As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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20121109
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As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby 20121109 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:30 pm

I have a close friend who is set to apply this upcoming cycle. He's an AA male and his numbers are T14, probably T6 worthy.
The thing is, he has a very long and inspiring story and he wants to convey his past in its entirety to adcomms...Of course, this is usually considered a plus and is done via only the PS and/or DS. But he is quite adamant about utilizing his LSAT and GPA addenda to do it. Each one will be a page long. I've tried to tell him that he should follow conventions of admissions and send in either a LSAT or GPA addendum, but not both, and it should only be the length of a clear, concise paragraph. But he says that it will only benefit him to tell his full, story as adcomms are searching for reasons to admit, rather than deny black males...I agree with that point, but is he sending too much? Can it end up working against him and actually hurt his application? Or am I worrying for no reason?

andyj11419
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby andyj11419 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:40 pm

It should be one either GPA or LSAT because if you give them both it makes you sound whiny and not serious candidate. After talking to many admission officers you have to give something to make you competitive. If you have a High GPA with in their 25%-75% or higher but low LSAT score then you have an argument such as your bad test taker but you better have proof of that (ex SAT score). It also goes the other way too high lsat but low gpa then write one. Two would be overkill.

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Knock
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby Knock » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:41 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:I have a close friend who is set to apply this upcoming cycle. He's an AA male and his numbers are T14, probably T6 worthy.
The thing is, he has a very long and inspiring story and he wants to convey his past in its entirety to adcomms...Of course, this is usually considered a plus and is done via only the PS and/or DS. But he is quite adamant about utilizing his LSAT and GPA addenda to do it. Each one will be a page long. I've tried to tell him that he should follow conventions of admissions and send in either a LSAT or GPA addendum, but not both, and it should only be the length of a clear, concise paragraph. But he says that it will only benefit him to tell his full, story as adcomms are searching for reasons to admit, rather than deny black males...I agree with that point, but is he sending too much? Can it end up working against him and actually hurt his application? Or am I worrying for no reason?


I think, just from a common sense perspective, that using addendums to convey his stories is probably a little much. It could seem to adcomms like he is trying to circumvent the standard conventions of applying. I'm sure he has a great story, but he has ~3 pages to tell it with his PS and DS, and he should be able to tell it in those 3 pages.

Anyways, just my opinion, feel free to disregard.

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vespertiliovir
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby vespertiliovir » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:52 pm

I'm inclined to agree with Knockglock -- all that just seems over the top.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:52 pm

Knockglock wrote:I think, just from a common sense perspective, that using addendums to convey his stories is probably a little much. It could seem to adcomms like he is trying to circumvent the standard conventions of applying. I'm sure he has a great story, but he has ~3 pages to tell it with his PS and DS, and he should be able to tell it in those 3 pages.

Anyways, just my opinion, feel free to disregard.

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20121109
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby 20121109 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:05 pm

So you agree that its over the top...but does it necessarily hinder his chances of admission at top schools? He is correct about adcomms searching for reasons to admit black males...

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:10 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:So you agree that its over the top...but does it necessarily hinder his chances of admission at top schools? He is correct about adcomms searching for reasons to admit black males...

Just because adcoms will admit any black male with a 165 LSAT and a pulse doesn't mean you should intentionally screw up your application.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby 20121109 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:12 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:So you agree that its over the top...but does it necessarily hinder his chances of admission at top schools? He is correct about adcomms searching for reasons to admit black males...

Just because adcoms will admit any black male with a 165 LSAT and a pulse doesn't mean you should intentionally screw up your application.


Yeah...no, this isn't true...but thanks for your input :)

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LLB2JD
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby LLB2JD » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:13 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:So you agree that its over the top...but does it necessarily hinder his chances of admission at top schools? He is correct about adcomms searching for reasons to admit black males...


Especially if his numbers are CCN worthy, I'm not sure if he really needs to take that risk.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby d34d9823 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:36 am

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:Just because adcoms will admit any black male with a 165 LSAT and a pulse doesn't mean you should intentionally screw up your application.


Yeah...no, this isn't true...but thanks for your input :)

Not trying to start an AA debate, that's just the perception I've gotten from LSN.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:35 am

The criteria for an effective addendum is essentially three things:

1) Is the argument convincing?
2) Is the information provided useful?
3) Is the applicant looked at in a better light or liked/wanted more after reading it?


