How to Write a Criminal Record Addendum

Are you afraid you might not get into law school because of your criminal record?

It’s okay to be afraid. But don’t let that stop you from applying!

I’ve worked with many law school applicants who had a criminal record. From minor possession to felonies, I’ve seen a lot of unfortunate situations. Still, these records did not keep my students from being admitted to law school.

When it comes to having a criminal record, you should disclose it in an addendum. When in doubt, disclose.

Watch the video above for details on how to write a criminal record addendum for law school. For more tips, check out The No B.S. Guide to the Law School Addendum.

NOTE: If you have a serious criminal record, it’s important that you visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners to view the specific policies for taking the bar exam in the state where you want to practice law. Just because you’re admitted to law school doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to take the bar exam in all states.

3 thoughts on “How to Write a Criminal Record Addendum

  1. Hi. I’m a recovering alcoholic, sober for nearly three years. With four alcohol-related arrests on my record over the last ten years (I’m 30), how would you suggest writing the addendum? Should I explain the incidents first and then explain why they happened, what I’ve learned from them, etc., at the end?

    Thank you for any insight!

    — Bill

    • Thanks for writing in, Bill, and congratulations on your sobriety for the past three years. That is great to hear. Yes, you would need to state in a Character and Fitness Addendum (what the law schools call it on their applications) the years when the four incidents happened and what the arrest was called and what you had to do in response to the arrest. I agree with you. Explain the incidents first as concisely as possible and then explain what you learned from these experiences. Try to keep it all to one page. I know it will be hard but try.

      • Bill, you will want to look up the Character and Fitness policies for the state you want to practice in.
        Use this site:

        You can be admitted to law school with your record, but you may or may not have to do other steps in order to be admitted to sit for the bar in the state in which you want to practice.

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