Diversity Statement- First Draft

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
IAMGenius
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:27 pm

Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby IAMGenius » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:22 pm

Please Critique and Comment

There is nothing better than a late night dinner by candle light. Many consider this an ideal setting. It’s often accompanied by a beautiful date, a nice meal, and maybe a fire to set the mood. Now consider this. That beautiful date is a mother in tears. That nice gourmet meal is a can or two of Campbell’s soup. The fire, it’s not there to set the mood, but it’s there to keep a mother and her 3 children warm. This was the setting I was in. This was the night I fell into the depths of solitude. A night that has served as the ammunition to my success ever since.
As a kid growing up in Bessemer, AL, I never really understood that I was from a disadvantaged neighborhood. This is probably because everyone around me was like me. Most of my friends came from single parent households and we all attended the same schools. This made the lifestyle that I experienced normal, simply because I hadn’t experienced anything else. This, however, would quickly change.
Upon entering high school my parents and I felt it would be best for me to attend a charter school, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate, in Irondale AL. This presented a change that at the time I don’t think I was ready for. For the first time, I truly experienced being a minority. I was no longer surrounded by kids who look just like me. Actually, I can count the ones who did on two hands. In a freshman class of a little more than one hundred students there were 9 African Americans. This was a cultural shock, but as I soon found out, this was the “real world”. Just to hear the conversations amongst my new peers was at times a saddening experience. Where I was used to talking about the pick-up basketball game I had played last night, they were talking about their weekend shopping sprees for new school clothes. Admittedly I was ready to give up before I ever got started. Then came the experience that I will never forget.
My life up until high school was a roller coaster ride that was still making the climb up that first hill. My mother who never finished her college degree was able to make a decent living by working her way from the bottom up. Even though we didn’t have much, she made it her priority to make sure we had what we needed. Then during my freshman year of high school she lost her job. Slowly everything around me began to fall apart. I approached my mother one day to ask her if I could possibly change back to the neighborhood school. During the middle of our conversation the lights cut out. As she sat there crying, my mother could see the expressed depression upon my face. I couldn’t understand how bad things could happen to decent people. As we lit a fire and continued to talk about me changing schools, my mother said three words, “Coleman’s don’t quit.” As unlikely as it may seem, these words have meant more to me becoming the man I am than anything I can remember. To see the resiliency in a woman who could very easily just give up taught me that no matter how hard life may seem, you don’t quit.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:30 pm

"Colemans", not "Coleman's".
I think that this is an effective diversity statement since it clearly shows that your view of your surroundings is likely to be quite different than your law school classmates'.

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bk1
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Re: Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:36 pm

The writing is very choppy and doesn't flow, that is probably the biggest obstacle.

You also need to stop equivocating. "This is probably" is just not the way you want to come off to adcomms.

Your opening is bad. Just start with the actual setting as your juxtaposition falls worse than flat.

IAMGenius
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby IAMGenius » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:54 pm

bk1 wrote:The writing is very choppy and doesn't flow, that is probably the biggest obstacle.

You also need to stop equivocating. "This is probably" is just not the way you want to come off to adcomms.

Your opening is bad. Just start with the actual setting as your juxtaposition falls worse than flat.


Thank you.
How about the content? It's only the first draft so I will definetly work on the other critiques.

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bk1
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Re: Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:00 pm

IAMGenius wrote:Thank you.
How about the content? It's only the first draft so I will definetly work on the other critiques.


The idea seems fine, but the anecdote about dinner in the dark isn't well-integrated into the DS as a whole. The tie in is very loose. I would focus on either dealing with the charter school or dealing with your family living poorly without power, basics, etc, but not necessarily both. It is possible to do both but it is hard to have it fleshed out properly in such a short amount of space. Also, your mother should be tangential to the essay since it is about you.

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Fresh
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Re: Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby Fresh » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:03 pm

The content and experiences are definitely there, but the writing is hindering it from really showing.

I agree with the shortcomings of the opening scenario. You could do well just painting the situation as it really was and not comparing it to a candlelight dinner.
Also, I think you tried to tie the ending back to the beginning, but it just wasn't clear enough. I would have had to look back to double check it (which an adcomm will not do). If you want to link the start with the life-defining moment, you HAVE to make it clear and forceful.




IAMGenius wrote:
bk1 wrote:The writing is very choppy and doesn't flow, that is probably the biggest obstacle.

You also need to stop equivocating. "This is probably" is just not the way you want to come off to adcomms.

Your opening is bad. Just start with the actual setting as your juxtaposition falls worse than flat.


Thank you.
How about the content? It's only the first draft so I will definetly work on the other critiques.

IAMGenius
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Diversity Statement- First Draft

Postby IAMGenius » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:08 pm

Thanks everyone. Yea just read it again and there are a few issues. I have a tendancy to not read over the first draft until I hear what my peers think. So thanks everyone.




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