Law schools can be terrible about including their application instructions in the application form itself. Always — always! — check their websites, where they often bury important instructions on random sub-pages. You'll find them after lots of clicking around.
Here's an example. University of Louisville gives these instructions for the personal statement in the application itself:
A personal statement is required. Please upload your personal statement.
Here's what it says on its website, on a page called Application Checklist:
A personal statement must be submitted with the application for admission. The personal statement is an open-ended essay written on any topic the applicant chooses. The statement should be two to three pages in length and well written. It is recommended that you have several individuals proofread and edit your statement prior to submission. Ideally, the personal statement will provide insight to the admission's committee about the applicant's personality and what they will bring to the University of Louisville. The personal statement is uploaded to your credential assembly service account.
And that's if you happen to spot the "Application Checklist" link on this page, which you get to from a tab called "Future Students":
That's just one example; there are lots more out there that could serve as illustrations. Hats off to schools that do a good job incorporating their instructions into their application forms. They are few and far between! In the meantime, as an applicant, the burden is on you to go hunting for instructions. Go figure.
is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and founder of
. She and her team help college and graduate school applicants make smart decisions about their higher education and submit their best applications possible. Read more law school tips in