URM - Checking off the box

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
FutureLawyerNY

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URM - Checking off the box

Postby FutureLawyerNY » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:55 pm

I was always told that I was Puerto Rican. When filling out applications in the past, I never knew what race to check off, but always answered yes to the question: Are you Hispanic or Latino?

I recently took a 23andMe DNA test and learned that I am 23% Sub-Saharan African. I know that I am Black/African American, but I want to know if checking off the box now for the LSAT, LSAC, and law school applications would raise red flags? I've heard of character and fitness issues being raised in the future for some people who have not previously identified as a race.

While I have not identified as African American in the past, learning that my grandfather is Black makes me think I should not question my decision to identify as such on my applications. If anyone can provide knowledge, I would appreciate it!

QContinuum

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Re: URM - Checking off the box

Postby QContinuum » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:03 pm

You should be honest. If you don't self-identify as African-American, you should not identify yourself as African-American for law school admissions purposes. Since you are (part) Puerto Rican and self-identify as Puerto Rican, you should identify yourself as Puerto Rican for law school admissions purposes.

cavalier1138

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Re: URM - Checking off the box

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:04 am

QContinuum wrote:You should be honest. If you don't self-identify as African-American, you should not identify yourself as African-American for law school admissions purposes. Since you are (part) Puerto Rican and self-identify as Puerto Rican, you should identify yourself as Puerto Rican for law school admissions purposes.


This.

I'd also be very, very, very cautious about using one of those "ancestry kits" to actually determine ethnicity. If one of your grandparents didn't actually identify as African American, then it doesn't matter that the DNA kit shows you have "African DNA." DNA doesn't really work that way, and those kits shouldn't be used to determine anything other than the broadest information about human migration patterns over the ages. Short version: there is no such thing as "black" DNA.



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