Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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LesPaul1995
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Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

Postby LesPaul1995 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:41 am

I posted in another thread asking about how some apps can both not list a delineation of Hispanic/Latino (e.g. Puerto Rican) and determine whether or not one is a URM for reporting purposes (absent of a diversity statement) and subsequently deliver a boost, and am posting here for more input from you folks.

On mylsn there is an option “URM, exclude AA” that I presume encompasses PR/MA, in addition to NA as well. Yet, I’m surprised that the URM boost concerning PR/MA is as discussed as much as it is here, that is, unless most schools have on their application an MA/PR option. Other than that, how else would they be able to distinguish and thus report URM status as is discussed on this site? I realize “URM” is at the discretion of the school, but for the sake of URM boosts as discussed on this site, I could see how some schools that delineate between the accepted Hispanic URM’s and those that do not could affect acceptances into said institutions (given the boost.) My assumption then, is that the majority of apps DO have a MA/PR option?

Overall, I could see how this could be problematic, as I know on authority, people validly claiming non-Hispanic, yet claiming Puerto Rican, (given their own unique circumstances) and thus negating both affirmative action when it is warranted and misidentifying.

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ljalba
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Re: Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

Postby ljalba » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:54 pm

This is just my two-cents on race, ethnicity, and my limited understanding of how law schools look at URM statuses. I'm not sure if my input is relevant or in line with your thread.

First and foremost, "race" is a social construct—one impacted by time and region. That's how the U.S. considered individuals of Mexican, Jewish, and Irish heritage—just to name a few—to be of a different "race" at different points in history. Today, for law school applications at least, being Puerto Rican is considered a race. Considering there are black Puerto Ricans and white Puerto Ricans, each who could identify as Hispanic or not if they wanted to, makes this very complex as all colonized histories tend to be.

Does a non-Hispanic Puerto Rican or a white Puerto Rican negate their affirmative action compared to a black Puerto Rican or a Hispanic-identifying Puerto Rican?

Maybe. Maybe not. But personally, I don't think so. I've seen many white Mexican Americans receive the same 'boost' as non-white Mexican Americans regardless of their Hispanic identification.

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LesPaul1995
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Re: Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

Postby LesPaul1995 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:22 pm

ljalba wrote:This is just my two-cents on race, ethnicity, and my limited understanding of how law schools look at URM statuses. I'm not sure if my input is relevant or in line with your thread.

First and foremost, "race" is a social construct—one impacted by time and region. That's how the U.S. considered individuals of Mexican, Jewish, and Irish heritage—just to name a few—to be of a different "race" at different points in history. Today, for law school applications at least, being Puerto Rican is considered a race. Considering there are black Puerto Ricans and white Puerto Ricans, each who could identify as Hispanic or not if they wanted to, makes this very complex as all colonized histories tend to be.

Does a non-Hispanic Puerto Rican or a white Puerto Rican negate their affirmative action compared to a black Puerto Rican or a Hispanic-identifying Puerto Rican?

Maybe. Maybe not. But personally, I don't think so. I've seen many white Mexican Americans receive the same 'boost' as non-white Mexican Americans regardless of their Hispanic identification.


I recognize the context. It sounds like, according to you, there is a PR option for race. According to DoE, Puerto Rican is not even a default race listed as you purport, with only Hispanic/Latino ethnicity available, which I thought is what most schools have chosen to adopt and amend. Thus, if this is the case, how would one whom identifies as PR/MA do so when not given an option in all cases, especially, as stated in the example in my OP, when Hispanic/Latino is not sufficient? They would be forced to misidentify, assuming that there isn’t always an option for PR/MA. You recognize a boost for many MA’s, yet don’t state whether said applicants’ applications had omitted or included an MA/PR option.

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ljalba
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Re: Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

Postby ljalba » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:24 pm

I cannot tell from your post if you've started any applications.

