URM - Should I write DS anyway?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
daburrel
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URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby daburrel » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:34 am

I am wondering if I should write a DS because while I am a AA male I have no idea what I can include in a DS. I wrote about Hurricane Katrina in my PS and somewhat touched on my city of New Orleans. However, I wasn't raised in the suburbs nor was I blatantly in a racist situation (which seem like the normal DS's). So, my question to you guys, will a DS even be important considering I have talked about a sort of Diversity situation in my PS (Hurricane Katrina)?

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Lwoods
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby Lwoods » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:38 am

You didn't grow up in the suburbs, so you grew up in an urban New Orleans? Can you talk about your experiences pre-Katrina?

Did you leave the city for college? Do you go to predominantly white college? If so, how was the transition? Did you notice any differences between your urban, black background and their suburban white backgrounds?

I imagine there's a story there outside of Katrina. Find it and write a DS. :) Good luck!

daburrel
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby daburrel » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:44 am

I guess when I was displaced I had to go to a public school in Houston, TX and it was the first ever time it was someone other than "black" attending the school, it involved quite a bit Mexicans, Whites and Asians. So I would basically only talk about the transition? BTW, it was urban New Orleans very much so.

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almightypush
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby almightypush » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:56 am

if you feel you sufficiently touched on your diversity within your PS, then i would say that, while it wouldn’t hurt to have an added DS, it isn’t necessary. i incorporated a DS into my PS and left it at that.

AztecaRex
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby AztecaRex » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:57 am

You definitely should write a DS. What the DS entails is up to you--and don't think you need to write about dealing with racism. My DS was rather lighthearted and humorous, and it simply dealt with people's perceptions of my background compared with how I view myself. PM if you want more specific advice. At any rate, just go with what you know, mate, and you'll do fine.

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SMA22
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby SMA22 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:20 pm

You can try going out of the box--any school is going to see your URM status, so they don't really need an explanation. What many schools do want is "how does this diverse candidate fit into a group of people in such a way that it benefits the entire class?" The essay thus ceases to be entirely about you, but rather about how you relate to other people.

I was going to do a DS on being Mexican, but I was the same thing--a girl from the suburbs. Instead, I spoke briefly about a movement disorder I'd had since childhood that left me the most picked on kid in grammar school. I talked about how I used those unhappy memories for the better that in an academic setting--I became a sign language interpreter, won a grant to study Asperger's syndrome, read blind tapes, studied four foreign languages, and was able to work with a wide variety of people who were nothing like me. I found my niche by helping others instead of feeling sorry for myself.

Many schools are going to get essays on race or ethnicity--try taking it from another angle. Do people assume that becuase you're AA and from NOLA that you must be poor and hate the government? Prove otherwise, and talk about how you get along with people and help them overcome the misconception. It would make a good read and show that you're not looking for sympathy but are looking to bring a unique perspective to law school and work well with others.

daburrel
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby daburrel » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:26 pm

Very poor but I don't hate the government. I wonder if I do a DS on me "not being stereotypical of New Orleans young and black" I wouldn't be diverse at all but only what the majority of their applicants are, correct?

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:41 pm

almightypush wrote:if you feel you sufficiently touched on your diversity within your PS, then i would say that, while it wouldn’t hurt to have an added DS, it isn’t necessary. i incorporated a DS into my PS and left it at that.

This is true. Lots of folks do this. You do need, as a URM, to show them what experiences you have that'll add to the diversity of the student body, and being a survivor of Katrina and its aftermath probably helps with that already. There's no specific need for a separate DS if you have nothing else to say.

daburrel
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby daburrel » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
almightypush wrote:if you feel you sufficiently touched on your diversity within your PS, then i would say that, while it wouldn’t hurt to have an added DS, it isn’t necessary. i incorporated a DS into my PS and left it at that.

This is true. Lots of folks do this. You do need, as a URM, to show them what experiences you have that'll add to the diversity of the student body, and being a survivor of Katrina and its aftermath probably helps with that already. There's no specific need for a separate DS if you have nothing else to say.


That's what I was feeling especially after my PS. My current PS is at 2 1/2 pages, I am trying to get it down to 2 pages only but I can't seem to find any removable information from the PS, which is why I feel it covers all that I need.

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SMA22
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Re: URM - Should I write DS anyway?

Postby SMA22 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:45 pm

Anybody can do a DS--it's not just about being disadvantaged, but being different, having something unique to contribute to a law school class. Not being a stereotype is unique, don't sell yourself short.

If you were very poor, then you can definitely do a DS on that.




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