T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby shoeshine » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Just thought I would pop in here and give advice about a DS.

I am a URM from an extremely economically disadvantaged background with some W/E. I did not write a DS. However, I did talk about my background in my PS though. I was accepted to several T14s and I accepted a partial scholarship at the one I am attending now.

IMO, a DS isn't necessary. I think many people try to force the issue of "diversity" in their application with a DS and it comes off negatively to adcomms. Just tell "your" story in your personal statement and be genuine.

User avatar
KingMenes
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby KingMenes » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:54 pm

My reasoning for being pro-stats is based on my belief that a URM shouldn't apply to a school where at least one of their stats isn't at or above median LSAT/GPA. For example, if you have a 3.2/165 and you're applying to a school with medians of 3.4/160, your stats speak for you. Including a short diversity statement within the PS makes more sense to me, but it is definitely a personal choice. I faced some harsh socioeconomic obstacles growing up, and I mentioned this in a negative-positive manner in my personal statement, but highlighted my stats in my PS. My focus was on showing my individuality, but letting the adcomms know I can compete because of my reasoning skills and work ethic. IMO the diversity statement, like addenda can easily descend into subtle tokenism. I don't believe in tokenism. Similarly, someone with the above mentioned stats, applying to said theoretical school wouldn't need to write a seperate diversity statement. On the other hand, someone with less than median for LSAT/GPA, should consider enrolling at a school where their stats are more competitive. Sure, GPA/LSAT doesn't guarantee success in law school, but the historical data provided on LSAC's website shows a strong correlation between the GPA/LSAT stats and law school class rank.

If you are a URM with 3.2 150 and you are focused strictly on the T14, you write-up a seperate diversity statement, and you are admitted into your 1L class, statistically at the bottom. Like I said, it is a personal choice.

Here is a good video featuring UVA Professor Alex Johnson, former Univeristy of MN Dean, all 0Ls, especially URMs should pay close attention to the useful insights provided:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:41 am

planeride wrote:Surprised (and a little nervous) that the consensus is going against the DS. I spent a lot of time on mine.

Could the anti-DS people give a little more of their reasoning? Is it just "it won't make that much difference, don't waste your time?"

Question for any who did submit it...I think mine is pretty good but I don't have a part that explicitly relates it to law school. That's not necessary, is it? I mean, there really is no explicit link, for me at least. They are trying to expand the diversity of the class to include a wide range of experiences, and I'm showing how I can add to that range, but I think it's kind of a stretch to argue that they'll make me a better lawyer.


I wrote a full page DS and it worked out great for me. I got into a ton of t14's. I liked my DS because it gave me another chance to show what I could bring to the LS. I don't think it could hurt so if they say they take it why not just do it. That's just my .02

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:49 am

KingMenes wrote:My reasoning for being pro-stats is based on my belief that a URM shouldn't apply to a school where at least one of their stats isn't at or above median LSAT/GPA. For example, if you have a 3.2/165 and you're applying to a school with medians of 3.4/160, your stats speak for you. Including a short diversity statement within the PS makes more sense to me, but it is definitely a personal choice. I faced some harsh socioeconomic obstacles growing up, and I mentioned this in a negative-positive manner in my personal statement, but highlighted my stats in my PS. My focus was on showing my individuality, but letting the adcomms know I can compete because of my reasoning skills and work ethic. IMO the diversity statement, like addenda can easily descend into subtle tokenism. I don't believe in tokenism. Similarly, someone with the above mentioned stats, applying to said theoretical school wouldn't need to write a seperate diversity statement. On the other hand, someone with less than median for LSAT/GPA, should consider enrolling at a school where their stats are more competitive. Sure, GPA/LSAT doesn't guarantee success in law school, but the historical data provided on LSAC's website shows a strong correlation between the GPA/LSAT stats and law school class rank.

If you are a URM with 3.2 150 and you are focused strictly on the T14, you write-up a seperate diversity statement, and you are admitted into your 1L class, statistically at the bottom. Like I said, it is a personal choice.

