Diversity statement ideas -AA female

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Lalalsat96
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Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:38 am

As my junior year winds down i wondering if anyone hosom advice about diversity statements and personal statements. Where do I begin this summer?

For personal statements- It seems every uses anecdotes or narratives of their lives for why they want to attend law school. Is this the way to approach this?

For Diversity statements- what are these really? I haven't been through adversity but I also don't know how being AA female brings diversity to education other than my prescence itself- i am from the suburbs and no unique upbringing so adversity will have to be about my race except I only can attest to micro agressions. Can someone point me in the right direction to begin my application essays?

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Mr_Chukes
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Mr_Chukes » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:08 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:As my junior year winds down i wondering if anyone hosom advice about diversity statements and personal statements. Where do I begin this summer?

For personal statements- It seems every uses anecdotes or narratives of their lives for why they want to attend law school. Is this the way to approach this?

For Diversity statements- what are these really? I haven't been through adversity but I also don't know how being AA female brings diversity to education other than my prescence itself- i am from the suburbs and no unique upbringing so adversity will have to be about my race except I only can attest to micro agressions. Can someone point me in the right direction to begin my application essays?

Connect your story to something that you're passionate about. For example I connected my love of philosophy.

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Americanengine
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Americanengine » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:42 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:As my junior year winds down i wondering if anyone hosom advice about diversity statements and personal statements. Where do I begin this summer?

For personal statements- It seems every uses anecdotes or narratives of their lives for why they want to attend law school. Is this the way to approach this?

For Diversity statements- what are these really? I haven't been through adversity but I also don't know how being AA female brings diversity to education other than my prescence itself- i am from the suburbs and no unique upbringing so adversity will have to be about my race except I only can attest to micro agressions. Can someone point me in the right direction to begin my application essays?


Diversity statements are more about perspective rather than adversity. A diversity statement does not necessary need to focus on race relations--rather, your self-identified race will be the subtext that will complement your narrative. The fact that you are an URM is established when you self-identify. Falsely identifying with ethnic themes (because you think you will get URM points), has the potential of coming off as inauthentic and will place the sincerity of your application in doubt.

That said, I would address the diversity statement with an event/realization that is unique to you (not necessary race related). Let your personal statement (why you want to be a lawyer) and your biological information add depth to your diversity narrative. If each of your documents can stand on their own merit, yet become more potent when combined, then you have something special. But what do i know. 8)

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zot1
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby zot1 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:56 pm

Personal statements should always have a connection to why you want to go to law school/become a lawyer (as sometimes they are different things).

As to diversity, your race is different from your socio-economic status (even though sometimes they correlate and people assume one equals the other). Sure you've had some experiences in your life that were unique to you because of your minority status.

Lalalsat96
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:02 pm

I just want to clarify I would never write a statementa faking adversity that just would not happen I would rather not write a DS.

Thank you for both your comments I think I will have to brainstorm some experiences and describe how they make me diverse to the law school community. I know why I want to be a lawyer not sure why I want to go to law school outside of this however.

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zot1
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby zot1 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:08 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:I just want to clarify I would never write a statementa faking adversity that just would not happen I would rather not write a DS.

Thank you for both your comments I think I will have to brainstorm some experiences and describe how they make me diverse to the law school community. I know why I want to be a lawyer not sure why I want to go to law school outside of this however.


You don't need to address both, just one or the other. If you want to be a lawyer for x reason, then it's obvious you have to go to law school for it.

Some people just want to go to law school for professional development, or because of their business enterprises, etc.

Lalalsat96
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:08 am

zot1 wrote:
You don't need to address both, just one or the other. If you want to be a lawyer for x reason, then it's obvious you have to go to law school for it.

Some people just want to go to law school for professional development, or because of their business enterprises, etc.


Thank you!

One last question- is it a completely bad idea to write in my PS i want to help people and serve communities? I seen a lot of adversion to this on forums for a reason to want to go to law school but its true. I have a good amount of constituent WE and i feel like being a lawyer would be the next step in my career aims.(i.e. I liked what the attorneys were doing better). Is this a good angle or something admissions detest because they read about a lot of students who want to save and service the community

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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:09 am

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Last edited by Lalalsat96 on Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TripleM
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby TripleM » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:03 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:
zot1 wrote:
You don't need to address both, just one or the other. If you want to be a lawyer for x reason, then it's obvious you have to go to law school for it.

Some people just want to go to law school for professional development, or because of their business enterprises, etc.


Thank you!

