Craft a Law School GPA Addendum Guide

how to write a gpa addendum for law school

When applying to law school, it’s important to present your best self to the admissions committee. However, if there is a flaw in your academic record, such as a low GPA, it may be necessary to write a GPA addendum. This addendum is a short statement that can explain any irregularities in your academic background and demonstrate your ability to take responsibility and learn from past mistakes. In this section, we will explore the purpose of a law school addendum and discuss situations that warrant the inclusion of one.

Key Takeaways:

  • Writing a GPA addendum is important for addressing weaknesses in your academic record when applying to law school
  • A GPA addendum is a short statement that explains irregularities in your academic background
  • The addendum should demonstrate your ability to take responsibility and learn from past mistakes
  • It is crucial to understand when to include an addendum and when it is not necessary
  • By following the dos and don’ts, you can craft an effective and compelling law school addendum

Continue reading to understand the reasons behind law school addenda and when to include one with your application.

Why Do Law School Addenda Exist?

The purpose of a law school addendum is to provide applicants with the opportunity to address any concerns or discrepancies in their academic or legal background that may be of interest to the admissions committee. By crafting a well-written and effective GPA addendum, applicants can explain any extenuating circumstances that may have affected their academic performance or provide additional context to their application.

Writing an effective GPA addendum for law school requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Applicants should use the addendum to showcase their personal growth, highlight their ability to overcome challenges, and demonstrate their readiness for the rigorous demands of law school.

Law school GPA addendums can benefit applicants in several ways:

  1. Providing a Clear Explanation: An addendum allows applicants to address any irregularities in their academic record, such as a dip in grades during a particular semester, a period of personal or medical hardship, or any other factors that may have impacted their GPA.
  2. Demonstrating Responsibility and Growth: By explaining the circumstances surrounding a low GPA and highlighting the steps taken to rectify the situation, applicants can demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their actions and show growth and improvement over time.
  3. Showing Resilience and Determination: A well-crafted addendum can illustrate an applicant’s determination to overcome challenges and showcase their commitment to their academic and professional goals.
Law School GPA Addendum ExamplesDescription
An explanation of personal hardshipsDescribes external factors, such as a family illness or financial difficulties, that significantly impacted the applicant’s ability to perform academically.
Addressing academic misconductOffers an honest account of a disciplinary action or academic misconduct and outlines the lessons learned and personal growth since the incident.
Explaining a significant upward trend in gradesDetails efforts to improve academic performance, such as seeking tutoring, attending study groups, or developing stronger study habits, resulting in a substantial improvement in grades.

Overall, a well-written law school GPA addendum can provide valuable context to an applicant’s academic record and address any concerns the admissions committee may have. It is crucial for applicants to carefully reflect on their experiences, take ownership of their past setbacks, and demonstrate their determination to excel in law school.

Next, we will explore the situations that warrant the inclusion of a law school addendum, helping you determine whether or not it is necessary for your application.

Situations That Warrant an Addendum

While not every situation requires an addendum, there are certain scenarios that warrant its inclusion. One common reason to include an addendum is a low GPA, especially if it was caused by unforeseen events or extenuating circumstances. Other reasons may include a low LSAT score, withdrawals or leaves of absence from college, academic misconduct, disciplinary actions, or a criminal record. It is important to assess each situation individually to determine if an addendum is appropriate. This section will explore these situations in more detail.

