Please critique my DS?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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yngblkgifted
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Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:47 pm

Edit: If anyone is lurking on this thread, please read my new DS at the bottom of this thread and if you have any feedback it would be much appreciated.
Last edited by yngblkgifted on Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:51 pm

Sorry I had to edit a few words around since I've posted.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:53 pm

Who is Matthew ?

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:55 pm

Your DS is fair to okay if you are applying to any law schools that are aggressively seeking AA males & will tolerate blatant pandering.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:57 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Who is Matthew ?



that was a typo. sorry i have changed it.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:00 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Your DS is fair to okay if you are applying to any law schools that are aggressively seeking AA males & will tolerate blatant pandering.



Ok, so ditch it? Can you elaborate on your point? What struck you as "blatant pandering"?

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:55 pm

bump. anyone else? should I ditch it? change it? hate it? love it? boring? ridiculous?

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EbonyEsq
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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:26 pm

Sorry, but I don't like it. Aside from the major grammatical errors and contradictions (ie you say you will never know what Michael felt but you were, in fact, prejudged and treated as an outsider yourself on the basis of your skin color) I just don't see how it connects to HOW you will add diversity to your law school of choice.

Your statement speaks of your social/cultural development and realization that racism/discrimination is alive and well in many facets of society. While its great to relay how you've evolved, how does that realization help contribute to the law school? How do your experiences add to the law school?

You haven't connected the dots. I'm also not feeling the chronological order of how you've evolved. I don't know, it just doesn't flow well.

Oh and "repetitively" should be "repeatedly". Also, pay attention to your repetition of words/sentence structure (ie "While at xxxxxx University, I have been somewhat taken out of my Westernized bubble and forced to interact with peers from every corner of the globe. While I considered...)

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:00 pm

EbonyEsq wrote:Sorry, but I don't like it. Aside from the major grammatical errors and contradictions (ie you say you will never know what Michael felt but you were, in fact, prejudged and treated as an outsider yourself on the basis of your skin color) I just don't see how it connects to HOW you will add diversity to your law school of choice.

Your statement speaks of your social/cultural development and realization that racism/discrimination is alive and well in many facets of society. While its great to relay how you've evolved, how does that realization help contribute to the law school? How do your experiences add to the law school?

You haven't connected the dots. I'm also not feeling the chronological order of how you've evolved. I don't know, it just doesn't flow well.

Oh and "repetitively" should be "repeatedly". Also, pay attention to your repetition of words/sentence structure (ie "While at xxxxxx University, I have been somewhat taken out of my Westernized bubble and forced to interact with peers from every corner of the globe. While I considered...)


Thank you for the honest reply. This was my first draft - sorry for the grammar errors. I was iffy about the whole topic.

How will it add to the diversity of a particular law school? Hell if I know. This is where I have a problem. I feel like admissions officers act like blacks have this magical power to bring an enormous amount of "diversity" to law schools just because of our race. It's almost like if accepted we are going to get up during class and start teaching everyone how to break dance. I've heard that I am shooting myself in the foot by not writing a DS as an AA male. Other than my race (which is different from MOST people in law school), I am having trouble finding what else really sets me apart from the other applicants.

I felt like my experience with racism and connecting with a marginalized minority group would be set me apart from at least 75% percent of applicants.

Also,

I said I will never know EXACTLY I never said I didn't understand at all. The bigger problem with this sentence seems like I state the obvious (no one knows EXACTLYhow another human being feels) rather than it is a contradiction. Either way I agree that it needs to be re-worded or taken out.

Do you have any advice on where I should go from here? Should I start over and look for something else to talk about?

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby andedom » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:17 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Your DS is fair to okay if you are applying to any law schools that are aggressively seeking AA males & will tolerate blatant pandering.



Ok, so ditch it? Can you elaborate on your point? What struck you as "blatant pandering"?


It does feel kind of generic. I've seen a ton of DSs about growing up "colored" in a white neighborhood. I personally chose not to write one because I don't feel that I am especially "racially diverse" in my up-bringing or personality.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby bk1 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:21 pm

andedom wrote:It does feel kind of generic.


Seconding this, it feels very generic. Nothing seems very unique or novel here that makes you stand out as an individual rather than just person.