Here is a good video featuring UVA Professor Alex Johnson, former Univeristy of MN Dean, all 0Ls, especially URMs should pay close attention to the useful insights provided:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c


define strong? I completely disagree with the statement the poster made, I think you should go to the best school (rank/employment prospects/cost weighted) you can get into and do the best you can. 3.7, 163 AA Turning down NYU for BU because you fit BU's medians better is reckless at best and could be disastrous when OCI comes around.

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:55 am

blacklawboss wrote:
dkt4 wrote:
blacklawboss wrote: I agree with you, and that's the approach I took. I apologize for the earlier post. Dealing with 1 week assignments and briefing as we speak. I mentioned in a later post that I didn't write one because my PS included my personal and racial background. I am a different case because of my softs. I can say one thing after going through orientation there aren't a lot of us in here.


how's the first week going? i get another two weeksish of bullshitting :P


Man, lucky you! This was orientation week so thats done yesterday. Classes start Monday, and having minor anxiety over the reading for K's. Loving it though. Great school so far, perfect fit for me. Sad how underrepresented we are in LS. AA's and Hispanics alike, something has to give.


I've been pleasantly surprised in regards to the whole URM thing. In my section alone we have at least 8 Black people and at least 4-6 hispanics. At the orientation events there has been quite a bit of color sprinkled throughout. I can't lie that did factor into my decision making process and it's really nice to have a diverse class.

socraticmethodman
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:35 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby socraticmethodman » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:57 am

As many have said, a diversity statement gives you another opportunity to make yourself stand out; why not take it?

FWIW, I wrote a diversity statement (my personal statement made no reference to my race), and got into a few T14s (one which I'm attending).

User avatar
KingMenes
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby KingMenes » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:43 am

Please see the Alex Johnson link included in my post above, he provides some neat charts showing the historical accuracy of GPA/LSAT stats for 1Ls and year end rankings. In my PS, I didn't mention my ethnicity; I did mention the different socioeconomic factors that I had to overcome in order to earn a degree from a Top 25 university. IMO, socioeconomic conditions and choosing the wrong major is what disadvantages many URMs the most. However, if ETHNICITY is the main reason you are below both medians, then you may be best served by including a 'diversity statement.' Still, I feel that mentioning race is redundant, as the CRS includes ethnicity along with other biographical information. It's different for each law school candidate, but I received fee waivers and invites to apply from about 30 law schools. They already knew my race, as Professor Johnson alluded to in the video. Then again, having a Swahili/Arabic derived name probably hints at my ethnicity.

Diversity is essential; one reason I wouldn't attend an institution in a rural area or that doesn't show diversity in their historical 1L classes. Another reason, I would't attend a school without visiting the campus/area first. In fact, it shocks me that professional schools don't truly reflect the demographics of the U.S. population, but poor undergraduate training plays a role in this outcome amongst other factors.Reasonable minds can agree to disagree. The above poster said, "3.7, 163 AA Turning down NYU for BU because you fit BU's medians better is reckless at best and could be disastrous when OCI comes around."

ImageHere are the median stats for NYU: LSAT Median: 171 GPA Median: 3.78. Didn't you notice that I stated at least GPA/LSAT should be at median or above? The theoretical student with that 3.7x GPA is right at median. Seems like a bad analogy. On the other hand, it could NOT be disastrous when OCI comes around too. So, please explain why it could be disastrous? Why is it reckless at best for the individual? Finally, it depends on the individual, but if I was asked why I turned down School A above both my medians to attend School B at my medians with full $$$. I'd have to be clear that I was debt averse and I'm anti-tokenism.

If a firm or agency doesn't understand that, then I have no business working with that firm. We are a bad match, but I digress.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby bk1 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:29 pm

@KingMenes: Your argument is full of so many holes it is absurd. The first being that you straw man it when you say a "3.2/150 aiming for the T14." Nobody here is advocating for that person to go to the T14 because 3.2/150's, even if they were some mythical quadruple URM of AA/NA/MX/PR, aren't getting into T14's. And even if we were (and I personally would tell a 3.2/150 to go to a T14 if they got in), you are ignoring the fact that only absolutely awful schools would be in that person's range if you want their numbers to be competitive with everyone else at the school. So for a person like that the choice is between a school with good opportunities that is way out of their number range and a school with no opportunities that is in their number range.