One last question- is it a completely bad idea to write in my PS i want to help people and serve communities? I seen a lot of adversion to this on forums for a reason to want to go to law school but its true. I have a good amount of constituent WE and i feel like being a lawyer would be the next step in my career aims.(i.e. I liked what the attorneys were doing better). Is this a good angle or something admissions detest because they read about a lot of students who want to save and service the community


I don't think it's a bad idea, but I'd only do so if you can be somewhat specific. For example, my personal statement had to do with how my family once fled racial violence in the south and then years later I was able to help elect the first black president. I tied that into my interest in practicing civil rights law focused on voting rights and congressional redistricting.

So yes, I did mention wanting to help the world. But I did so in a way that was specific to myself and my personal statement. It was also clearly tied what inspired me to pursue the law with specific things I wanted to do afterwards. I don't think it has to be quite so neat and tidy, but I do think it needs to have some degree of specificity in terms of relating to your story. Just saying you want to do good does nothing to help you stand out. Many applicants say they want to do good, so take a number. Rather than simply writing that you want to help, write about what experience(s) have brought you to that point.

Since my PS made it obvious that I was AA and addressed how that had influenced my path, I didn't repeat that in the diversity statement. My DS focused on how I'm old AF and have a really unusual/blue collar work background.

I saw the two pieces, PS and DS, as being complimentary. Rather than have them duplicate information I tried to address different aspects of who I am in each so that, together, they formed a bigger picture.

Also, read carefully the posts above that address the DS. It's not necessarily about something you overcame (then it would be called an "adversity statement"). It's about how experiences you've had make you unique. Does the fact that you grew up AA in a suburb that (presumably) isn't give you a different way of seeing the world than the typical law school student? If so, how? If not, are there other aspects of who you are that might? How will a class discussion be different for your presence?

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zot1
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby zot1 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:17 pm

I second the above. Helping your community is great but why through law? Anyone can volunteer at a phone bank, become a field organizer, etc... why law school to meet your goals?

Lalalsat96
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:41 pm

zot1 wrote:I second the above. Helping your community is great but why through law? Anyone can volunteer at a phone bank, become a field organizer, etc... why law school to meet your goals?


is it fair to say the law provides with a unique skill set to advocate on behalf of others - like speaking/translating another language?

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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby AlbertParsons » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:57 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:
zot1 wrote:I second the above. Helping your community is great but why through law? Anyone can volunteer at a phone bank, become a field organizer, etc... why law school to meet your goals?


is it fair to say the law provides with a unique skill set to advocate on behalf of others - like speaking/translating another language?


I think a good way to approach it would be through the lens of a personal experience. Use that as a vehicle to tie your statement together. The above gives a good example of working on obamas campaign and family history as fueling a drive to become a lawyer and work on redistricting. And be authentic to your experience. People can suss out BS

Lalalsat96
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:07 pm

AlbertParsons wrote:
Lalalsat96 wrote:
zot1 wrote:I second the above. Helping your community is great but why through law? Anyone can volunteer at a phone bank, become a field organizer, etc... why law school to meet your goals?


is it fair to say the law provides with a unique skill set to advocate on behalf of others - like speaking/translating another language?


I think a good way to approach it would be through the lens of a personal experience. Use that as a vehicle to tie your statement together. The above gives a good example of working on obamas campaign and family history as fueling a drive to become a lawyer and work on redistricting. And be authentic to your experience. People can suss out BS


This actually does make sense. I just need to research more about lawyer-specific things that relate to my work experience since I have no clue how to write this yet since a lot of my interests/WE are in policy rather than lawyering haha. THANK YOU!

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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Drea » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:36 pm

For what it's worth, I would just add that you shouldn't feel like you have to write a diversity statement just because you're a diverse applicant. Generally, I'd say most URMs do and should write one. But if your personal statement deals very much with your identity, it might be redundant/overkill to write a DS. That was the case for me, so I didn't write one and things worked out well. Although, if you have more than one aspect of your identity that makes you diverse—like being a person of color and LGBT, for example—and you only deal with one in your PS, you can use your DS for the other. Essentially, the PS and DS can go a lot of different ways and there's no one right way to do it.

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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:43 pm

Drea wrote:For what it's worth, I would just add that you shouldn't feel like you have to write a diversity statement just because you're a diverse applicant. Generally, I'd say most URMs do and should write one. But if your personal statement deals very much with your identity, it might be redundant/overkill to write a DS. That was the case for me, so I didn't write one and things worked out well. Although, if you have more than one aspect of your identity that makes you diverse—like being a person of color and LGBT, for example—and you only deal with one in your PS, you can use your DS for the other. Essentially, the PS and DS can go a lot of different ways and there's no one right way to do it.