Now, while the DoE may not consider Puerto Rican to be a race—LSAC does. At the same time, ABA Standard 509 Information Reports do not specify MA nor PR and group "Hispanics of any race" in one lump. That's my whole point. Race and ethnicity aren't clear-cut to any of these institutions when it comes to MA, PR, and Hispanics/Latino/a/x. Let alone when applications try to pigeonhole such complex issues into a box.

For example, if you're filling out the BU application, PR is not an option for race. Instead, it's categorized under ethnicity. On the other hand, the Emory application allows you to identify as Hispanic/Latino and then PR as your race. When it comes to URM status regarding Hispanic/Latino, MA, PR identification, these two arbitrary examples should highlight how none of it is streamlined.

No one is forced to misidentify. The whole point that this section is optional is because no one can expect a set of boxes to completely cover the identification of all applicants. If you don't feel the application allows you to properly identify—don't.

Someone's non-Hispanic PR status will not be the make-or-break-it aspect of their application.

Race, ethnicity, and how one chooses to traverse those identifications is ultimately a personal one. It's true, this forum is full of discussions regarding boosts for MA/PR. There is data to support this. However, it's not formulaic at all.

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LesPaul1995
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Re: Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

Postby LesPaul1995 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:58 pm

ljalba wrote:I cannot tell from your post if you've started any applications.

Now, while the DoE may not consider Puerto Rican to be a race—LSAC does. At the same time, ABA Standard 509 Information Reports do not specify MA nor PR and group "Hispanics of any race" in one lump. That's my whole point. Race and ethnicity aren't clear-cut to any of these institutions when it comes to MA, PR, and Hispanics/Latino/a/x. Let alone when applications try to pigeonhole such complex issues into a box.

For example, if you're filling out the BU application, PR is not an option for race. Instead, it's categorized under ethnicity. On the other hand, the Emory application allows you to identify as Hispanic/Latino and then PR as your race. When it comes to URM status regarding Hispanic/Latino, MA, PR identification, these two arbitrary examples should highlight how none of it is streamlined.

No one is forced to misidentify. The whole point that this section is optional is because no one can expect a set of boxes to completely cover the identification of all applicants. If you don't feel the application allows you to properly identify—don't.

Someone's non-Hispanic PR status will not be the make-or-break-it aspect of their application.

Race, ethnicity, and how one chooses to traverse those identifications is ultimately a personal one. It's true, this forum is full of discussions regarding boosts for MA/PR. There is data to support this. However, it's not formulaic at all.


According to the example in my OP then, this would be disconcerting because in any event it would be half true/false with how they identify, and perhaps even present internal ethical issues where on some apps one claims PR, where on others you fail to disclose because there is no option. I guess what is puzzling is that countless times on this forum people claim the only Hispanic/Latino URM’s that get a boost are PR/MA, yet there are some schools (how many is unclear) whom do not give such an option; regardless of whether in the end they become lumped, how would one even know of a boost in this situation?

You’ve elaborated that it’s not a formulaic process, and so perhaps this is why certain schools are more sensitive/sympathetic to particular URM’s given that they provide a specific option. It’s still unclear whether schools receive LSAC information, where you are able to more freely fill out this information, and so whether or not you fail to disclose on a school app for lackthereof a specific URM option it matters or not since it was fulfilled via LSAC.

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ljalba
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Re: Non-Hispanic Puerto Rican

Postby ljalba » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:26 pm

There are many self-identifying MA and PR applicants whose admissions show no clear 'boost.'

One can identify as a non-Hispanic PR in the general LSAC profile. There are many applications where one can identify as non-Hispanic PR. Now, in a given school application where one cannot, then one should forgo the section of that respective application. That section is optional. No one is forced to disclose their racial or ethnic identity or to misidentify.

Regardless of all that, if an individual believes their non-Hispanic PR status should warrant them a 'boost,' the individual should write a DS—imo.

How your data point will show up in the ABA Standard 509 Information Report should not concern you whatsoever.

As you have observed, yes, it is unclear and not straightforward for those who cannot compartmentalize their identity. Similarly, it is unclear and not straightforward how each school evaluates Hispanics/Latina/o/xs, MAs, or PRs.




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