Diversity statement (white male)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
kartelite
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Diversity statement (white male)

Postby kartelite » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:50 pm

Any feedback would be welcome. I'm looking to use something similar to this for a few schools:

As I was preparing my college applications in the fall of [long time ago], I vividly recall the churning
feeling in my stomach as I came up against a part of an application that had me thoroughly stumped – an
essay on how I could contribute to the diversity of the school's student body. As a white male from a
small college town who liked sports, I struggled with what I could say to differentiate myself from the sea
of applicants with similar backgrounds. Today, I would like to take the opportunity to re-answer that same
question by sharing two ways in which my background will contribute to the diversity of [XX] Law
School.

The first way in which I see myself contributing to the diversity of the student body is through the
breadth of my international experience. I have studied or worked in nine foreign countries; I speak both
French and Korean fluently, and have proficiency in other languages as well. When I relocated for five
months to the Seoul office of [investment bank], I was the first junior-level foreign employee to
ever take a position there. Although I had spent nearly two years in Korea before then, the experience of
participating firsthand in Korean business meetings made me realize the extent to which practices and
customs there still differ from those in the west. I believe that my time spent abroad and working in an
international environment has cultivated in me an awareness both of the perspectives and viewpoints held
by others and of the importance of considering the global impact of our decisions and actions.

I believe that my educational and professional background will also help me bring a unique
perspective to the [XX] Law community. My current role involves the application of economic theory
and financial analysis to the resolution of legal questions, and I have spent many hours meeting with both
clients and the profession’s leading lawyers to lend my expertise to the cases on which my team and I
have been engaged. Through my work, I have seen repeatedly the extent to which a strong background in
economics and finance would benefit a lawyer. I am interested in pursuing areas of law where I can draw
upon both my academic and practical experience to contribute in a very real way to solving the challenges
posed by complex financial systems and global markets. I believe that my experience in international
business settings will aid me both in my career objectives as well as help me bring a diverse perspective
and expertise to the classroom at [XX].

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gdane
Posts: 12384
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby gdane » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:55 pm

Sounds like you're rehashing your resume man. Sorry but I just don't see this as being diverse in any way.

Are you still doing this kind of work. If yes it Sounds like you have a sweet gig. Why do you want to give that up to go to law school?

iskim88
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 5:21 am

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby iskim88 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:16 pm

kartelite wrote:Any feedback would be welcome. I'm looking to use something similar to this for a few schools:

As I was preparing my college applications in the fall of [long time ago], I vividly recall the churning
feeling in my stomach as I came up against a part of an application that had me thoroughly stumped – an
essay on how I could contribute to the diversity of the school's student body. As a white male from a
small college town who liked sports, I struggled with what I could say to differentiate myself from the sea
of applicants with similar backgrounds. Today, I would like to take the opportunity to re-answer that same
question by sharing two ways in which my background will contribute to the diversity of [XX] Law
School.

The first way in which I see myself contributing to the diversity of the student body is through the
breadth of my international experience. I have studied or worked in nine foreign countries; I speak both
French and Korean fluently, [/b]and have proficiency in other languages as well. When I relocated for five
months to the Seoul office of [investment bank], I was the first junior-level foreign employee to
ever take a position there. Although I had spent nearly two years in Korea before then, the experience of
participating firsthand in Korean business meetings made me realize the extent to which practices and
customs there still differ from those in the west. I believe that my time spent abroad and working in an
international environment has cultivated in me an awareness both of the perspectives and viewpoints held
by others and of the importance of considering the global impact of our decisions and actions.

I believe that my educational and professional background will also help me bring a unique
perspective to the [XX] Law community. My current role involves the application of economic theory
and financial analysis to the resolution of legal questions, and I have spent many hours meeting with both
clients and the profession’s leading lawyers to lend my expertise to the cases on which my team and I
have been engaged. Through my work, I have seen repeatedly the extent to which a strong background in
economics and finance would benefit a lawyer. I am interested in pursuing areas of law where I can draw
upon both my academic and practical experience to contribute in a very real way to solving the challenges
posed by complex financial systems and global markets. I believe that my experience in international
business settings will aid me both in my career objectives as well as help me bring a diverse perspective
and expertise to the classroom at [XX].




한국말이 어느정도 "fluent" 하신건지 궁금하네요 ㅋㅋ

kartelite
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby kartelite » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:20 am

iskim88 wrote:
kartelite wrote:Any feedback would be welcome. I'm looking to use something similar to this for a few schools:

As I was preparing my college applications in the fall of [long time ago], I vividly recall the churning
feeling in my stomach as I came up against a part of an application that had me thoroughly stumped – an
essay on how I could contribute to the diversity of the school's student body. As a white male from a
small college town who liked sports, I struggled with what I could say to differentiate myself from the sea
of applicants with similar backgrounds. Today, I would like to take the opportunity to re-answer that same
question by sharing two ways in which my background will contribute to the diversity of [XX] Law
School.

The first way in which I see myself contributing to the diversity of the student body is through the
breadth of my international experience. I have studied or worked in nine foreign countries; I speak both
French and Korean fluently, [/b]and have proficiency in other languages as well. When I relocated for five
months to the Seoul office of [investment bank], I was the first junior-level foreign employee to
ever take a position there. Although I had spent nearly two years in Korea before then, the experience of
participating firsthand in Korean business meetings made me realize the extent to which practices and
customs there still differ from those in the west. I believe that my time spent abroad and working in an
international environment has cultivated in me an awareness both of the perspectives and viewpoints held
by others and of the importance of considering the global impact of our decisions and actions.