But a 3.2/150 is a ridiculous example. Let's use something more reasonable like 3.6/160 who as a URM has a chance at the T14 but is obviously 10 LSAT points below median. Even here it makes no sense to take a school where your numbers are similar to everyone else. The schools where a 3.6/160 has similar numbers to are T2's, maybe lower T1's at best. Frankly those schools have awful employment prospects and you really can't justify going to American/Cardozo/Iowa/etc over a T14 because the disparity between these schools is so massive (even if you would guaranteed do worse at the T14 than you would at the low T1/high T2).

The real weakness of your argument is that the correlation between LSAT/GPA and grades is so small that it makes no sense to advocate school choice based on your own numbers. While yes, URM's do tend to do worse than other law students on the whole, you cannot justify telling any given URM to go to a worse school and give up those opportunities because the correlation is just not strong enough. To drive the point home even more, if we were to accept your absurd stance on this then you should really be advocating for everybody to go to the school with the lowest LSAT/GPA medians in the country (e.g. Cooley) because then your numbers would blow everyone else's out of the water (which is obviously far better than you just being at the same level as everyone else) and thus you'd be practically guaranteed to be first in the class.

If you want to make the argument that you should go to a lower school because of money then that is a fine argument to make. But coming in here like you are God's gift to statistics, thinking that you have somehow figured out the master code that tells people where they should or should not go based on their numbers is pretty stupid. Though I do appreciate you proving the age old adage that law students don't understand math.

User avatar
KingMenes
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby KingMenes » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:23 pm

If bk1 said it, it must be the annointed word on the issue at hand.
bk1 said it.
Therefore, it must be the annointed word.


Firstoff, there is a shortage of URM lawyers in America based on the information provided by the 2010 U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor statistics. I believe the ratio is 45,000 AA lawyers to 45, 000, 000 million AA citizens compared to 1 Caucasian lawyer for every 300 Caucasian citizens. What evidence do you have that a AA URM graduating in the top 25% of his/her class at a T1 law school has awful employment prospects? Finally, let's take your example of a 3.6x/160 URM candidate. Based on my suggestion, they woud be just at or above the median of GPA for Gtown (LSAT Median: 170 GPA Median: 3.68) and the rest of T1. If that same student went to GW#20, they would likely receive a larger scholarship than from Gtown. No doubt, I would tell said candidate to attend GW. At the same time, why would the candidate allow my opinions to influence their law school decision? I would send them to bk1, he knows best.

What data are you viewing that shows that the correlation between 1L UGPA/LSAT is so small?

@bk1"To drive the point home even more, if we were to accept your absurd stance on this then you should really be advocating for everybody to go to the school with the lowest LSAT/GPA medians in the country (e.g. Cooley) because then your numbers would blow everyone else's out of the water (which is obviously far better than you just being at the same level as everyone else) and thus you'd be practically guaranteed to be first in the class"

Isn't this the same straw man fallacy that you claimed I used? I never advocated that 'absurd stance' at all.

It was pretty clear from my post that I said the individual knows what is best for them. Yes, I do make the additional argument that going to the highest ranked school with the greatest amount of money is a solid strategy for many candidates. However, I wouldn't recommend a URM attend any school outside the Top 100. Once again, personal preference.

I concede to the superiority of your flawless argument.

I digress. :|

dkt4
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby dkt4 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:37 pm

planeride wrote:Surprised (and a little nervous) that the consensus is going against the DS. I spent a lot of time on mine.

Could the anti-DS people give a little more of their reasoning? Is it just "it won't make that much difference, don't waste your time?"

