Diversity Statement Writer's Block

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Diversity Statement Writer's Block

Postby 20171lhopeful » Mon May 30, 2016 11:18 am

Hi everyone,

I posted this in the DS thread, but there are very few recent comments on that, so I wanted to also start a new thread.

I'm having a difficult time writing my DS, and I think it's because my PS focuses on elements that are normally in a DS. As I understand it, the DS is supposed to discuss how my background and experiences will contribute to dynamic of the law school. In my PS, I write about teaching abroad in my parent's home country, and the difficulties I encountered. It describes my determination, perseverance and why I want to go to law school. My interest in public interest/human rights directly stems from my experience abroad and growing up as a first generation American. Now I don't know what to discuss in my DS. I'm a first generation american black female from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, but I don't know how to write about that without sounding whiny and repetitive.

Has anyone else had similar difficulties with the DS? Should I still write a DS even if my PS has a "diversity" aspect to it? And how does one avoid seem cliche and avoid writing an "adversity" statement as opposed to a diversity statement? Are there any resources that people have used and found helpful?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Diversity Statement Writer's Block

Postby MixtapeFellThrough » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:40 pm

Well it was definitely smart of you to get started on thinking about / writing your two essays now; I'm sure you'll have wonderful pieces by the time October rolls around. I'm by no means an authority on personal statements, but I'll try and give some help and hopefully spur more discussion or advice. (On that note, it would probably be helpful for those who are essentially done with their cycles to revive the DS thread. Maybe it would be possible to post them anonymously? I'm not sure how it works, but I'd be more than willing to share mine as I found the thread helpful when writing my own.)

Anyways, I found Asha's advice to be helpful when trying to write a DS, because I think viewing a DS as some statement of how you can contribute to the law school or community makes it a lot harder to write. I think it's helpful to view your application as a whole, and then view each part of it as another statement that makes up the narrative that you give to admissions committees. To that end, I would say that it's not a bad thing if both of your essays have a diversity aspect -- mine did. Besides, I think it's pretty understandable that your background or upbringing would have some bearing on who you are and it's not unreasonable to expect that to show in your essays. As long as the focus in your PS is on you and your motivations/goals/what have you and you're not treading the same exact ground in your DS (see Asha's post re: avoiding redundancy), I think you'll be fine.

It seems to me like you have a lot of experiences from which you could draw for an interesting DS, though. I won't tell you what to write about, but I'm personally curious to know more about you that I would imagine isn't covered by your PS: What it's like growing up as a first generation black female here? Or a black female here in general? Why did you decide to teach abroad in your parents' home country? Anything that you can write about that would give adcomms a better sense of who you are is something you could write about. (Writing about how your background has shaped who you are now will probably help it sound less like an adversity statement, though I personally don't think something genuinely written would -- could? -- come off as whiny.)

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