I also really don't like the anecdote about Michael because it takes forever to involve you and even then the link seems tangential at best.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby andedom » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:23 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
EbonyEsq wrote:Sorry, but I don't like it. Aside from the major grammatical errors and contradictions (ie you say you will never know what Michael felt but you were, in fact, prejudged and treated as an outsider yourself on the basis of your skin color) I just don't see how it connects to HOW you will add diversity to your law school of choice.

Your statement speaks of your social/cultural development and realization that racism/discrimination is alive and well in many facets of society. While its great to relay how you've evolved, how does that realization help contribute to the law school? How do your experiences add to the law school?

You haven't connected the dots. I'm also not feeling the chronological order of how you've evolved. I don't know, it just doesn't flow well.

Oh and "repetitively" should be "repeatedly". Also, pay attention to your repetition of words/sentence structure (ie "While at xxxxxx University, I have been somewhat taken out of my Westernized bubble and forced to interact with peers from every corner of the globe. While I considered...)


Thank you for the honest reply. This was my first draft - sorry for the grammar errors. I was iffy about the whole topic.

How will it add to the diversity of a particular law school? Hell if I know. This is where I have a problem. I feel like admissions officers act like blacks have this magical power to bring an enormous amount of "diversity" to law schools just because of our race. It's almost like if accepted we are going to get up during class and start teaching everyone how to break dance. I've heard that I am shooting myself in the foot by not writing a DS as an AA male. Other than my race (which is different from MOST people in law school), I am having trouble finding what else really sets me apart from the other applicants.

I felt like my experience with racism and connecting with a marginalized minority group would be set me apart from at least 75% percent of applicants.

Also,

I said I will never know EXACTLY I never said I didn't understand at all. The bigger problem with this sentence seems like I state the obvious (no one knows EXACTLYhow another human being feels) rather than it is a contradiction. Either way I agree that it needs to be re-worded or taken out.

Do you have any advice on where I should go from here? Should I start over and look for something else to talk about?


I think the first couple paragraphs of this post would make an AWESOME start to a DS. In fact, I DARE you to write about that! The admissions folks would either love it or hate it!

But yeah, don't sweat it dude. IMO, if you don't feel like you have anything good to write, don't write anything at all. You don't want to come across as someone who cries racism every chance they get.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:31 pm

I agree with andedom. Am loving the idea of your DS being about what the h*ll they mean by diversity. Not only law schools use the phrase but also places of employment. Is it solely defined by race? class? or experiences like Michael's? Don't force it. Just write down your thoughts and see where it takes you.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks for the comments guys! Yeah I felt it was pretty generic as well. I would suspect most of the black applicants had to deal with mostly white environments at some point. It's virtually impossible not to if you are going through higher learning institutions in America (except of course the HBCUs).

andedom wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:
EbonyEsq wrote:Sorry, but I don't like it. Aside from the major grammatical errors and contradictions (ie you say you will never know what Michael felt but you were, in fact, prejudged and treated as an outsider yourself on the basis of your skin color) I just don't see how it connects to HOW you will add diversity to your law school of choice.

Your statement speaks of your social/cultural development and realization that racism/discrimination is alive and well in many facets of society. While its great to relay how you've evolved, how does that realization help contribute to the law school? How do your experiences add to the law school?

You haven't connected the dots. I'm also not feeling the chronological order of how you've evolved. I don't know, it just doesn't flow well.

Oh and "repetitively" should be "repeatedly". Also, pay attention to your repetition of words/sentence structure (ie "While at xxxxxx University, I have been somewhat taken out of my Westernized bubble and forced to interact with peers from every corner of the globe. While I considered...)


Thank you for the honest reply. This was my first draft - sorry for the grammar errors. I was iffy about the whole topic.

How will it add to the diversity of a particular law school? Hell if I know. This is where I have a problem. I feel like admissions officers act like blacks have this magical power to bring an enormous amount of "diversity" to law schools just because of our race. It's almost like if accepted we are going to get up during class and start teaching everyone how to break dance. I've heard that I am shooting myself in the foot by not writing a DS as an AA male. Other than my race (which is different from MOST people in law school), I am having trouble finding what else really sets me apart from the other applicants.

I felt like my experience with racism and connecting with a marginalized minority group would be set me apart from at least 75% percent of applicants.

