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Course syllabus

This course provides an inside look at how law school admissions committees view the primary written components of a law school application. In interviews with experienced law school admissions officers, we cover what they most value in a personal statement and resume, when to include a diversity statement or addendum, and how these various elements mesh together to create a strong application. We also cover potential mistakes and weak spots that can make for a lackluster application, whether it be a failure to address elements that reflect poorly in your application or including unnecessary, irrelevant, or otherwise unwelcome information.

We show you what the admissions committee cares about when looking at applications so that applicants can maximize their chances of admission.

  1. Elisabeth Hutchison, University of Hawaii


    Elisabeth Hutchison—Director of Admissions at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa—discusses the way application components should tell a cohesive, authentic, and compelling story of the applicant’s journey so far. She discusses how the application committee values having an in-depth understanding of the applicant and their fit for the institution over perfection in an application

  2. Annie Gemmell, Mitchell-Hamline


    Annie Gemmell—Vice President of Enrollment at Mitchell Hamline School of Law—gives another perspective on what an admissions committee looks for in primary application components, describing when “standing out” isn’t always a good thing, and how straightforward yet well constructed application packages can sometimes be preferred.

Elisabeth Hutchison, University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law

photo of Elisabeth Hutchison

Elisabeth directed the Admissions Office at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa | William S. Richardson School of Law for more than 12 years. She is a national leader in law school admissions. Before joining the faculty at the Law School, Elisabeth worked in The White House and at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Currently, she is the Faculty Specialist at the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Elisabeth is an alumna of Carleton College, where she served as a Young Alumni Carleton College Trustee, and the Yale Law School.

Annie Gemmell, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

photo of Annie Gemmell

Annie is Vice President of Enrollment at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She received her JD from the school in 2012.