Shall I state that I am GLBT?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
wothli
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Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby wothli » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:29 am

Should I explicitly state in my application that I am GLBT?
If it does not give me an advantage in the process, I feel unnecessary to "exploit my identity" like that.
What's your opinion?

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:40 am

It might give a boost, but no where near underrep minority boost. Sorry...

ExpectLess
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby ExpectLess » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:41 am

It's not about "exploiting" your identity and it shouldn't be about gaming the admissions process. The reason people include their LGBT identity in their application is that, for most of us, it is a significant part of our lives.

For me, it has affected what I believe, who I am, and the person I aspire to be. I've met with plenty of adversity because of it, and I'm a stronger person for it. It's not that I forced being gay into my application, it's that my application wouldn't have been complete without it. If you're just saying you're gay to say you're gay, don't bother. That won't do you any good.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby applepiecrust » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:52 am

It's not exploiting the identity for some boost. The boost doesn't even really exist, unless your softs + diversity statement/PS tie it together with the rest of your application in some significant cohesive way.

The way I look at it is:

1. For race I have the option of not choosing anything, but that would not by any means imply that I am non-racial (though it could still mean that I choose not to identify with any race). However, with the LGBT box, it's a matter of checking that box to say that yes, you do identify as LGBT; or leaving the box unchecked, to say that you don't identify as LGBT.

2. It's a significant part of who I am, and informs how I engage with societies and cultures. I could as soon divest myself of my LGBT identity as I could divest myself of my gender, racial, ethnic or national identities.

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Cupidity
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby Cupidity » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:01 am

What many prospective students fail to recognize is how valuable the LGBT community at a law school is. I go to BU and we have the strongest LGBT network of any law school. They have an independent networking program with both 2L's, 3L's, and attorneys, and many other perks. If you check off LGBT it won't give you an admissions boost, anyone who tell you it does is a dumbass, but what it will give you is information on the GLBT culture of each school. That culture should factor into your decison,

plurilingue
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby plurilingue » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:30 am

.
Last edited by plurilingue on Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby applepiecrust » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:51 pm

plurilingue wrote:
Cupidity wrote:What many prospective students fail to recognize is how valuable the LGBT community at a law school is. I go to BU and we have the strongest LGBT network of any law school. They have an independent networking program with both 2L's, 3L's, and attorneys, and many other perks. If you check off LGBT it won't give you an admissions boost, anyone who tell you it does is a dumbass, but what it will give you is information on the GLBT culture of each school. That culture should factor into your decison,


A diversity statement that illuminates how your sexual orientation has fashioned the person that you are is certainly useful for the the admissions committee in understanding your professional and academic path -- that is to say, it helps contextualize your accomplishments and shed light on the difficulties that you may have encountered. There's a guy on here who lost contact with his parents whilst in college after coming out; yet still, he was able to pay his way through undergrad, attained a 3.9 while working multiple jobs, and graduated early with distinction while engaging in significant volunteer work.

I'm not sure if it will give you a boost over people with meaningfully stronger stats, but it could serve to differentiate you from the other people with similar numbers.


Based on the OP's other thread, s/he has extraordinary numbers. So anything that would make the OP stand out amongst other HYS applicants in a meaningful way would be helpful. Have you felt your being an intl student from China and being LGBT have intersected in any meaningful ways (even if you're not out)?

Edit: One caveat with identifying as LGBT on the application (esp. on CRS) is that you should probably include an address where you are comfortable receiving LGBT-specific mailings.
Last edited by applepiecrust on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

subtle
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby subtle » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:15 pm

I would. My attitude is that it can't hurt--and if it does, it's the type of school you don't want to attend. There's a publication--Out & In--that discusses LGBT faculty, programs, non-discrimination clauses, etc. of most major schools. See if you can get a copy of it.