I pretty much just have AA female undergrad and was intending on just writing about work experience and how it led me to law school. Although I didnt write my PS yet so I could very well incorporate my diversity in to my outline. Thank You!

smilingorch
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby smilingorch » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:47 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:As my junior year winds down i wondering if anyone hosom advice about diversity statements and personal statements. Where do I begin this summer?

For personal statements- It seems every uses anecdotes or narratives of their lives for why they want to attend law school. Is this the way to approach this?

For Diversity statements- what are these really? I haven't been through adversity but I also don't know how being AA female brings diversity to education other than my prescence itself- i am from the suburbs and no unique upbringing so adversity will have to be about my race except I only can attest to micro agressions. Can someone point me in the right direction to begin my application essays?


I switched things up. I wrote about my race for my personal statement and how I differed from the "norm" (the norm being how other URMs in my area expected me to act...not how White people expected me to act), and how I am working to help URMs in my community change their perspective. In my diversity statement, I wrote about my healthcare background and how it provided me with a diverse perspective that other students may not have and how I can spur discussion in the classroom and pursue a certain niche field of law because of it.

Saying this to say, you don't necessarily have to address why law in your PS (some applications said you don't have to) but I'd try to touch upon it at some point -- if not in PS, then in diversity statement or a Why X statement.

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TripleM
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby TripleM » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:27 pm

Lalalsat96 wrote:I pretty much just have AA female undergrad and was intending on just writing about work experience and how it led me to law school. Although I didnt write my PS yet so I could very well incorporate my diversity in to my outline. Thank You!

I'm always a fan of going more personal. Unless your work really made an impact on you on a deep personal level, I wouldn't use that. They're going to be reading thousands of apps and you need to stand out. You need to make a personal connection with your personal statement. I'd urge you to really look for a story from your life that is going to stick out in their memories.

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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:16 am

TripleM wrote:I'm always a fan of going more personal. Unless your work really made an impact on you on a deep personal level, I wouldn't use that. They're going to be reading thousands of apps and you need to stand out. You need to make a personal connection with your personal statement. I'd urge you to really look for a story from your life that is going to stick out in their memories.

Haha I really don't know what life experience would lead me to corporate law or government work though, I would have a life experience that would relate to the why law school question except WE or undergrad (perhaps)

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brinicolec
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby brinicolec » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:46 am

Lalalsat96 wrote:
TripleM wrote:I'm always a fan of going more personal. Unless your work really made an impact on you on a deep personal level, I wouldn't use that. They're going to be reading thousands of apps and you need to stand out. You need to make a personal connection with your personal statement. I'd urge you to really look for a story from your life that is going to stick out in their memories.

Haha I really don't know what life experience would lead me to corporate law or government work though, I would have a life experience that would relate to the why law school question except WE or undergrad (perhaps)


Do you want to do corporate/gov't work (which are two very different things, btw) or do you want to service your community? Tbh, I think the reason people have an aversion towards the "I want to service the community" bit is 1) It's kind of a cliche reason without any context and 2) There are MANY ways you can service the community WITHOUT a law degree. In fact, many people would argue you'd be better off not getting a law degree if all you want to do is service the community.

Just based on skimming this thread, I think you need to be careful about being consistent with your message.

I personally didn't address "Why Law" in my personal statement. Technically, not every law school I got accepted into knew "Why Law" because I chose to save that for my Why X statement (don't know if it was the right choice, but I got into a school I'm happy with so good enough for me lol).

Also, regarding writing about work experience, make sure you're not just restating your resume. You want your statements to ADD something to your application, not reiterate something that's already there!

Good luck!

smilingorch
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby smilingorch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:08 am

brinicolec wrote:
Lalalsat96 wrote:
TripleM wrote:I'm always a fan of going more personal. Unless your work really made an impact on you on a deep personal level, I wouldn't use that. They're going to be reading thousands of apps and you need to stand out. You need to make a personal connection with your personal statement. I'd urge you to really look for a story from your life that is going to stick out in their memories.

Haha I really don't know what life experience would lead me to corporate law or government work though, I would have a life experience that would relate to the why law school question except WE or undergrad (perhaps)


Do you want to do corporate/gov't work (which are two very different things, btw) or do you want to service your community? Tbh, I think the reason people have an aversion towards the "I want to service the community" bit is 1) It's kind of a cliche reason without any context and 2) There are MANY ways you can service the community WITHOUT a law degree. In fact, many people would argue you'd be better off not getting a law degree if all you want to do is service the community.

Just based on skimming this thread, I think you need to be careful about being consistent with your message.

