Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
wrstroud
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:19 pm

Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

Postby wrstroud » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:49 pm

I am part of a middle-class family with three siblings, but my childhood was not conventional. My parents disagreed with each other fundamentally on almost every issue, so my upbringing was marked by incongruous boundaries and discipline. Their divorce was characterized by court battles and custody disagreements. My mother obtained a court order that prevented my father from seeing my two younger siblings for almost an entire year. There were many aspects of the divorce that greatly impacted my self-confidence. My acceptance of the failure of their relationship and not the failure of our family took many years, not until I had spent several months abroad.
My stay in Belgium was more than an academic journey. I felt as though I was immersed in the culture of Belgium rather than a tourist. I was welcomed into the home of a former member of European Parliament, who ended up being much more than a host, she was like a surrogate mother to me. She is the sole reason I came to know Brussels so well. I was taught the customs, traditions, and values of a culture I was unfamiliar with. I was an intern at a law firm that specializes in comparative law, which was a journey in and of itself. The attorney I reported to was an equally important mentor who influenced my decision to pursue a career in law.
I also learned about myself and the volatility of relationships. For the majority of my life, I was successful in hiding my sexuality from anyone but my best friend. I came from a background that viewed homosexuality as taboo. I was steadfastly afraid to cut through that social barrier. I remember one classmate in high school brave enough to come out. After witnessing the public shaming he received and his newfound status as a pariah, I chose to remain silent in my struggle. Outwardly, I was a rigidly straight individual, falling in line with the expectations around me. Yet it was unbearable to lead two lives. I was conflicted—I felt like I was wrong, and I could be “fixed” by denying my true identity. I gained a friend that became much more than a companion. Our relationship helped me to become proud of who I am. I recognized that my well-being relied on accepting a single identity—one as a gay man. A connection was made that lived on past my departure, and remains a close friendship even though we live worlds apart.
When I returned home, I brought with me a renewed sense of worth, a greater understanding of others, and a new viewpoint on human nature.

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dnptan
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:33 pm

Re: Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

Postby dnptan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:52 pm

Trying to do too much IMO. You jump from one thing to another. Remember besides showing off your diversity, you also have to show off your competence as a writer - this includes clarity.

wrstroud
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:19 pm

Re: Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

Postby wrstroud » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:04 pm

Do you have any pointers on how to make it more cohesive?

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dnptan
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Re: Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

Postby dnptan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:53 pm

wrstroud wrote:Do you have any pointers on how to make it more cohesive?


I would focus on either a narrative which can weave all those elements together (like a short story, or a particular incident). However it may be easier (although admittedly painful) to cull most of it and just elaborate on one issue. Homosexuality+relationships was the most intriguing part for me, but choose your battles.

Would it be helpful if you saw my DS? It's about being a foreign national in the US. It's also a bit longer than regular PSes but may help you write yours. Just note that I most likely have a different style than you do, and my DS is written to compliment the REST of my application.

aviatrixsteff
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:53 pm

Re: Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

Postby aviatrixsteff » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:03 pm

I would change the first sentence. I would not start off by stating how you are normal, but you are not.

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dnptan
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Re: Diversity Statement-critique please- any comment appreciated

Postby dnptan » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:36 pm

As per request:

--LinkRemoved--

Hope this helps.

Edit:

In response to a PM (Is 2 pages too long?) - there is no established DS length. If you think your DS warrants 2 pages, just go for it. However, if you have a standard DS (Immigration, coming out of the closet, poverty, cancer/illness*) then 1 page should be sufficient, unless of course there was something unique in your case (Esp. applicable to cancer).

*DISCLAIMER: NOT TRIVIALIZING ANY OF THESE, THEY JUST TEND TO BE COMMON TOPICS FOR DS AND FOR GOOD REASON




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