I believe that my educational and professional background will also help me bring a unique
perspective to the [XX] Law community. My current role involves the application of economic theory
and financial analysis to the resolution of legal questions, and I have spent many hours meeting with both
clients and the profession’s leading lawyers to lend my expertise to the cases on which my team and I
have been engaged. Through my work, I have seen repeatedly the extent to which a strong background in
economics and finance would benefit a lawyer. I am interested in pursuing areas of law where I can draw
upon both my academic and practical experience to contribute in a very real way to solving the challenges
posed by complex financial systems and global markets. I believe that my experience in international
business settings will aid me both in my career objectives as well as help me bring a diverse perspective
and expertise to the classroom at [XX].




한국말이 어느정도 "fluent" 하신건지 궁금하네요 ㅋㅋ


ㅎㅎ 서울대 어학당을 졸업했고 나중에 서울로 다시 돌아가서 은행에서 일했는데...그냥 유창한 편?? ㅋㅋㅋ

kartelite
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby kartelite » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:30 am

gdane wrote:Sounds like you're rehashing your resume man. Sorry but I just don't see this as being diverse in any way.

Are you still doing this kind of work. If yes it Sounds like you have a sweet gig. Why do you want to give that up to go to law school?


Thanks for the feedback. I figured the extensive international experience might bring diversity, and my personal statement is more focused on my motivation for applying.

Also, I guess I'm not elaborating on it in this essay since it's mentioned elsewhere, but I have multiple advanced degrees and years of experience in finance/consulting, so that's the "educational and professional background" to which I'm referring. And one of the things we notice in our work is that often attorneys don't have the finance/quantitative training to thoroughly understand important concepts quickly, or are just so used to approaching it from the "law" side. I've worked on a trading desk, developed the Dodd-Frank regulatory stress testing framework for a large client, done due diligence with tons of clients in the asset management industry - I'm just trying to suggest that I can add a very diverse perspective to the classroom environment.

A top law school (which I'm targeting with 3.8/176) would open doors for certain things I'm interested in doing later. I'm actually interested in cranking out research using quantitative methods to address questions in the legal/regulatory sphere, since I think I bring a unique background for that, and I think academia may be an option. No interest in being a BigLaw associate haha.

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gdane
Posts: 12384
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby gdane » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:45 am

You can give the diversity statement a try, but I think you're reaching. In any case, you have solid numbers. You'll be fine.

Good luck.

xmbeckham
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby xmbeckham » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:08 pm

I think the general consent is that it's better not to include a DS for white males. That'll sound affected. They can see your international experience from your resume, PS, recommendations etc.
you have good numbers and solid work experience. A lack of DS won't disadvantage you.

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ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:24 pm

xmbeckham wrote:I think the general consent is that it's better not to include a DS for white males. That'll sound affected. They can see your international experience from your resume, PS, recommendations etc.


Agreed. "Diversity" in the context of law school applications doesn't include absolutely everything that makes you different from the 'typical' applicant - it's geared toward racial diversity. While it might be possible to write a good DS as a white male, it's also going to be very easy to come across sounding like the white guy who claimed he was "African American" because he was born in Johannesburg.

kartelite
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby kartelite » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:24 am

Hmm..it wasn't really my impression that they're necessarily looking for racial diversity here, since that's something you check on your application.

Here's Stanford's:

While admission to Stanford Law School is based primarily upon superior academic achievement and potential to contribute to the legal profession, the Admissions Committee also regards the diversity of an entering class as important to the school's educational mission. If you would like the committee to consider how factors such as your background, life and work experiences, advanced studies, extracurricular or community activities, culture, socio-economic status, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation would contribute to the diversity of the entering class and hence to your classmates' law school experience, you may describe these factors and their relevance in a separate diversity statement.

I'm 30+ and I would think that my life and work experiences (I was the first non-native to work in my company in Seoul, I speak Korean, and I serve as an expert consultant in financial litigation), and advanced studies (graduate degrees in both math and economics) fall under the scope of their explicit stipulations?

I want to be careful not to impugn the profession, but its no secret that lawyers' financial illiteracy is a big problem when trying to understand what banks and other financial institutions are doing. Whether we're talking trial lawyers or regulators, many just don't have the finance experience or the quantitative background to really understand agents' motivations or the mathematics behind complex products (do a search on "Markopolos/Madoff/SEC" for some riveting stuff). I see this in my work, and most attorneys themselves will readily admit this (this is why people like myself are hired, to fill the gaps). Part of my job is to sit down with attorneys at the nation's top law firms and to help them craft a story using knowledge and analysis of financial markets and products - couldn't someone with this background bring a unique contribution to a class of 22 year olds with no real work experience or advanced studies? This is something that business schools look for, and I think some people with real world experience would contribute to law school and the legal profession as well.

Oh yeah, I'm not doing this for all schools that offer a "diversity" statement, just ones that explicitly mention something like advanced degrees, work experience, or international experience.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:39 pm

Most of what you described falls under "Why I picked the law for a career, and why you should pick me to attend your school", which is what the personal statement is for. If you feel you need to attach a separate diversity statement to get all that stuff in, it makes me wonder what you talked about in your PS.

kcdc1
Posts: 930
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:48 am

Re: Diversity statement (white male)

Postby kcdc1 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:36 pm

I think this is fine, although I would cut out the first paragraph entirely. It's just fluff--it almost seems like you're apologizing for writing a diversity statement.

I am a 30 year old white male with an engineering degree, patent experience and urban teaching experience. I think I would bring ideas and experiences to a student body that others might not, so I put that in a short diversity statement. I don't these statements are only for URM. Just say what you bring to the table from a student body diversity perspective.




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