wothli
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby wothli » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:55 am

applepiecrust wrote:
plurilingue wrote:
Cupidity wrote:What many prospective students fail to recognize is how valuable the LGBT community at a law school is. I go to BU and we have the strongest LGBT network of any law school. They have an independent networking program with both 2L's, 3L's, and attorneys, and many other perks. If you check off LGBT it won't give you an admissions boost, anyone who tell you it does is a dumbass, but what it will give you is information on the GLBT culture of each school. That culture should factor into your decison,


A diversity statement that illuminates how your sexual orientation has fashioned the person that you are is certainly useful for the the admissions committee in understanding your professional and academic path -- that is to say, it helps contextualize your accomplishments and shed light on the difficulties that you may have encountered. There's a guy on here who lost contact with his parents whilst in college after coming out; yet still, he was able to pay his way through undergrad, attained a 3.9 while working multiple jobs, and graduated early with distinction while engaging in significant volunteer work.

I'm not sure if it will give you a boost over people with meaningfully stronger stats, but it could serve to differentiate you from the other people with similar numbers.


Based on the OP's other thread, s/he has extraordinary numbers. So anything that would make the OP stand out amongst other HYS applicants in a meaningful way would be helpful. Have you felt your being an intl student from China and being LGBT have intersected in any meaningful ways (even if you're not out)?

Edit: One caveat with identifying as LGBT on the application (esp. on CRS) is that you should probably include an address where you are comfortable receiving LGBT-specific mailings.


I am out with my parents, and they are sort of okay with it - but not really. They would not like it if I spammed our mailbox with LGBT mailings.
As you probably know, I am not exactly comfortable with being lesbian.
Althought logically, I feel that "it cannot hurt". But then, I don't want to be “using" my identity.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:11 am

wothli wrote:
applepiecrust wrote:
plurilingue wrote:
Cupidity wrote:What many prospective students fail to recognize is how valuable the LGBT community at a law school is. I go to BU and we have the strongest LGBT network of any law school. They have an independent networking program with both 2L's, 3L's, and attorneys, and many other perks. If you check off LGBT it won't give you an admissions boost, anyone who tell you it does is a dumbass, but what it will give you is information on the GLBT culture of each school. That culture should factor into your decison,


A diversity statement that illuminates how your sexual orientation has fashioned the person that you are is certainly useful for the the admissions committee in understanding your professional and academic path -- that is to say, it helps contextualize your accomplishments and shed light on the difficulties that you may have encountered. There's a guy on here who lost contact with his parents whilst in college after coming out; yet still, he was able to pay his way through undergrad, attained a 3.9 while working multiple jobs, and graduated early with distinction while engaging in significant volunteer work.

I'm not sure if it will give you a boost over people with meaningfully stronger stats, but it could serve to differentiate you from the other people with similar numbers.


Based on the OP's other thread, s/he has extraordinary numbers. So anything that would make the OP stand out amongst other HYS applicants in a meaningful way would be helpful. Have you felt your being an intl student from China and being LGBT have intersected in any meaningful ways (even if you're not out)?

Edit: One caveat with identifying as LGBT on the application (esp. on CRS) is that you should probably include an address where you are comfortable receiving LGBT-specific mailings.


I am out with my parents, and they are sort of okay with it - but not really. They would not like it if I spammed our mailbox with LGBT mailings.
As you probably know, I am not exactly comfortable with being lesbian.
Althought logically, I feel that "it cannot hurt". But then, I don't want to be “using" my identity.


It's not "using" it. And honestly, going by your other thread, you are super competitive as an applicant anyway, so don't even worry about it. It's a just check mark on a box for now (unless you also incorporate it in your diversity statement/personal statement in some way).

wothli
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby wothli » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:35 am

subtle wrote:I would. My attitude is that it can't hurt--and if it does, it's the type of school you don't want to attend. There's a publication--Out & In--that discusses LGBT faculty, programs, non-discrimination clauses, etc. of most major schools. See if you can get a copy of it.


