Pre-Law Advising


Clear writing is essential as your application will include a number of essays.

The admissions essays convey important information about you in several ways. First, they provide the substantive information about you that is provided in the essay itself. Second, they demonstrate your ability to write clearly and effectively. Third, they allow you to introduce yourself as a person and give admissions teams an idea of how you’ll be as part of the law school community.

Types of Essays

Historically, law schools have all required the same general “personal statement” and an optional “diversity” or “identity” statement. Many have also included mandatory and/or optional idiosyncratic essays. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard University in 2023, a number of law schools have modified or added new essay prompts.

There are a few different types of essays that may be required, including:

Note: The prompts for these can change each year so it is important for you to check with each school to see what they require.


There are a number of resources at Brown to help you with writing essays for law school.


It’s a mistake to guess what admissions staff “want to see” or what will be impressive. Authenticity is the most important aspect of all your essay writing. Your goal is to create an honest and compelling portrait of yourself in your essays. These readers have read thousands of essays and met thousands of students. They are adept at discerning genuine sentiment from calculation and artifice.

It’s a good idea to be organized about all the application tasks, but it’s particularly important to keep track of essays. Make a spreadsheet for yourself of all the essays that you’ll need to write. Include the prompts in the spreadsheet, and give yourself target dates for generating drafts, finalizing them and submitting them.