silenttimer wrote:I always thought it was a little off-putting when folks ask whether they are URM. To me at least, you should know whether or not you are URM just by living your life, as it is an mistakable experience. What are your thoughts?
I don't know that there's one specific experience that defines the category as understood by adcomms.
I get your point overall - I would word it more like if someone has never identified as a member of a particular group before law school, they probably shouldn't ask if they are a member of that group for admissions purposes - but URM means "underrepresented minority," meaning that the group is under represented in law schools compared to its representation in the general population. That's not always clear.
For instance, Asian Americans are a minority of the US population but not underrepresented in law schools. But someone who, say, is first-generation Hmong living in a crappy part of the Twin Cities is going to have had a very different life experience from, say, an UMC AA kid from Westchester. To be clear, I am *not* commenting on whether either should get a URM boost, and I am *not* saying that one or the other isn't "really" a URM because of their life experiences. My point is that URM is about identity, not life experience.
Diversity is a slightly different concept from URM for admissions purposes.