Thanks for your advice. And I agree that if a school rejects me based on that, then maybe I should cross it off the list.
I will try to look for Out & In.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:21 pm

wothli wrote:
subtle wrote:I would. My attitude is that it can't hurt--and if it does, it's the type of school you don't want to attend. There's a publication--Out & In--that discusses LGBT faculty, programs, non-discrimination clauses, etc. of most major schools. See if you can get a copy of it.


Thanks for your advice. And I agree that if a school rejects me based on that, then maybe I should cross it off the list.
I will try to look for Out & In.


I might be wrong about this, but I think the only schools that would reject an applicant for being LGBT are schools like BYU, Regent, Ave Maria, Catholic, Baylor... you get the idea. Pretty sure you have no reason to apply to any of those!

subtle
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby subtle » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:31 pm

applepiecrust wrote:
wothli wrote:
subtle wrote:I would. My attitude is that it can't hurt--and if it does, it's the type of school you don't want to attend. There's a publication--Out & In--that discusses LGBT faculty, programs, non-discrimination clauses, etc. of most major schools. See if you can get a copy of it.


Thanks for your advice. And I agree that if a school rejects me based on that, then maybe I should cross it off the list.
I will try to look for Out & In.


I might be wrong about this, but I think the only schools that would reject an applicant for being LGBT are schools like BYU, Regent, Ave Maria, Catholic, Baylor... you get the idea. Pretty sure you have no reason to apply to any of those!



Well, yes, but it provides a lot of information. Even if School A won't reject you for being LGBT, you might not be comfortable because they have no LGBT faculty, nothing including in the non-discrimination clauses, etc. It's just a resource. I found it helpful in deciding whether or not to check off the box.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:42 pm

subtle wrote:
applepiecrust wrote:
wothli wrote:
subtle wrote:I would. My attitude is that it can't hurt--and if it does, it's the type of school you don't want to attend. There's a publication--Out & In--that discusses LGBT faculty, programs, non-discrimination clauses, etc. of most major schools. See if you can get a copy of it.


Thanks for your advice. And I agree that if a school rejects me based on that, then maybe I should cross it off the list.
I will try to look for Out & In.


I might be wrong about this, but I think the only schools that would reject an applicant for being LGBT are schools like BYU, Regent, Ave Maria, Catholic, Baylor... you get the idea. Pretty sure you have no reason to apply to any of those!



Well, yes, but it provides a lot of information. Even if School A won't reject you for being LGBT, you might not be comfortable because they have no LGBT faculty, nothing including in the non-discrimination clauses, etc. It's just a resource. I found it helpful in deciding whether or not to check off the box.


Oh, I am not saying it's not useful (P.S. they also have a lot of the same information on LSAC's website, link below), just that getting rejected from the school for your sexual orientation is something the OP need not worry about (pretty much with any of the T14 schools).

http://lsac.org/LSACResources/Publicati ... Survey.pdf (it's from 2006 so a little dated).

Edit: Sorry, the correct link is this: http://www.lsac.org/jd/diversity/lgbt-overview.asp (the above publication is interesting too, so I'll leave it in)
Last edited by applepiecrust on Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

too old for this sh*
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby too old for this sh* » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:46 pm

The real question one needs to answer in deciding their dilemma is whether they are seeking to be an LGBT who happens to be an attorney or whether they want to be an attorney who happens to be an LGBT.

And yes, I know people who fit in both categories and in a few instances, have built rather thriving practices around one of them.

I'm not sure whether the dilemma is more difficult for the fresh out of school twenty-something or for those of us who came of age before many TLS'ers were even born...

SupraVln180
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby SupraVln180 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:28 pm

Why not? If you are LGBT, then state it. Just leave it out of your app to Notre Dame and BYU. :lol:

wothli
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby wothli » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:03 pm

too old for this sh* wrote:The real question one needs to answer in deciding their dilemma is whether they are seeking to be an LGBT who happens to be an attorney or whether they want to be an attorney who happens to be an LGBT.

And yes, I know people who fit in both categories and in a few instances, have built rather thriving practices around one of them.

