Explaining Weaknesses/Addenda


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“As a returning student who had spent the years post-undergrad as a housewife and mother, to say I was completely out of the loop as it relates to school was an understatement. I also had some less desirable qualities, which may have created problems during admissions such as minor arrest and a spotty work history. Ann had quick and effective solutions that actual were able to show my strengths. Ann provides answers to every question conceivable and they are always personalized to fit your own situation and never a cookie cutter solution.”

- C. McMichael (Read the rest of her testimonial)

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Do you think that you may have what is considered a “weakness” when applying for law school? These are often referred to as “Character and Fitness” explanations. If so, you may need to submit an addendum in your law school application. In an addendum, you can take the opportunity to explain something in your background that may be perceived by law school admission committees as a “weakness.”

It is important to get advice on how to best position your weakness in an addendum. Common weaknesses when applying to law school include low LSAT scores, a low undergraduate GPA or indiscretions in your past such as a disciplinary issue in college or an arrest. Even if your arrest has been expunged and your disciplinary record has been erased by your school, you may still need to report this in an addendum to your law school application. Creating an explanation of a weakness or an “addendum” causes law school applicants a great deal of stress. Obviously, you hate the idea that youthful indiscretions, mistakes, or oversights might plague you for the rest of your career, starting with which law schools may choose to admit you.

This is where Ann Levine comes in to help. After 10+ years as a law school admission consultant and reviewing thousands upon thousands of law school applications while serving as director of admissions for two law schools, nothing surprises her: she has seen it all. Whether you are worried about an honor code violation, DUI, or other weakness in your background, Ann is prepared to help you draft an addendum to your application that explains that you should not be judged based on your past. Since the law and law school is all about arguing a case, your addendum is a perfect time to show that you can provide evidence to deflate a negative presumption.

Generally weaknesses can be turned into something positive if explained properly in your addendum or optional essay. For example, let’s say you had a low undergraduate GPA but you had to work full-time to put yourself through college. Explaining that can show dedication and can explain why you had less time to study than your peers. If you experienced something unfortunate or made a bad judgment call, you can use your addendum to show how this event led to your growth or maturity and how you now take responsibility for your actions. Because each law school applicant with a character and fitness issue to report presents a different set of facts, Ann works with you individually to craft an explanation that hits the right tone given the other strengths and weaknesses in your law school application.

Should you have questions about any aspect of your law school admission goals and applications, contact us for a FREE initial consultation with a Law School Expert consultant.