Also,

I said I will never know EXACTLY I never said I didn't understand at all. The bigger problem with this sentence seems like I state the obvious (no one knows EXACTLYhow another human being feels) rather than it is a contradiction. Either way I agree that it needs to be re-worded or taken out.

Do you have any advice on where I should go from here? Should I start over and look for something else to talk about?


I think the first couple paragraphs of this post would make an AWESOME start to a DS. In fact, I DARE you to write about that! The admissions folks would either love it or hate it!

But yeah, don't sweat it dude. IMO, if you don't feel like you have anything good to write, don't write anything at all. You don't want to come across as someone who cries racism every chance they get.



Sometimes I really do want to write that in my DS! I love being black. However, that's not the only thing that defines me.
Of course I may not say those exact things I said in the post like "hell if I know" but in all seriousness....do you all think it might be a good idea to talk about why my race doesn't completely define me...or even why I don't necessarily like the idea of diversity statements solely based on race?

I mean I was halfway joking but I'm thinking I can get pretty passionate about the subject.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:06 pm

andedom wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Your DS is fair to okay if you are applying to any law schools that are aggressively seeking AA males & will tolerate blatant pandering.



Ok, so ditch it? Can you elaborate on your point? What struck you as "blatant pandering"?


It does feel kind of generic. I've seen a ton of DSs about growing up "colored" in a white neighborhood. I personally chose not to write one because I don't feel that I am especially "racially diverse" in my up-bringing or personality.


Did you apply this cycle or a previous one? If you applied in a previous one, did it negatively affect your cycle? I mean I am assuming that schools need blacks because they have quotas and they truly could care less about whether or not their black students celebrate Kwanza - but then again I don't know.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:22 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:Sometimes I really do want to write that in my DS! I love being black. However, that's not the only thing that defines me.
Of course I may not say those exact things I said in the post like "hell if I know" but in all seriousness....do you all think it might be a good idea to talk about why my race doesn't completely define me...or even why I don't necessarily like the idea of diversity statements solely based on race?

I mean I was halfway joking but I'm thinking I can get pretty passionate about the subject.


This.

ImageImageImage

Your PS/DS wrapped in one. Love the topic and seeing how you're passionate about it, it won't be difficult to write at all. Can't wait to read it. :wink:

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby andedom » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:49 pm

I'm applying this cycle, so IDK if it will effect me or not. Though I have a hard time seeing a group of admissions officers staring at my application thinking, "Why didn't that guy write a DS? Isn't he black?"

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:59 pm

Admissions are giving what would appear to be some type of extra consideration solely due to one's race, and applicants think they can go wrong by writing a statement that emphasizes and affirms their connection to their race?

That's an interesting strategy.



ETA: "I'm Black and proud and this is why..." or "I'm Black and this is why it matters..." does not equal "my race completely defines me."

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:34 pm

LAWLAW09 wrote:Admissions are giving what would appear to be some type of extra consideration solely due to one's race, and applicants think they can go wrong by writing a statement that emphasizes and affirms their connection to their race?

That's an interesting strategy.



ETA: "I'm Black and proud and this is why..." or "I'm Black and this is why it matters..." does not equal "my race completely defines me."


I don't know if people think that they are "going wrong," it just seems unoriginal. I believe AA should get extra consideration, but not necessarily because brown skinned people will add large amounts "diversity" to a particular law class. AA should get the consideration because of the historical oppression that has set them at a generational disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.

I'm black and proud is different from "my race solely defines me." So I agree with you on that. And that may be the route I will eventually go. :roll: ( just because it's safer)

My biggest concern is how diversity is defined. I go to a very diverse undergrad where close to half the population is an ethnic minority and you can hear about 4 different languages being spoken at any one time while walking through the student common area. Me being an English speaking, Christian raised, middle-class American doesn't really come off as that "diverse" here.

Edit:

But, from what I've heard, I may be a lot more "diverse" at a top law school than I have become accustomed to in undergrad.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:53 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
I don't know if people think that they are "going wrong," it just seems unoriginal. I believe AA should get extra consideration, but not necessarily because brown skinned people will add large amounts "diversity" to a particular law class. AA should get the consideration because of the historical oppression that has set them at a generational disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.