I'm not sure whether the dilemma is more difficult for the fresh out of school twenty-something or for those of us who came of age before many TLS'ers were even born...


That is a great point. In my application, I want to be a future attorney who happens to be a lesbian, rather than a lesbian who happens to be an attorney.
But I do agree that being lesbian and international have shaped me in some important ways, but I am not sure if it is something I want law school to have as a first impression.
For many years, I don't want to be defined as "lesbian", but I want to be defined as myself.

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aspire2more
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby aspire2more » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:38 pm

Wow, okay checking off the box that says you're LGBT on your application is not going to define who you are as an attorney, a person, or anything else ever in life. The boxes are optional and are used by the schools for their statistics and sometimes to offer you targeted promotional materials. I disclosed on applications where it made sense to in the context of whatever I was writing (i.e. if my research had shown that the environment for LGBT students was great). I did not bother disclosing on others since I did not have any intention of writing a diversity statement. I could have, but I felt my applications had enough going for them without needing to craft yet another essay. Diversity essays can be tricky to write because there is a fine line between explaining how you've overcome adversity and sounding like you're a whiner.

But back to the point, deciding whether or not to check off the box really doesn't say much about you as a person IMO. If you're concerned about getting mail that your parents might not like, then just don't check it. You can research a school's climate on your own just by contacting people in their Lambda or Outlaw club.

wothli
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby wothli » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:44 pm

aspire2more wrote:Wow, okay checking off the box that says you're LGBT on your application is not going to define who you are as an attorney, a person, or anything else ever in life. The boxes are optional and are used by the schools for their statistics and sometimes to offer you targeted promotional materials. I disclosed on applications where it made sense to in the context of whatever I was writing (i.e. if my research had shown that the environment for LGBT students was great). I did not bother disclosing on others since I did not have any intention of writing a diversity statement. I could have, but I felt my applications had enough going for them without needing to craft yet another essay. Diversity essays can be tricky to write because there is a fine line between explaining how you've overcome adversity and sounding like you're a whiner.

But back to the point, deciding whether or not to check off the box really doesn't say much about you as a person IMO. If you're concerned about getting mail that your parents might not like, then just don't check it. You can research a school's climate on your own just by contacting people in their Lambda or Outlaw club.


Thank you very much for you advice. I will probably just not write the diversity statement, and check the box and direct it to my school mailbox.

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aspire2more
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby aspire2more » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:43 pm

wothli wrote:
aspire2more wrote:Wow, okay checking off the box that says you're LGBT on your application is not going to define who you are as an attorney, a person, or anything else ever in life. The boxes are optional and are used by the schools for their statistics and sometimes to offer you targeted promotional materials. I disclosed on applications where it made sense to in the context of whatever I was writing (i.e. if my research had shown that the environment for LGBT students was great). I did not bother disclosing on others since I did not have any intention of writing a diversity statement. I could have, but I felt my applications had enough going for them without needing to craft yet another essay. Diversity essays can be tricky to write because there is a fine line between explaining how you've overcome adversity and sounding like you're a whiner.

But back to the point, deciding whether or not to check off the box really doesn't say much about you as a person IMO. If you're concerned about getting mail that your parents might not like, then just don't check it. You can research a school's climate on your own just by contacting people in their Lambda or Outlaw club.


Thank you very much for you advice. I will probably just not write the diversity statement, and check the box and direct it to my school mailbox.


No problem!

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twocuphabit
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Re: Shall I state that I am GLBT?

Postby twocuphabit » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:02 pm

I disclosed on the LSAC site. My personal statement was focused on my orientation - I wrote about almost losing my kids because of it. I volunteer a lot in the community, and plan to practice in an LGBT-related field. So, for me, it is a core part of my identity. I won't *not* disclose, because I am very out, and I believe visibility is key.

That being said, I believe each person should do what's right for them. I don't know if disclosing LGBT status is helpful or not in terms of admission, but I do know that, for me, it is something that I want the adcomms to know.




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