If one follows all the written and unwritten rules on writing addenda and their addendum doesn't lead to an affirmative yes to all three of those questions, the addendum failed to do its job. And, it can be argued that it shouldn't have been written.

If one writes their addendum in crayon and they still get the person reviewing it to answer "yes" to all of the questions above, the addendum was effective, regardless of what all the written and unwritten rules state and the fact that it was written in crayon.


Anna Ivey suggests that if one's numbers are very low and they are going after the "wow factor," they need to be "a concert pianist, the pro football player, the gal who has math theorem named after her, or the kid who grew up on the streets, took his GED, and ended up at MIT."

I have a friend that fits two out of four on that list. Crazy. lol. If his absolute best writing and application requires an addendum written in crayon, he probably is gonna be alright as long as it's well written. lol


can't believe i just wrote that bs, lol, back to my apps
Last edited by LAWLAW09 on Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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legalease9
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby legalease9 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:45 am

Any relevant stories regarding his URM status should be in the PS/DS. The addendum should not have any stories, only a concise and relevant excuse, if one exists. If one doesn't exist, no addendum.

And note that there should be no addendums of any kind if he is at or above the URM median for a given school.

Only if he has a Great Excuse and his GPA/LSAT is below the URM median should he write an addendum. Lacking these two things, yes it will hurt his app.

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Knock
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby Knock » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:46 am

legalease9 wrote:Any relevant stories regarding his URM status should be in the PS/DS. The addendum should not have any stories, only a concise and relevant excuse, if one exists. If one doesn't exist, no addendum.

And note that there should be no addendums of any kind if he is at or above the URM median for a given school.

Only if he has a Great Excuse and his GPA/LSAT is below the URM median should he write an addendum. Lacking these two things, yes it will hurt his app.


Is there any way to find the URM median? or are you just looking around on LSN and guestimating?

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby bk1 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:58 am

legalease9 wrote:Only if he has a Great Excuse and his GPA/LSAT is below the URM median should he write an addendum.


Whatever the median is for URM's why would it matter at all?

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nihilism is key
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby nihilism is key » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:52 pm

if his numbers are t14 worthy, then why would he feel the need write an lsat addendum or a gpa addendum?

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby 20121109 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:42 pm

nihilism is key wrote:if his numbers are t14 worthy, then why would he feel the need write an lsat addendum or a gpa addendum?


Because there are significant uncontrollable and unusual circumstances that legitimately change the context of both his LSAT score and GPA and as such, do not accurately reflect his full potential as a law student.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby nihilism is key » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:48 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
nihilism is key wrote:if his numbers are t14 worthy, then why would he feel the need write an lsat addendum or a gpa addendum?


Because there are significant uncontrollable and unusual circumstances that legitimately change the context of both his LSAT score and GPA and as such, do not accurately reflect his full potential as a law student.


Well in that case, I think that two addendums are warranted but they should both be limited to a concise, factual paragraph as per your suggestion.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:03 pm

nihilism is key wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
nihilism is key wrote:if his numbers are t14 worthy, then why would he feel the need write an lsat addendum or a gpa addendum?

Because there are significant uncontrollable and unusual circumstances that legitimately change the context of both his LSAT score and GPA and as such, do not accurately reflect his full potential as a law student.

Well in that case, I think that two addendums are warranted but they should both be limited to a concise, factual paragraph as per your suggestion.

I did something like this. I had a GPA/medical issues addendum which basically said "In the semesters of X to Y this happened which contributed to my GPA in Z way. I have described the circumstances surrounding this in further detail in my PS. Medical documentation available upon request." The whole thing was like a paragraph or two, and the PS described the issues in a broader way that didn't specify the specific ways it'd impacted my GPA, so the two kind of worked together that way.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby 20121109 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:05 pm

Nightrunner wrote:What is in the PS/DS?

If the other statements tell compelling stories (but entirely different than what he wants to put into the addenda), then maybe.


Each component tells a different part of his story. I don't want to go into details as it is very personal to him, but nothing overlaps. I'm just concerned that the volume of the info is too high.

Apps give you the opportunity for addenda, but is the one-paragraph limit a tacit rule that is grounded in convention? Or do some applications explicitly state they must only be that length?

