Should I claim URM?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
jhspaybar
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:13 pm

Should I claim URM?

Postby jhspaybar » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:18 pm

I know there's a thread for am I a URM, which says yes because I'm puerto rican. I posted this in that thread a few days ago, but it hasn't received many views or any replies since then. My question is mainly focused on *should* I claim URM?

I am 25% puerto rican(my Mom's mom is 100%), 25% finnish(my mom's dad is 100%) and 50% english/euro mix from my adopted dad as best we could deduce. I turned out looking essentially white and would not appear puerto rican to anyone who has a traditional view of a puerto rican person in their mind so it has often felt awkward when for colleges, and potentially for law schools I check the puerto rican box. Part of it is that I had an odd family dynamic, my dad being 100% white european would at times make disparaging remarks about people who check boxes and the benefits they get...but that I should do it! My mom would say it is my heritage, that my grandmother came to hawaii when she was about 12, and that I shouldn't forget the stories of her childhood. My mom would go out of the way to take me with my grandmother to our puerto rican family events, we would cook pasteles, and I almost seemed to live a split life in that regard. My dad the police officer might say that he arrested my mom's cousins in a joking manner making me feel like I should be ashamed for some reason of the puerto rican acestry. I don't speak spanish more than at a very basic level, but I feel most comfortable in a family setting with the puerto rican side of my family when we're cooking and talking about what my grandmother has experienced.

Yes, a lengthy write-up, but my question is am I a URM for most law schools? If my diversity statement is about the split of my father disparaging my puerto rican roots while feeling more comfortable living amongst that part of my family will it be considered, or will I just come off as a white guy trying to check a box?

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s0ph1e2007
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:37 pm

Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:20 pm

yes, you're peurto rican
and if you want schools to know that then you should check the box (i dont know what you really mean by "claiming" URM)
If it makes you uncomfortable then dont do it, but you have every right to do so...

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kruiz88
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:20 pm

Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby kruiz88 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:36 pm

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Last edited by kruiz88 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kruiz88
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Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby kruiz88 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:38 pm

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Last edited by kruiz88 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

jhspaybar
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:13 pm

Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby jhspaybar » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:40 pm

Well, from my description my dad always gave claiming my heritage a negative connotation, so it feels awkward checking the box when I know it gives me a benefit(but I always do!). I am proud of my heritage at this point however, and identify a portion of my life as puerto rican so I guess I shouldn't feel awkward checking the box and writing a statement about it.

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kruiz88
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:20 pm

Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby kruiz88 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:46 pm

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Last edited by kruiz88 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Fresh
Posts: 681
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:30 pm

Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby Fresh » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:51 pm

You're an underrepresented by minority. Puerto Ricans (including those who are 25% Puerto Rican) are underrepresented in top law schools and the legal profession

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vanwinkle
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Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Should I claim URM?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:57 pm

You don't "claim URM". Your real question is "Can I claim to be Puerto Rican?" The answer to that sounds clear.

You identify racially how you wish to identify. If schools wish to apply a URM boost to you, they will then do so. It's not guaranteed that they will or by how much. If you identify as PR, then mark PR. You sound like you could even write a PS about your experiences with your PR heritage and how you were connected to it growing up, so I see nothing wrong with you doing so at all. Doing so, most schools would likely consider you a URM, but the point is, the question is whether you get to identify as PR (which you do) and not whether you get to ask for a boost or not (you don't, that's up to the school).

There is no URM box. There is only a "mark your race" box, and if you're PR you mark PR. 25% is sufficient, especially with the connection to your heritage you described.




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