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Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:46 pm
by fancifulthings
What does "black" mean? Half black? Quarter black?

I'm half Chinese, a quarter black, and a quarter Polish. Am I "black" enough to qualify as URM? I always used to check the "Other" box.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:53 pm
by Pearalegal
fancifulthings wrote:What does "black" mean? Half black? Quarter black?

I'm half Chinese, a quarter black, and a quarter Polish. Am I "black" enough to qualify as URM? I always used to check the "Other" box.



Do you predominately consider yourself to be black?

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:06 pm
by fancifulthings
I don't know. I consider myself to be multi-cultural. I feel really privileged to multiracial actually. So does that make me not the target of the "URM" status?

I mean, self-identification important? I know a lot of people who identify better with cultures that are not their ethnicity.

I'm just confused as to whether I should consider myself a URM for the law school applications[quote][/quote]

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:09 pm
by Pearalegal
fancifulthings wrote:I don't know. I consider myself to be multi-cultural. I feel really privileged to multiracial actually. So does that make me not the target of the "URM" status?

I mean, self-identification important? I know a lot of people who identify better with cultures that are not their ethnicity.

I'm just confused as to whether I should consider myself a URM for the law school applications



There is no rule. If you feel your background and/or cultural experiences make you the type of person the URM boost is intended to benefit, go for it.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:13 pm
by vanwinkle
Pearalegal wrote:
fancifulthings wrote:I don't know. I consider myself to be multi-cultural. I feel really privileged to multiracial actually. So does that make me not the target of the "URM" status?

I mean, self-identification important? I know a lot of people who identify better with cultures that are not their ethnicity.

I'm just confused as to whether I should consider myself a URM for the law school applications



There is no rule. If you feel your background and/or cultural experiences make you the type of person the URM boost is intended to benefit, go for it.


This advice doesn't even make sense. You do not "go for URM status". You do not "check a URM box". You check your ethnicity, and that's it.

URM status is something that schools determine and calculate in based on what you report for your ethnicity, but what you report is your ethnicity, not whether or not you think you deserve URM status. They determine that.

Regarding the question asked above, "whether I should consider myself a URM", a URM is someone who is 1) African-American, 2) Mexican Hispanic, 3) Puerto Rican Hispanic, or 4) Native American. I may be forgetting one, but I believe these are the only types of minorities that are considered officially "under-represented" in academia and therefore given a boost by certain schools. But they are not given a boost by ALL schools, and schools apply the boost differently, so even if you select that ethnicity, it does not guarantee you anything.

If you identify as one of those four racial identities enough that you intend to select that identity on your application, then you can consider that you may be treated as a URM. If you are not one of those four specific identities, then you can still identify as a minority and include arguments that you will add diversity to the school. Those arguments may be effective, but they do not make you a URM.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:17 pm
by Pearalegal
vanwinkle wrote:This advice doesn't even make sense. You do not "go for URM status". You do not "check a URM box". You check your ethnicity, and that's it.

URM status is something that schools determine and calculate in based on what you report for your ethnicity, but what you report is your ethnicity, not whether or not you think you deserve URM status. They determine that.

Regarding the question asked above, "whether I should consider myself a URM", a URM is someone who is 1) African-American, 2) Mexican Hispanic, 3) Puerto Rican Hispanic, or 4) Native American. I may be forgetting one, but I believe these are the only types of minorities that are considered officially "under-represented" in academia and therefore given a boost by certain schools. But they are not given a boost by ALL schools, and schools apply the boost differently, so even if you select that ethnicity, it does not guarantee you anything.

If you identify as one of those four racial identities enough that you intend to select that identity on your application, then you can consider that you may be treated as a URM. If you are not one of those four specific identities, then you can still identify as a minority and include arguments that you will add diversity to the school. Those arguments may be effective, but they do not make you a URM.


Thanks for the rant. I was giving advice to a person who was trying to determine if they identified as one of the races considered a URM and what ethnicity they should select. Give advice based on that, instead of a drawn out definition of what a URM was.

And, also, it is completely choice if you want to identify yourself as a URM, or of any race at all.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:37 pm
by vanwinkle
Pearalegal wrote:And, also, it is completely choice if you want to identify yourself as a URM, or of any race at all.


Again, you're confusing two different things, or at least wording them in a way that's sure to confuse others. It's your choice if you identify as a certain race. You do not "identify yourself as a URM". This is not something you can do. You identify your race, and then the school decides whether they want to consider you a URM or not.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:43 pm
by Pearalegal
vanwinkle wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:And, also, it is completely choice if you want to identify yourself as a URM, or of any race at all.


Again, you're confusing two different things, or at least wording them in a way that's sure to confuse others. It's your choice if you identify as a certain race. You do not "identify yourself as a URM". This is not something you can do. You identify your race, and then the school decides whether they want to consider you a URM or not.



I think you're being nick picky, and anyone knows what I meant. But yes, that is what I meant.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:50 pm
by vanwinkle
Pearalegal wrote:I think you're being nick picky, and anyone knows what I meant. But yes, that is what I meant.


I'll freely admit I'm being nitpicky. But I'm doing it because there are too many people on this board who make that mistake, and even if you weren't, I don't want them to end up making it from reading what you wrote.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:51 pm
by Pearalegal
vanwinkle wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:I think you're being nick picky, and anyone knows what I meant. But yes, that is what I meant.


I'll freely admit I'm being nitpicky. But I'm doing it because there are too many people on this board who make that mistake, and even if you weren't, I don't want them to end up making it from reading what you wrote.


ooooook. also, ick on the misspelling.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:16 pm
by fancifulthings
I do check all three boxes (Asian, Black American, and Caucasian).

But on a couple of applications they have said, do you feel you are an underrepresented minority/nontraditional applicant? Attach a document explaining how this affects your work in law school.