I personally didn't address "Why Law" in my personal statement. Technically, not every law school I got accepted into knew "Why Law" because I chose to save that for my Why X statement (don't know if it was the right choice, but I got into a school I'm happy with so good enough for me lol).

Also, regarding writing about work experience, make sure you're not just restating your resume. You want your statements to ADD something to your application, not reiterate something that's already there!

Good luck!


Furthering on brinicolec's sentiment, a lot of schools don't ask for a "why law" type of PS. I know for sure that at least one law school dean (can't remember which one it was but you should peruse the dean advice blogs) suggested not to write a why law type of PS because it's so cliche and they want to read something new. Granted, a few explicitly asked for a why X school/legal field type of statement. It's best to visit each school's website and see what they ask for.

After you take the LSAT, you may eventually get a packet in the mail from Stanford (I did, and I believe a lot of URMs do, but not 100% sure how they decide who to send it to). It has a lot of sample resumes, PS, and DS from accepted minority students. That may be a helpful guide for you.

Lalalsat96
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby Lalalsat96 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:26 am

smilingorch wrote:
Furthering on brinicolec's sentiment, a lot of schools don't ask for a "why law" type of PS. I know for sure that at least one law school dean (can't remember which one it was but you should peruse the dean advice blogs) suggested not to write a why law type of PS because it's so cliche and they want to read something new. Granted, a few explicitly asked for a why X school/legal field type of statement. It's best to visit each school's website and see what they ask for.

After you take the LSAT, you may eventually get a packet in the mail from Stanford (I did, and I believe a lot of URMs do, but not 100% sure how they decide who to send it to). It has a lot of sample resumes, PS, and DS from accepted minority students. That may be a helpful guide for you.


First, thank you all for the comments above you have no idea (or you likely do) how immensely helpful this thread is!

In terms of what I want to do (i think) I would love to work in government- like state level regulatory agencies. I have experience in this so i know I would like it! Open to biglaw but I don't think i am set on partner track or anything bc work/life balance and fear of burnout.

I am applying to stanford so I really hope I receive this packet! In terms of the PS i will have to start brainstorming a life experience unique to me. If you didn't write a why law personal statements, what question do you feel you PS answered? -why/what I would add to the law school community? Or perhaps a statement on who you are as a person that makes you unique?

smilingorch
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Re: Diversity statement ideas -AA female

Postby smilingorch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:14 am

Lalalsat96 wrote:
smilingorch wrote:
Furthering on brinicolec's sentiment, a lot of schools don't ask for a "why law" type of PS. I know for sure that at least one law school dean (can't remember which one it was but you should peruse the dean advice blogs) suggested not to write a why law type of PS because it's so cliche and they want to read something new. Granted, a few explicitly asked for a why X school/legal field type of statement. It's best to visit each school's website and see what they ask for.

After you take the LSAT, you may eventually get a packet in the mail from Stanford (I did, and I believe a lot of URMs do, but not 100% sure how they decide who to send it to). It has a lot of sample resumes, PS, and DS from accepted minority students. That may be a helpful guide for you.


First, thank you all for the comments above you have no idea (or you likely do) how immensely helpful this thread is!

In terms of what I want to do (i think) I would love to work in government- like state level regulatory agencies. I have experience in this so i know I would like it! Open to biglaw but I don't think i am set on partner track or anything bc work/life balance and fear of burnout.

I am applying to stanford so I really hope I receive this packet! In terms of the PS i will have to start brainstorming a life experience unique to me. If you didn't write a why law personal statements, what question do you feel you PS answered? -why/what I would add to the law school community? Or perhaps a statement on who you are as a person that makes you unique?


Basically what makes me unique? I focused on how I was different than other URMs in my small community and how they singled me out for it, but through those experiences, I have learned that there is no gold standard for how a person should think/act/behave. I learned to embrace my unique characteristics and continue to go back to mentor others in my community and set an example for them, and that I think URMs in general will have the power to change how others perceive us once we change how we perceive ourselves. It was very experience based, because I grew up in an area w/ little diversity where other URMs glorified the "hood" lifestyle and crapped on me for wanting something different for myself.

In my admissions letters (with the exception of one), the dean always wrote a little note next to his/her signature commenting on that part of my essay, so I think it made an impact. (Because my GPA and LSAT sure weren't doing me any favors).

That, and start thinking now about who you could ask for LORs. If you're really killing it in a class, take some time to get to know the prof./tell them about your goals or something. Make those connections now so it'll be easier to go back later and say "hey, remember me? Hope everything is great. I need an LOR" :lol: don't actually say it like that but you catch my drift.




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