I'm black and proud is different from "my race solely defines me." So I agree with you on that. And that may be the route I will eventually go. :roll: ( just because it's safer)

My biggest concern is how diversity is defined. I go to a very diverse undergrad where close to half the population is an ethnic minority and you can hear about 4 different languages being spoken at any one time while walking through the student common area. Me being an English speaking, Christian raised, middle-class American doesn't really come off as that "diverse" here.



Unoriginal? There are ten times the amount of white applicants accepted to those same schools. You think they all came up with original themes for their essays? I don't. A well-written, creative, applicant-specific essay is just that, regardless of who else might try a similar angle.

I'm not addressing whether AA's should or shouldn't have other factors considered. There isn't a school out there that defines diversity as what you seem to be implying -- that race is the only thing that falls under the diversity umbrella.

Diversity gets put into a distorted box on TLS and in too many daily conversations. For folks that work in higher education and that believe in the value of diversity, many of them do so for reasons that have nothing to with oppression or racism. Many of them understand that if you want academic excellence - at an individual and institutional level- that can only be achieved by making diversity a priority and a reality for that environment. The fact that there are few adcomms or schools that are willing to believe that to a degree that might cause them to admit more URMs or lose their jobs, does not necessarily negate that belief.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:13 pm

LAWLAW09 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:
I don't know if people think that they are "going wrong," it just seems unoriginal. I believe AA should get extra consideration, but not necessarily because brown skinned people will add large amounts "diversity" to a particular law class. AA should get the consideration because of the historical oppression that has set them at a generational disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.

I'm black and proud is different from "my race solely defines me." So I agree with you on that. And that may be the route I will eventually go. :roll: ( just because it's safer)

My biggest concern is how diversity is defined. I go to a very diverse undergrad where close to half the population is an ethnic minority and you can hear about 4 different languages being spoken at any one time while walking through the student common area. Me being an English speaking, Christian raised, middle-class American doesn't really come off as that "diverse" here.



Unoriginal? There are ten times the amount of white applicants accepted to those same schools. You think they all came up with original themes for their essays? I don't. A well-written, creative, applicant-specific essay is just that, regardless of who else might try a similar angle.

I'm not addressing whether AA's should or shouldn't have other factors considered. There isn't a school out there that defines diversity as what you seem to be implying -- that race is the only thing that falls under the diversity umbrella.

Diversity gets put into a distorted box on TLS and in too many daily conversations. For folks that work in higher education and that believe in the value of diversity, many of them do so for reasons that have nothing to with oppression or racism. Many of them understand that if you want academic excellence - at an individual and institutional level- that can only be achieved by making diversity a priority and a reality for that environment. The fact that there are few adcomms or schools that are willing to believe that to a degree that might cause them to admit more URMs or lose their jobs, does not necessarily negate that belief.


Yes, unoriginal. However, like you, I would predict that many white applicants have similar themes but not to the degree that black applicants do in regards to diversity statements. First of all, there are ten times more of them and also they aren't expected to stay within the bounds of a particular theme the same way black applicants are (e.i. ethnicity).

Also, I'm not entirely convinced that academic excellence is enhanced that much by admitting a "diverse" population of students. Yes, it will add to the social environment and will allow people to interact with other people they normally would not interact with, but will it help them learn the material better? I'm not saying it won't but I don't know.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:23 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:

Yes, unoriginal. However, like you, I would predict that many white applicants have similar themes but not to the degree that black applicants do in regards to diversity statements. First of all, there are ten times more of them and also they aren't expected to stay within the bounds of a particular theme the same way black applicants are (e.i. ethnicity).

Also, I'm not entirely convinced that academic excellence is enhanced that much by admitting a "diverse" population of students. Yes, it will add to the social environment and will allow people to interact with other people they normally would not interact with, but will it help them learn the material better? I'm not saying it won't but I don't know.



The bolded seems to explain why you're struggling to write your diversity statement.

I do not have a solution for you.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:28 pm

LAWLAW09 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:

Yes, unoriginal. However, like you, I would predict that many white applicants have similar themes but not to the degree that black applicants do in regards to diversity statements. First of all, there are ten times more of them and also they aren't expected to stay within the bounds of a particular theme the same way black applicants are (e.i. ethnicity).

