Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
User avatar
Charis
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:20 pm

Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby Charis » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:36 am

First, I'd like to apologize if this question has been covered previously on the forums. I have attempted to search and have not found an adequate answer, so please bear with me.

A little bit about my background, since I feel like this question needs to be put in a certain context - my mother was white, my father was African American. He was never involved with my life, and I was raised by a single mother. My mother then died of a terminal illness when I was 11 years old and I was effectively declared an orphan and a ward of the state. I have worked hard to be where I am and I graduated with a 3.86 GPA, although I don't know what my LSAT is yet since I took it this December. I covered much of this story in my personal statement, but I am confused as to what I should list myself as for ethnicity.

I look far more white than black, and most people have a hard time telling I am mixed. Almost everyone I know that knows this about me is telling me to mark myself as URM due to my background and my father, but I am worried that it will not be considered as such since I physically identify far more with Caucasians than I do African-Americans. Above all I do not wish to seem dishonest. I am sure I could prove my background if necessary, but I am still confused as to how mixed-race persons are classified as it is.

If anyone could assist me in clarifying this issue, and if I should forgo identifying as a URM, it would be very helpful.

User avatar
emkay625
Posts: 1839
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby emkay625 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:39 am

Charis wrote:First, I'd like to apologize if this question has been covered previously on the forums. I have attempted to search and have not found an adequate answer, so please bear with me.

A little bit about my background, since I feel like this question needs to be put in a certain context - my mother was white, my father was African American. He was never involved with my life, and I was raised by a single mother. My mother then died of a terminal illness when I was 11 years old and I was effectively declared an orphan and a ward of the state. I have worked hard to be where I am and I graduated with a 3.86 GPA, although I don't know what my LSAT is yet since I took it this December. I covered much of this story in my personal statement, but I am confused as to what I should list myself as for ethnicity.

I look far more white than black, and most people have a hard time telling I am mixed. Almost everyone I know that knows this about me is telling me to mark myself as URM due to my background and my father, but I am worried that it will not be considered as such since I physically identify far more with Caucasians than I do African-Americans. Above all I do not wish to seem dishonest. I am sure I could prove my background if necessary, but I am still confused as to how mixed-race persons are classified as it is.

If anyone could assist me in clarifying this issue, and if I should forgo identifying as a URM, it would be very helpful.


Is there a mixed-race option? if so, I would check that. If not, you should check whichever box you personally would like to check. I don't think anyone would fault you for checking "white" or "african-american" as both would be correct.

spek
Posts: 385
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:40 am

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby spek » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:40 am

You can check both "White" and "Black/African-American" boxes.

User avatar
emkay625
Posts: 1839
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby emkay625 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:41 am

Charis wrote:First, I'd like to apologize if this question has been covered previously on the forums. I have attempted to search and have not found an adequate answer, so please bear with me.

A little bit about my background, since I feel like this question needs to be put in a certain context - my mother was white, my father was African American. He was never involved with my life, and I was raised by a single mother. My mother then died of a terminal illness when I was 11 years old and I was effectively declared an orphan and a ward of the state. I have worked hard to be where I am and I graduated with a 3.86 GPA, although I don't know what my LSAT is yet since I took it this December. I covered much of this story in my personal statement, but I am confused as to what I should list myself as for ethnicity.

I look far more white than black, and most people have a hard time telling I am mixed. Almost everyone I know that knows this about me is telling me to mark myself as URM due to my background and my father, but I am worried that it will not be considered as such since I physically identify far more with Caucasians than I do African-Americans. Above all I do not wish to seem dishonest. I am sure I could prove my background if necessary, but I am still confused as to how mixed-race persons are classified as it is.

If anyone could assist me in clarifying this issue, and if I should forgo identifying as a URM, it would be very helpful.


Also, i wouldn't worry about the physical thing - they're not asking what race you look like, they're asking what race you are.

AriGoldButNicer
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:19 pm

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:43 am

you will count as a urm, and i'd take it.

identity isn't really about your parents' involvement, and especially with something like race. i think this is 1 situation where your dad helps you. i can see where you're coming from, but leaving it off would be like throwing away free money. it is not dishonest to say you're black, and i'm sure that if the app reader were in your position knowing what we all know about the AA bost, they'd do the same.

User avatar
fips tedora
Posts: 3751
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 8:28 pm

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby fips tedora » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:44 am

.
Last edited by fips tedora on Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ben4847
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby ben4847 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:48 am

Definitely you can put African American. According to this, up to 1/4 is standardly considered enough. http://www.top-law-schools.com/urm-applicant-faq.html
It is irrelevant how you feel.

User avatar
tooswolle
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:48 am

Re: Difficult question about mixed-race ethnicity.

Postby tooswolle » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:12 am

From time to time these posts pop up. People looking to justify themselves using the urm boost in admissions when they aren't, and are really stretching it to even apply. This is not the case and you shouldn't have a problem marking the box. If you feel like you want both sides to come out do so. It's legit.




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests