URM Information Specific to Native Americans Requested

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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URM Information Specific to Native Americans Requested

Postby jace8819 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:30 pm


This is my first time posting, so I hope this is not something that has already been answered a million times before and I simply did not see it. If so, I apologize, I promise I did try to do some digging before posting.

I have just received my first LSAT results and have begun the process of studying to re-take the LSAT in December but am beginning my applications now. I have read articles in the past that have stated that statistics of Native American admission and graduation rates from law schools have been dubious at best in the past due to the "One Drop" phenonemon (wherein an applicant that does not have a tribal ID number and is therefore not, legally speaking at least, Native American, self-identifies as Native American because he/she heard once that he/she might have had one drop of tribal blood somewhere in his/her lineage). Consequently, many of these sources have claimed that schools have restricted scholarship resources and watered down the URM credibility of Native American applicants unless these applicants have also submitted Diversity Statements providing their tribal affiliation and ID number's. I do not know if these claims are factual, however, I have noticed that many of the applications have been asking specifically for tribal ID number's and tribal affiliation. So, now that this overly exhaustive background information is done, my first question is this: Since I have provided a tribal identification number on these applications, is it still necessary to submit a Diversity Statement?

My second question is, if it is not necessary, is it advisable to submit a Diversity Statement if my Potawatomi culture is not featured in my Personal Statement? Finally, my third question, if I have a 3.61 GPA / 171 LSAT (althought hopefully my re-take is better), are the YHS schools and other Ivies really more flexible with Native applicants? I have read conflicting things...
Last edited by jace8819 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: URM Information Specific to Native Americans Requested

Postby MoMettaMonk » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:44 pm

NA admissions is even harder to know much about than URM admissions generally (which is notoriously hard to predict). However because you did provide tribal affiliation you are likely to get a substantial boost. There are very few Native American applicants, and a dearth of high scoring NAs similar to the lack of high scoring African Americans. Having said that, even without a retake you've got a solid shot at HYS.

Though a diversity statement is necessary, if your culture has been a large part of your life and isn't addressed elsewhere in your application, I would suggest that you write one.

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Re: URM Information Specific to Native Americans Requested

Postby Tyr » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:22 pm

If you can make the diversity statement something interesting about being an American Indian, do it. Talk about how your culture has affected (positively or negatively) your life. I'm half American Indian, yet I'm not going to be putting in on my application when the time comes. I don't have an ID, and my grandparents left the rez life years ago. Therefore, I have nothing that would really interest the adcomms in that regard. Instead, I'll focus on the LGBT aspect of my life because I can make that an interesting narrative.

Long story short, if you can have something interesting (i.e. answer the "so what?" question), then go ahead and write the statement.

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Re: URM Information Specific to Native Americans Requested

Postby jace8819 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:51 pm

Thanks for the responses!

I think I am going to try write a personal statement that more or less doubles as a diversity statement and therefore I can save whoever has the burden of reviewing my application some time, but we'll see if I can do so effectively enough to keep it within two pages double spaced (seems like this is the ideal length for almost every school even if they do not set a page limit from what I have read?).

I have read a few different posts on this forum and elsewhere that have all said that reliable statistical data relevant to Native American law school applicants is the hardest to come by; apparently due to many law schools not requiring tribal identification numbers in the past and due to the paucity of law school applicants that do have tribal identification numbers / the underwhelming number of college graduates in general that meet this criterion. Are there any credible websites or online databases that anyone knows of that maintain records on this sort of thing? I am very curious about statistical trends in acceptance rates and scholarship offers.

Also, does anyone know of any T15 law schools that have scholarships for Native Americans that do not require you to study Native American Law specifically? It appears this is a common requirement for many scholarships.

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Re: URM Information Specific to Native Americans Requested

Postby michlaw » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:08 pm

T-14 not T-15. No schools require one to study Native Law as a condition for anything. No T-14 schools to the best of my knowledge offer something called a Native American scholarship. At any given moment there are around 10-15 individuals who self-identify as native in the T-14. This info is readily available. Log on to LSAC and search the aba data for the schools you are interested in. They list the number of natives enrolled. IMHO your statement should include your view as to why you bring a valuable perspective to an incoming law school class. It is not just a matter of political designation. Sadly the native world is replete with situations of disenrollment, tribes that are not as yet Federally recognized, adoption issues, ongoing blood quantum requirements, and many other evolving circumstances. It is just possible that someone who has been disenrolled after generations has more to bring to the table than someone with a tribal ID number.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/us/ca ... d=all&_r=0

This data comes from the lsac website: just google the following: lsat performance with regional gender and racial ethnic breakdowns

Retaking a 171 as a native is kind of pointless IMHO. Such a score puts you in a group you can count on one hand. Good luck in your cycle.

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