Admissions Question: December 1
December 01, 2013
Q: What is an addendum used for and how should it be formatted in my application materials?
A: An addendum is a separate piece of paper that one submits with his or her application. It is used to provide additional information in one’s file that does not easily fit within the personal statement, resume, or elsewhere in your application. For example, an addendum can be used to explain a poor academic performance in a particular semester, large differences in multiple LSAT scores, why you transferred three times in college, long periods of unemployment if out of college, etc. It can also be used to discuss a learning disability, a unique grading system at a particular school, etc.
Law schools will ask applicants to submit additional statements to also explain any academic or disciplinary probations/suspensions that they have on their records, or to explain any criminal or misconduct charges ever received. These addenda are required.
Addenda are typically no longer than one page and sometimes are only a paragraph. They give one the opportunity not to muddy up a personal statement with issues or explanations that one still wants the committee to consider, or that the law school asks for specifically beyond the personal statement, such as an explanation of a criminal record.
It is worth noting that most people do not need to submit addenda. When in question, contact the admissions office and someone can discuss with you if one is necessary.