Every law school requires a personal statement, typically limited to two or three double-spaced pages. Nearly all law schools also allow for an optional diversity statement of one or two pages, double-spaced. Prompts for diversity statements vary among law schools, but typically concern an applicant’s identity and background, past hardships or potential to contribute to a diverse and inclusive campus environment. Beyond those two essays, some law schools also allow or require extra short essays. Most commonly, a school might ask about why an applicant would be a good fit for the school, but others may ask unique hypothetical or offbeat questions, like an applicant’s favorite books.
A classic mistake is to write as much as allowed, hoping that something will stick. Many law school applicants fear that if they fail to maximize every possible opportunity to write about themselves, they will appear lazy or disinterested. Therefore, they sabotage themselves by padding their application with redundant and repetitive text.