Also, I'm not entirely convinced that academic excellence is enhanced that much by admitting a "diverse" population of students. Yes, it will add to the social environment and will allow people to interact with other people they normally would not interact with, but will it help them learn the material better? I'm not saying it won't but I don't know.



The bolded seems to explain why you're struggling to write your diversity statement.

I do not have a solution for you.


This is true.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby ck3 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:32 am

I like the story about Michael because I think you can use it to develop a theme that you see the law as a way to protect the rights and the treatment of the less powerful in society.


I think that your experiences being the only white child in a school, though not unique, is an honest part of what has made you who you are. I also think that it is far far different to be a black student in a mostly white school, than it is to be the only black child in a white school. So you can bring a perspective of being able to assimilate into that atmosphere even though you were the only of your kind. This is not a unique experience but I would think that there are not a large number of black applicants to an individual law school who have experienced being the only black person in their school.

I don't think your diversity statement has to be pulitzer quality, nor do I think it has to say that you are vastly different than every other applicant. My understanding of what LawLaw is saying (though I don't presume to speak for him) is that part of a quality legal education is being around people diverse backgrounds and people who hold diverse perspectives. Not just, we want to help blacks because they were oppressed in the past, although I think that is a fine motivation as well. Think about diversity this way. Maybe if you had not been around the kid with the learning disability, you would not have developed or fleshed out your beliefs and values and your perspective on the law in the way that you did. So being around a child with a learning disability enhanced your education. Just my thoughts.

I think that you are doing a good thing by having your fellow prospective students proof read your statements. I think that grammar, punctuation and spelling have to be perfect and that comes thru proofing. Also, as someone stated earlier, you should vary sentence structure and wording, but I think the content can be rendered in a way that will definitely serve the purpose.

I would not take the dare of writing a statement about what law schools mean by diversity. It would be different and interesting but your goal is to get accepted and to get scholarship money and you might not accomplish that if you are too controversial or confrontational. However, I could see that such a statement could grab the interest of some very thoughtful admission committee members and it may set you apart from the pack, but I would not chance it unless I had really high stats to go along with it.

Blessings to you.

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Re: Please critique my DS?

Postby djfe4president » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:02 am

yngblkgifted wrote:
EbonyEsq wrote:Sorry, but I don't like it. Aside from the major grammatical errors and contradictions (ie you say you will never know what Michael felt but you were, in fact, prejudged and treated as an outsider yourself on the basis of your skin color) I just don't see how it connects to HOW you will add diversity to your law school of choice.

Your statement speaks of your social/cultural development and realization that racism/discrimination is alive and well in many facets of society. While its great to relay how you've evolved, how does that realization help contribute to the law school? How do your experiences add to the law school?

You haven't connected the dots. I'm also not feeling the chronological order of how you've evolved. I don't know, it just doesn't flow well.

Oh and "repetitively" should be "repeatedly". Also, pay attention to your repetition of words/sentence structure (ie "While at xxxxxx University, I have been somewhat taken out of my Westernized bubble and forced to interact with peers from every corner of the globe. While I considered...)


Thank you for the honest reply. This was my first draft - sorry for the grammar errors. I was iffy about the whole topic.

How will it add to the diversity of a particular law school? Hell if I know. This is where I have a problem. I feel like admissions officers act like blacks have this magical power to bring an enormous amount of "diversity" to law schools just because of our race. It's almost like if accepted we are going to get up during class and start teaching everyone how to break dance. I've heard that I am shooting myself in the foot by not writing a DS as an AA male. Other than my race (which is different from MOST people in law school), I am having trouble finding what else really sets me apart from the other applicants.

I felt like my experience with racism and connecting with a marginalized minority group would be set me apart from at least 75% percent of applicants.

Also,

I said I will never know EXACTLY I never said I didn't understand at all. The bigger problem with this sentence seems like I state the obvious (no one knows EXACTLYhow another human being feels) rather than it is a contradiction. Either way I agree that it needs to be re-worded or taken out.

Do you have any advice on where I should go from here? Should I start over and look for something else to talk about?


I disagree with your comments in bold....While it is true, you have to remember that you are not being compared to other white applicants. You are being compared to other African Americans. I am a black male and I've dealt with racism and I'm pretty sure many applicants will write about this same topic. Think about something else that would make the admissions committee accept you.




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