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:07 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Apps give you the opportunity for addenda, but is the one-paragraph limit a tacit rule that is grounded in convention? Or do some applications explicitly state they must only be that length?

The general principle with addendums is that they should be 1) as short as possible and 2) only provide factual information in a factual manner. They're there for disclosure, not to make an additional case for yourself. (You can, of course, present factual information that makes a case for yourself by mitigating things, for instance, saying "This was resolved in 200X and I have had no issues since then.")

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby 20121109 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:10 pm

We've edited over and over again...and with everything he wants to say, its one page for each addenda. Still too long?

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vanwinkle
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:11 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:We've edited over and over again...and with everything he wants to say, its one page for each addenda. Still too long?

A full page is a LOT of information. There's got to be a way to cut it down more.

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:27 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Apps give you the opportunity for addenda, but is the one-paragraph limit a tacit rule that is grounded in convention? Or do some applications explicitly state they must only be that length?

The general principle with addendums is that they should be 1) as short as possible and 2) only provide factual information in a factual manner. They're there for disclosure, not to make an additional case for yourself. (You can, of course, present factual information that makes a case for yourself by mitigating things, for instance, saying "This was resolved in 200X and I have had no issues since then.")




The general principle is that URMs can get into schools that there LSAT and GPA (without any context) say they shouldn't. There is something else in the file that makes them take a risk and invest in an applicant that is 12 points or more below the median LSAT of the White applicants attending that school.

I don't see how one can say, "That happens b/c the applicant is a Black male and schools have no choice but to take them" and then in the next sentence say "They're hurting their chances by including an extra paragraph of pertinent, well written info in an addendum."

How do you reconcile the two statements above based off of an unwritten rule?

You figure the top schools have maybe 10-50 URMs of some groups that have a legitimate chance of going to that school.

Do yall think adcomms are reading those 10 files and wishing they had less, not more, relevant and well written information to base their future investment off of?


Documented LSAT and GPA requirements/norms don't apply to URMs but undocumented addenda general principles do?



Tell your friend to post his addendum. Until that happens it seems like we're speculating about a lot.

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vanwinkle
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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:49 pm

LAWLAW09 wrote:I don't see how one can say, "That happens b/c the applicant is a Black male and schools have no choice but to take them" and then in the next sentence say "They're hurting their chances by including an extra paragraph of pertinent, well written info in an addendum."

How do you reconcile the two statements above based off of an unwritten rule?

I don't have to reconcile the two statements above, because they're both bullshit. I don't agree with either of them, and I don't have to.

What people here are talking about is something in the middle, which is why this is such a difficult question to find an answer for. The applicant is an AA male, but is under no delusion that schools will have no choice but to take them, which is why they're concerned how their addendums will affect things. On the other side, we're not talking about an extra paragraph of well-written info, we're talking about two extra full-page addendums of unknown quality and necessity.

Without knowing more about the content of those addendums, all I can speak on is the likelihood that they're too long, which is quite high since two pages is a lot longer than "a paragraph of pertinent, well-written info in an addendum".

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Re: As a URM, can it hurt to send in too much information?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:10 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
LAWLAW09 wrote:I don't see how one can say, "That happens b/c the applicant is a Black male and schools have no choice but to take them" and then in the next sentence say "They're hurting their chances by including an extra paragraph of pertinent, well written info in an addendum."

How do you reconcile the two statements above based off of an unwritten rule?

I don't have to reconcile the two statements above, because they're both bullshit. I don't agree with either of them, and I don't have to.

What people here are talking about is something in the middle, which is why this is such a difficult question to find an answer for. The applicant is an AA male, but is under no delusion that schools will have no choice but to take them, which is why they're concerned how their addendums will affect things. On the other side, we're not talking about an extra paragraph of well-written info, we're talking about two extra full-page addendums of unknown quality and necessity.

Without knowing more about the content of those addendums, all I can speak on is the likelihood that they're too long, which is quite high since two pages is a lot longer than "a paragraph of pertinent, well-written info in an addendum".



My "you" wasn't directed as you. Meant the question to be put to the thread but was typing faster than I was thinking. My bad.

To say something should or shouldn't be a paragraph long "without knowing more about the content of those addenda" seems like bad advice. But, that's the automatic response given to applicants that probably have a greater chance of actually needing longer than a paragraph.




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