Diversity Statement-- too much of an essay?

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Burne182
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Diversity Statement-- too much of an essay?

Postby Burne182 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:10 am

I am looking to submit a diversity statement for being a college athlete, serving in the military, and (this one's questionable) having my master's prior to starting law school. Any feedback, both on writing and content, would be greatly appreciated!



I believe I bring a diverse perspective to XXXXXXX and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to illustrate that.

First and foremost, as a Division I basketball player, I had to learn to manage my time and prioritize my commitments. Balancing evening practice, lunch meetings, mid-day workouts, games and road trips with everyday midshipman military obligations and, most of all, the academic rigor of a service academy tested my work ethic and resolve. Though I know my grade point average would be higher without college basketball, my character is much stronger having experienced it.

Although my Naval Academy transcripts reflect academic struggle, I am currently completing a Masters of Arts degree from Old Dominion University. I work full time and maintain a full course load, honing my time management abilities while balancing my life as a newlywed. I am a far better student at 27 than I was at 20 and have furthered my education, study skills, and research capabilities since leaving Annapolis.

Finally, as an active duty Naval Officer I understand leadership, service, and discipline. For my first tour I led a division of engineers on the USS Tortuga stationed in Sasebo, Japan. I excelled as a division officer, qualifying for every watch station well ahead of my peers and receiving the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for my actions. Upon returning to America after my tour in Japan, I was abruptly confronted with the harsh reality of military life when our country is at war.

I was slated to serve on an amphibious squadron staff based out of Norfolk, Virginia when my Commodore informed me that I had been assigned to an Individual Augment tour in Baghdad, Iraq. I lead eighteen men and two women, many older and with more experience than I, in difficult and often terrifying times living and running convoys in a combat zone. Living in a warzone and finding a path towards peace of mind taught me more about stress management and perspective than I could have learned anywhere else in the world. Looking back on the times I was overwhelmed by such trivial factors in my life, I am not entirely embarrassed of my naivety and immaturity but rather proud of the personal growth that is evident just a few years after graduation. For my actions in combat, I was awarded the Combat Action Badge and an Army Commendation Medal.

Please believe me when I tell you that I am neither my grade point nor my LSAT. I believe I will bring unique perspective and experience to XXXXXXX if I am granted the opportunity.

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Cobretti
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Diversity Statement-- too much of an essay?

Postby Cobretti » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:20 pm

I don't think this addresses the point of a diversity statement, which is how you will bring a unique perspective to your class that otherwise wouldn't be there.

You talk about how your background has given you time management, work ethic, resolve, medals, stress management, etc. Its kind of a resume dump. Your talk about being deployed is good, and is probably the only part of this that belongs in a diversity statement. As a veteran myself I'm also toying with the idea of writing one based on my deployment experience (and pre-law grad degree actually), but I'm still not 100% sold on the idea. So you should re-write this and sell me on the idea to do one of my own!

I'd try re-writing with the implicit focus on "How I would bring a unique perspective to your student body that otherwise wouldn't be there".

Burne182
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Re: Diversity Statement-- too much of an essay?

Postby Burne182 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:28 pm

mrizza wrote:I don't think this addresses the point of a diversity statement, which is how you will bring a unique perspective to your class that otherwise wouldn't be there.

You talk about how your background has given you time management, work ethic, resolve, medals, stress management, etc. Its kind of a resume dump. Your talk about being deployed is good, and is probably the only part of this that belongs in a diversity statement. As a veteran myself I'm also toying with the idea of writing one based on my deployment experience (and pre-law grad degree actually), but I'm still not 100% sold on the idea. So you should re-write this and sell me on the idea to do one of my own!

I'd try re-writing with the implicit focus on "How I would bring a unique perspective to your student body that otherwise wouldn't be there".


Thanks for the input-- that makes sense. I didn't plan on doing a DS but then I watched a KAPLAN admissions webcast with admin officers from UVA/Georgetown/Chicago/Forham and they were reviewing DS about varsity athletes, vets, and extra degrees so I wrote one... Maybe I should reconsider.

And good luck!

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Cobretti
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Re: Diversity Statement-- too much of an essay?

Postby Cobretti » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:37 pm

You can still do it. I just think you have to focus on saying what about those things give you an under represented perspective. Talking about how being an athlete gave you determination and time management doesn't really separate you since presumably everyone going to LS has those traits.

There's potential, just needs a new direction.




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