Question for any who did submit it...I think mine is pretty good but I don't have a part that explicitly relates it to law school. That's not necessary, is it? I mean, there really is no explicit link, for me at least. They are trying to expand the diversity of the class to include a wide range of experiences, and I'm showing how I can add to that range, but I think it's kind of a stretch to argue that they'll make me a better lawyer.



quick response to this before i read through the rest of the thread...

the reason I am against writing a DS is because I think you are already given a perfectly good venue for showing what you bring to the school you are applying to in the personal statement. the vast majority of the time what you write about in your personal statement should (and will) reflect your life, personality, experiences, etc., and your background/race/diversity inevitably has some influence in all those areas. part of a good personal statement, in my mind, is to be able to connect whatever your talking about to the world you come from and the school you will be attending, and being able to weave your DS into the personal statement shows a level of thoughtfulness/writing ability that you don't necessary need if you split it into two essays (not that you can't write two statements thoughtfully and skillfully).

that said, if you spent a lot of time on a DS, it likely won't negatively affect you...and since you already wrote it i guess submit it. i just think extra writing isn't wanted (despite the offer) or needed most of the time.

shoeshine wrote:IMO, a DS isn't necessary. I think many people try to force the issue of "diversity" in their application with a DS and it comes off negatively to adcomms. Just tell "your" story in your personal statement and be genuine.


+1
Last edited by dkt4 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby bk1 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:46 pm

KingMenes wrote:Firstoff, there is a shortage of URM lawyers in America based on the information provided by the 2010 U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor statistics. I believe the ratio is 45,000 AA lawyers to 45, 000, 000 million AA citizens compared to 1 Caucasian lawyer for every 300 Caucasian citizens.

You are quite the jokester. So we need to be the same race as someone to represent them?

KingMenes wrote:What evidence do you have that a AA URM graduating in the top 25% of his/her class at a T1 law school has awful employment prospects?

TLS doesn't seem to have any firm evidence that there exists substantial AA (and by that I mean the social policy) for minorities. While there have been a few posts that vehemently say AA exists whereas others vehemently say it does not, all the posts lead me to believe that it is slight and if it does exist it is merely for getting more screeners (which is in and of itself a good thing, but is still no guarantee). More to the point, I wouldn't bank on it being a large enough boost to bank on giving your average URM T1 top 25% a boost into a job that can pay off sticker price debt in a reasonable amount of time especially when you are presented with taking more versus less prestige at the outset of one's law school career. Still to say it again this is another straw man since most people aren't in the top 25% of their class and if we were using a more reasonable class rank (i.e. median) then yes the employment prospects are awful (and by awful I mean not good enough to warrant sticker price debt).

KingMenes wrote:Finally, let's take your example of a 3.6x/160 URM candidate. Based on my suggestion, they woud be at or above the median of GPA for Gtown (LSAT Median: 170 GPA Median: 3.68) and the rest of T1. If that same student went to GW#20, they would likely receive a larger scholarship than from Gtown. No doubt, I would tell said candidate to attend GW.

This sort of advice makes sense from a monetary perspective, not because their numbers make it easier for them to do well. Ironically, following your advice would tell that candidate to go to GULC over GW since GW's medians are 3.79/167 and thus they are getting dominated on both fronts at GW whereas they are only getting dominated on one front at GULC.

KingMenes wrote:What data are you viewing that shows that the correlation between 1L UGPA/LSAT is so small?

Your grasp of what a roughly 0.4 correlation means to the individual fucking floors me. You really are going to base your argument that one should make a decision based on something that accounts for 20% of 1L grades at best?

KingMenes wrote:Isn't this the same straw man fallacy that you claimed I used? I never advocated that 'absurd stance' at all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

dkt4
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby dkt4 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:49 pm

45,000 AA lawyers to 45, 000, 000 million AA citizens


there's an easier way to state this....but i'm not sure what it is :?

dkt4
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby dkt4 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:51 pm

i will say, TLSers use of stats is really shitty

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: T1 1L AA URM taking all C/O Apps questions

Postby shoeshine » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:59 pm

This thread devolved into completely useless crap quicker than expected.




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: A Poor Pianist and 5 guests