Optional Essays are Usually NOT Optional

Most of the time, optional essays for law school applications are only optional if you do not want to get into that law school.

Let me repeat that.

Optional essays for law school applications are only optional if you do not want to get into that law school.

Watch this video for more details.

Law schools are listing that optional essay topic (or list of topics) for a reason. They want to see who takes the time and effort to read and follow their directions. They want to know who is willing to go the extra mile to write another essay. They want to see who really wants to attend their law school.

Be that person. Stand out from the crowd. Write the essay!

However, there are some cases where “optional” can actually mean optional. Sometimes you read the essay prompt and it really doesn’t apply to you. Or it’s about an issue that you already covered in your personal statement.

If you’re not sure about whether the optional essay is really optional, contact that law school’s admissions office. It’s perfectly okay to ask.

Have questions or comments about optional essays for your law school application? I’m here to help. Post your thoughts below and I’ll respond.

2 thoughts on “Optional Essays are Usually NOT Optional

  1. One T14 has an essay asking about hobbies and interests. Do I list interests, write a sentence about each, tell a story about one, or a mix? I have so many hobbies that it is difficult to highlight one but I don’t want to list 109 activities either. Any advice?

    • Good question. Could you cut and paste the optional essay prompt here? I’d like to read the exact language so I can better answer your question.

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