  • Low GPA: If your undergraduate GPA falls below the standard expected by law schools, you may consider including an addendum. Be sure to explain the low grades clearly and show evidence of growth or improvement.
  • Low LSAT Score: A low LSAT score can also be addressed in an addendum. Use this opportunity to explain any circumstances that may have impacted your performance and highlight any additional steps you have taken to improve.
  • Withdrawals or Leaves of Absence: If you have taken withdrawals or leaves of absence during your college education, provide a brief explanation in the addendum. It is important to demonstrate any valid reasons for these interruptions and showcase your ability to overcome challenges.
  • Academic Misconduct: If you have been involved in academic misconduct, it is crucial to address this in an addendum. Take responsibility for your actions, explain what you have learned from the experience, and outline steps you have taken to rectify the situation.
  • Disciplinary Actions: Disciplinary actions on your record should also be explained in an addendum. Be honest and transparent about the situation, focusing on lessons learned and personal growth since then.
  • Criminal Record: If you have a criminal record, it is important to address it in an addendum. Describe the circumstances surrounding the offense, any rehabilitation efforts made, and evidence of personal growth.

By assessing each situation individually and providing an addendum when necessary, you can present a comprehensive and transparent law school application.

Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Law School Addendum

When it comes to crafting a law school addendum, it’s important to approach the task with careful consideration and attention to detail. This section will provide you with some dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you write your addendum.


  • Be concise: Keep your addendum short and to the point, focusing on the relevant facts without unnecessary details.
  • Acknowledge the situation: Clearly acknowledge what happened and take responsibility for any shortcomings.
  • Provide context: Offer additional context to help the admissions committee understand the circumstances surrounding the incident.
  • Highlight growth: Emphasize how you have learned and grown from the experience, showcasing personal development and maturity.
  • Explain impact: Clearly explain how the incident should not negatively impact your abilities as a law school candidate.


  • Make excuses: Avoid making excuses or blaming others for any academic or personal difficulties.
  • Seek sympathy: Stay focused on providing a factual and objective account of the situation rather than trying to elicit sympathy.
  • Exaggerate or embellish: Stick to the facts and avoid exaggerating or embellishing the circumstances surrounding the incident.
  • Downplay the issue: While you should emphasize personal growth, be careful not to downplay the seriousness of the situation.

Keeping these dos and don’ts in mind will help you craft a strong law school addendum that effectively addresses any weaknesses in your academic record. By presenting a concise, factual, and responsible account of the situation, you can demonstrate your readiness for law school and increase your chances of admission.

How to Structure Your Law School Addendum

A well-structured addendum is essential for effectively communicating your message to the admissions committee. By following a simple, three-paragraph structure, you can create a clear and compelling addendum that showcases your growth and resilience. Here’s a guide on how to structure your law school addendum:


In the first paragraph, provide an introduction that outlines the situation you are addressing. Clearly state the specific circumstances that led to the dip in your GPA or any other relevant issue. Be concise and avoid unnecessary details that may divert the committee’s attention from your key message.

Middle Section

In the second paragraph, discuss the causes of the issue and the changes you have made to address it. Take responsibility for any shortcomings and explain how you have learned from the experience. Emphasize any mitigating factors, extenuating circumstances, or additional responsibilities you had to manage while in school. This section is an opportunity to show your resilience, perseverance, and determination to succeed despite setbacks.

When to Include an Addendum with Your Application

Knowing when to include an addendum with your law school application is crucial to ensure that you address any potential red flags appropriately. There are various scenarios that may warrant the inclusion of an addendum, especially if they significantly impact your application. Some examples include:

  • Low undergraduate GPA: If your GPA is below the average for your target law schools, providing an addendum can explain any extenuating circumstances or challenges you faced during your undergraduate studies.
  • Multiple LSAT scores: If you have taken the LSAT multiple times and your scores vary significantly, an addendum can help explain why and demonstrate your dedication to improving your performance.

It is important to assess each situation individually and determine if writing a supplement is necessary. Remember that the goal is to provide the admissions committee with the necessary context without overwhelming them with unnecessary addenda.


Master the art of writing a compelling GPA addendum to bolster your law school application. This guide arms you with strategies to effectively explain grade inconsistencies, emphasizing honesty, growth, and resilience. A succinct, well-crafted addendum not only highlights your responsibility for past missteps but also your potential for future success. Show admissions committees your commitment to excellence and turn your application into a testament to your determination. Here’s to your success in your law school journey!