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Finding a compelling application narrative as a URM

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:10 pm
by diamondlaw21
I've been thinking about the conventional advice to weave a narrative throughout your entire application, and I'm struggling a bit. On one hand, I want my application to be consistent: highlighting the deliberate choices I've made that led me to law school. On the other hand, I can't help but feel that I'm being redundant. Especially as a URM, most of my notable experiences involve race. What are some ways you all have "created a narrative"? Did you choose a specific type of law (ex. environmental) and highlight your commitment to it? Focus on identity?

I would love to hear how others have struck a balance between accurately portraying themselves in their applications while also staying unique/memorable.

Re: Finding a compelling application narrative as a URM

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:32 pm
by lawpotato
When I wrote my diversity statement (AA female), touched on some of the significant moments that happened in my life that led me towards law school and how, despite my circumstances, I was able to succeed in school. I talked about how my background and life experiences sparked an interest in social justice issues/PI work and the moment I realized that I would dedicate my life to working towards finding solutions to the problems that faced my community. I think for URMs, it can often be difficult to strike a balance between trying to stay true to a "theme" woven throughout your application, while still being authentic. For what it's worth, I really think writing a diversity statement which discussed the intersection of my racial identity and my upbringing REALLY helped me outperform my numbers.

Re: Finding a compelling application narrative as a URM

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:53 am
by sfn91
I wrote my PS about why I want to be a lawyer, and a DS about how I think my background can add value to my law school class and equips me to contribute positively to the legal profession. Not sure if it worked though - I think I sounded less passionate than others who've had more successful applications. I didn't want to "lay it on too thick" for fear of coming across as calculating, but maybe I should have just written from the heart.

Re: Finding a compelling application narrative as a URM

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:27 am
by lnsl123
As background, I'm AA male. I did not write a DS. My PS focused on identity.

Honestly, I think showing your authentic self is more important than trying to deliberately weave some narrative. The components of your application should create that narrative when combined, with each containing its own mini-narrative, IMO.

For example, my PS had nothing to do with my resume or my recommendations. However, my resume and recommendations were linked. If I had written about my professional or legal interests in my PS, it may have seemed redundant or it may have enlightened the reader into more specifics about why I'm pursuing law school. But I scrapped that to write something very personal because I thought it important to show a part of myself that wasn't obvious elsewhere and that felt real to me. It was a cathartic experience. So combined, my PS, resume, and recs told a more whole picture of me as an applicant.

So I kind of think the goal should be to get the fullest out of each individual component, whether they connect to each other or not.

Re: Finding a compelling application narrative as a URM

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:34 pm
by sfn91
lnsl123 wrote:So I kind of think the goal should be to get the fullest out of each individual component, whether they connect to each other or not.


This states the goal really, really well.

Re: Finding a compelling application narrative as a URM

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:59 pm
by diamondlaw21
This is exactly the type of feedback I was looking for. Thank you all for sharing!