you changed your mind about something significant.
Essay Prompt #4
Our law school culture is one of encouragement, cooperation, and collaboration. We actively seek out students who exhibit those characteristics, even when it is not convenient or easy. Describe a recent experience when you exhibited any or all of these characteristics.
Essay Prompt #5
One of the goals of our admissions process is to enroll students who will enrich the quality and breadth of the intellectual life of our law school community and the legal profession. How have your lived experiences and perspectives positively shaped who you are today in a way that contributes to our admissions goals?
Essay Prompt #6
Think of someone who knows you in an academic or professional setting, but doesn't know you well (i.e., not a family member or a close friend). How would they describe your work ethic, written or oral communication skills, and/or professionalism? Would their description be accurate? Why or why not?
Essay Prompt #7
Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with varied perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and [sic].
Florida State University College of Law
Prior to this year, FSU Law gave applicants the option to submit a Diversity Statement. That statement has been removed this year, and an optional Seminole Statement has been added—prompt below.
New FSU Law Seminole Statement Instructions:
Source: FSU Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
Located within the heart of Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida, Florida State University College of Law is surrounded by a vibrant legal community. As Florida has the third largest economy of any state in the United States, there are ample opportunities to practice law in a rich variety of settings – law firms, state government, local and municipal government, courts, associations, non-profit organizations, business settings, and more – which work to serve the legal needs of a diverse clientele made up of a variety of cultures, traditions, histories, languages, and backgrounds. Florida State University College of Law is a values-based and purpose-driven law school that embraces all perspectives, backgrounds, and students. FSU College of Law is consistently ranked one of the top schools in terms of student satisfaction – and that is due to the emphasis on creating a culture of belonging, where every person feels valued and has an opportunity to contribute.
In no more than two typed pages (double-spaced, using a 12 point font), please feel free to submit a Seminole Statement to provide the Admissions Committee with insights and examples from your life to share a quality of your character, and/or a unique ability that you possess to describe how you would uniquely contribute to the academic and student communities at the Florida State University College of Law.
Wake Forest University School of Law
This year, Wake Forest Law added a required Imagining Your Future statement and updated the language of their Optional Statement. Both prompts are below.
Source: Wake Forest Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
New Wake Forest Law Imagining Your Future Statement Prompt:
Upload a brief descriptive statement of a job, in terms of the job title and responsibilities, you envision holding (or hope to hold), a decade after graduating from law school and being admitted to the bar.
New Wake Forest Law Optional Statement Prompt:
You may upload an optional statement describing any other information about yourself that you wish to share that is not included in your personal statement.
Examples of optional statement topics include, but are not limited to:
- interest or preference in attending Wake Forest Law compared to other law schools;
- describe how the ethos of Wake Forest University’s motto, Pro Humanitate (“for humanity”), applies to your past experiences and your plans for the future as a law student and attorney.
Uploading an optional statement is not required. There is a separate optional upload for an addendum related to test scores and academic performance.
William & Mary Law School
W&M Law has modified their Optional Essay prompt and removed the description "Diversity & Inclusion Statement." The full updated prompt is below.
New W&M Law Optional Essay Instructions:
Source: W&M Law Fall 2024 JD Application (LSAC)
You are invited to submit an essay that describes your life experiences with an emphasis on how the perspectives that you have acquired would contribute to the William & Mary Law School’s intellectual community and enhance the diversity of the student body. Examples of topics include (but are not limited to): an experience of prejudice, bias, economic disadvantage, personal adversity, or other social hardship (perhaps stemming from one’s religious affiliation, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity); experience as a first-generation college student; significant employment history (such as in business, military or law enforcement, or public service); experience as an immigrant or refugee; graduate study; or impressive leadership achievement (including college or community service). Please be as concise as possible.