Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
AlexandraHope
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:43 am

Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby AlexandraHope » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:55 am

I've posted a similar topic before, but I feel like this board can give me more detailed and better answers.

About me:

African American female
single parent home- low middle class
mom:teacher
dad:retired doctor (had a stroke when I was 7 paralyzed from the waste down)
Big community leader before stroke; but I was his "Hidden Child"
Very little contact, abandoned my mom before I was born


Do you think I could get a diversity statement out of my dad? Would it be too much since as of right now i'm leaning towards writing my personal statement on my illiterate grandfather and how he really didn't understand his rights so he was cheated and the effects that had on my family after his death ?

I really just haven't had a hard life or a good life changing experience. I'm studying in France now and I'm learning about the culture and stuff. So maybe after these 8 weeks something life changing will happen.

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Whnlifegvsulmns
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby Whnlifegvsulmns » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:19 pm

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Last edited by Whnlifegvsulmns on Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlexandraHope
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:43 am

Re: Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby AlexandraHope » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:54 pm

Whnlifegvsulmns wrote:
AlexandraHope wrote:I've posted a similar topic before, but I feel like this board can give me more detailed and better answers.

About me:

African American female
single parent home- low middle class
mom:teacher
dad:retired doctor (had a stroke when I was 7 paralyzed from the waste down)
Big community leader before stroke; but I was his "Hidden Child"
Very little contact, abandoned my mom before I was born


Do you think I could get a diversity statement out of my dad? Would it be too much since as of right now i'm leaning towards writing my personal statement on my illiterate grandfather and how he really didn't understand his rights so he was cheated and the effects that had on my family after his death ?

I really just haven't had a hard life or a good life changing experience. I'm studying in France now and I'm learning about the culture and stuff. So maybe after these 8 weeks something life changing will happen.


Looking at some of your other posts, it seems like you are really concerned with writing a personal statement that makes you look like you have struggled throughout your life. Especially when your phrasing is as bolded above. It feels like you are not really immersing yourself in your thoughts on a topic, but rather are throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks (which isn't necessarily the wrong way to go about it). Not everybody is presented with great adversity that they have to overcome. I think, unless it is very well written, that your illiterate grandfather would be a story about his hardships, related to your family hardships and not necessarily how you overcame that (1-2 pages seems short to get 3 generations appropriately expressed; and a grandfather, depending upon family dynamics, could be a bit far removed from the idea of a "personal" statement). Though, like I mentioned previously, if properly written it could definitely lend itself to a "why law school" statement or could work for your personal statement with the same condition.

Essentially, you don't have to have struggled to be able to write a good personal statement. If you googled "law school personal statement", you'd come up with numerous articles and blog posts that state this outright. Thousands of people apply to law school each year. Not everyone can have hardships. However, everyone does have something about them that makes them different from the average applicant or can make them the perfect fit for the law school(s) to which they are applying. Think of things about yourself that make you special, different, or skilled in some way that would stand out to the ad comm. It doesn't have to be as a result of family issues. I would advise (and this is just my opinion), to not gear your personal statement to "woe-is-me" yet have references in the remainder of your application to study abroad in France or other, seemingly cushy, benefits of a decent upbringing. It may make you seem disingenuous (of course, there are conditionals to this, but if you use your brain I'm sure you'll be fine).



Thank you for the advice. I'm working on ideas for my diversity statement now, I've had several ideas tossed around from my personal statements in my inbox.
I'm way closer to my grandfather, compared to my dad.

I don't want to go for a woe it's me. Because honestly, besides my father abandoning my mom and I, I've had a very sheltered and picturesque life, my only focus was school-even now. Of course, I went through a rebellious period and battled depression ( nothing happened family history of it) but other than that, my life is pretty normal.

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Whnlifegvsulmns
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby Whnlifegvsulmns » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:04 pm

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Last edited by Whnlifegvsulmns on Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlexandraHope
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:43 am

Re: Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby AlexandraHope » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:50 am

Whnlifegvsulmns wrote:
AlexandraHope wrote:

Thank you for the advice. I'm working on ideas for my diversity statement now, I've had several ideas tossed around from my personal statements in my inbox.
I'm way closer to my grandfather, compared to my dad.

I don't want to go for a woe it's me. Because honestly, besides my father abandoning my mom and I, I've had a very sheltered and picturesque life, my only focus was school-even now. Of course, I went through a rebellious period and battled depression ( nothing happened family history of it) but other than that, my life is pretty normal.


And that's fine for your life to be normal. There's no way ad comms can expect the 3k+ applicants that they receive each year to all have some sort of hardship. I struggled with PS ideas because I felt the "woe is me, my life is normal". But then I realized that there are things that I do that are interesting in a number of ways. So my personal statement is focused on things that I enjoy doing and how my preparation in them can reflect my ability to succeed in LS. I have read a couple of posts on here where ad comm members/deans state that the worst thing you can do in a PS is have poor writing (and not necessarily a bad story, but poor grammar, lots of cliches, etc.). The PS just gives them insight into you as an individual to add personality to the numbers. Some experiences do get a boost, but a lack of experiences doesn't necessarily undercut your application if you have solidly expressed interests and skills that can allow you success in LS.

I'm not looking for help with my PS...... I'm looking for help with my diversity statement

User avatar
Whnlifegvsulmns
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby Whnlifegvsulmns » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:30 am

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Last edited by Whnlifegvsulmns on Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlexandraHope
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:43 am

Re: Can somebody help me with a diversity statement topic?

Postby AlexandraHope » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:32 am

Whnlifegvsulmns wrote:
AlexandraHope wrote:
I'm not looking for help with my PS...... I'm looking for help with my diversity statement


Ahhh yes...And now I'm nervous about my performance on June RC...My apologies. Please ignore any advice I have given; I'm going to crawl into a hole for the next few weeks until scores come out.


I'm sure you did fine on your RC! I'll take your advice when it comes to my PS :)




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