Or something to that effect...

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:27 pm
by Philo38
Look at the way this country has viewed our president.

Half white, maybe a quarter arab quarter black. The point is, the man is less than half black but all you ever here is "black president this" and "black president that" I think the obvious way that this country has decided to go is the following:

You're race is determined soley by the degree of pigment in your skin.

We are VERY culturally sensitive here.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:13 am
by DiggyHopeful
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Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:59 am
by izzytovar
37 yo Native American Male (not federally recognized but was pulled from classes throughout Elementary school in CA for "Indian Education) but also Mexican-American on my father's side. I have always self-identified as Native American but now we run into the sticky realm of "can you prove it." Because of this over the last couple years I have also marked hispanic and Native, if possible. Would all agree that this is the correct way to go?

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:15 am
by t_flores08
DiggyHopeful wrote:So...

Let's say you happen to be central american/south american, speak spanish, and could visually pass as either mexican/puerto rican, what exactly is supposed to stop someone from checking one of those ethnicities?

I mean, obviously if you are white and state on your application that you are black, that will stand out, but I really don't see how any school would be able to make a determination that you are not actually mexican/puerto rican if you are hispanic.


I'm not going to lie, this thought has crossed my mind. I am cuban american myself and I wanted to know how law schools would know the difference between me being Cuban or me being Puerto Rican. Heck, I can't tell the difference between Cubans and Puerto Ricans because we have so many cultural similarities and look the same, lol. But in all honesty, I could not go through with lying on something as serious as law school. Besides finding it morally wrong to lie about one's ethnicity to get a leg up on the competition, I thought "damn, what if they figure it out. I'll be seen as a liar for the rest of my life". I am sure people could get away with it, but I hope that they would have some moral fiber in their bodies that would prevent them from doing this. And who knows, if background checks are ran one day, and papers dont match up, who knows what could happen. This isn't a risk i would want to take, not even for a slightly better chance to getting into a better law school. But that is just me.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:11 pm
by HuckFinn587
Of course it is different for many institutiions, but I just wanted to mention something from my experience in admissions for the benefit of anyone struggling between putting down one URM identity of 'other' because they consider themselves multicultural.
Most URM status candidates are indeed 'multicultural' but it is better for your application to chose the most under represented group you identify with.
If you feel you have a particularly unique background then, like others have suggested, write about how it has affected you in your personal statement.

But I just wanted to emphasize what most institutions do to 'other'; they treat 'other' like you've simply checked 'caucasian.'
So checking that box will do you little to no benefit in most cases.

The more prestigious institutions no doubt will try to be more sensitive to complex affiliations, but to get the greatest benefit from being URM, this is my suggestion.

Regards
-HF

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:08 pm
by jacko
I posted this in another thread but I'm in a similar situation. I'm part AA, but I look white so I don't want to be ridiculed for marking myself as a minority. My grandmother was African American. I don't consider myself a minority so I don't think that I'm going to put it down on my app. However, it would definitely help me out in admissions. What percentage of a minority do you need to be? Half or do you just need to look like the minority?

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:18 pm
by XxSpyKEx
lishi wrote:For Arabs/Indians/Pakistanians/Middle Easterners, for law school purposes you are usually not considered a URM. This is for a variety of reasons. It's most likely not fair, but life isn't fair.


What are the reasons??

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:00 pm
by luke25
i am domincian, is that considered a urm? only 10.9% of domincians hold 4 degrees, which places us third only behind mexican-americans 6.4% and puerto ricans 9.9%

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:05 pm
by Fourpips4
Well I have a very random assortment of pseudo URM things going on, so would I be considered one?:

My father was born and raised in Africa (what is now Zimbabwe) but he isn't "black," he's Indian (as in from Asia).

I'm Indian, but the kicker is I'm gay.

Oh can't I get something?! Or is a decent diversity statement the best I can hope for?

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:47 pm
by vanwinkle
XxSpyKEx wrote:
lishi wrote:For Arabs/Indians/Pakistanians/Middle Easterners, for law school purposes you are usually not considered a URM. This is for a variety of reasons. It's most likely not fair, but life isn't fair.


What are the reasons??


The reason is that "URM" is a specifically defined group of races: Black, Hispanic (Mexican/Puerto Rican), and Native American. Since Arabs are not one of these specifically-defined races, they are not URMs.

The reason that those races are designated URM is that they represent a large portion of the United States population and they are "under-represented" in academic enrollment compared to their overall population numbers. URM boosts attempt to bring those races up to enrollment numbers on par with their percentage of the overall national population.

Fourpips4 wrote:Well I have a very random assortment of pseudo URM things going on, so would I be considered one?:

My father was born and raised in Africa (what is now Zimbabwe) but he isn't "black," he's Indian (as in from Asia).

I'm Indian, but the kicker is I'm gay.

Oh can't I get something?! Or is a decent diversity statement the best I can hope for?


You're not a URM, but you could probably write a respectable Diversity Statement and get some help that way. It won't be as much help as a URM boost but it could definitely help get you into schools where your numbers are on the low end, but not too low to disqualify you altogether from acceptance.

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:49 pm
by James Bond
I'm 25% polish. Polish people are stereotypically dumb. Am I a URM?

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:32 pm
by bostelo
I checked both Caucasian and Native American on LSAC, which I thought law schools pretty much just considered Caucasian (not URM.) However, Michigan sent me a letter talking about my ethnic diversity, and all they offered to Native Americans. I'm not considered a URM, am I?

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:38 pm
by bostelo
bump

Re: Am I a URM???/Is___ race/circumstance considered URM??

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:45 pm
by rx3r
kn6542 wrote:I'm just generally really weird. Am I a URM?


No, weird people are overrepresented in law.