Too much to say? (URM/LGBT/Unique WE?/Low SES)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tapenade
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:05 pm

Too much to say? (URM/LGBT/Unique WE?/Low SES)

Postby tapenade » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:50 pm

I've read a lot about how the PS should give the admissions committee a clear idea of oneself, including personal details regarding adversity and what might set someone apart. But are there times when you should leave some stuff out?

I'm Hispanic, LGBT, work as an English teacher in South Korea as well as tutor North Korean refugees, am a first generation American, second to finish undergrad/will be first to attend graduate school, and faced a great deal of financial struggles during childhood due to being raised by a young, single mother.

Any one of these aspects of my identity would be suitable to focus on as they are all important to who I am as an applicant. Should I pick one and run with it, or find some way to incorporate them all? How should I decide what belongs in a personal statement versus a diversity statement? I'm having a hard time envisioning how I can give a complete statement on who I am without it turning into a list of what demographics I belong to.

Any advice? Thanks in advance :)

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TexasENG
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Re: Too much to say? (URM/LGBT/Unique WE?/Low SES)

Postby TexasENG » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:58 pm

tapenade wrote:I've read a lot about how the PS should give the admissions committee a clear idea of oneself, including personal details regarding adversity and what might set someone apart. But are there times when you should leave some stuff out?

I'm Hispanic, LGBT, work as an English teacher in South Korea as well as tutor North Korean refugees, am a first generation American, second to finish undergrad/will be first to attend graduate school, and faced a great deal of financial struggles during childhood due to being raised by a young, single mother.

Any one of these aspects of my identity would be suitable to focus on as they are all important to who I am as an applicant. Should I pick one and run with it, or find some way to incorporate them all? How should I decide what belongs in a personal statement versus a diversity statement? I'm having a hard time envisioning how I can give a complete statement on who I am without it turning into a list of what demographics I belong to.

Any advice? Thanks in advance :)


It sounds like you should probably write a PS and a DS. Most (at least T14) schools accept both. You can write each one on a different topic that way neither ends up just being a list of your demographics and you will be able to highlight a few different things that you think are relevant.

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UVA2B
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Too much to say? (URM/LGBT/Unique WE?/Low SES)

Postby UVA2B » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:06 pm

tapenade wrote:I've read a lot about how the PS should give the admissions committee a clear idea of oneself, including personal details regarding adversity and what might set someone apart. But are there times when you should leave some stuff out?

I'm Hispanic, LGBT, work as an English teacher in South Korea as well as tutor North Korean refugees, am a first generation American, second to finish undergrad/will be first to attend graduate school, and faced a great deal of financial struggles during childhood due to being raised by a young, single mother.

Any one of these aspects of my identity would be suitable to focus on as they are all important to who I am as an applicant. Should I pick one and run with it, or find some way to incorporate them all? How should I decide what belongs in a personal statement versus a diversity statement? I'm having a hard time envisioning how I can give a complete statement on who I am without it turning into a list of what demographics I belong to.

Any advice? Thanks in advance :)


You're on the right track in approaching this, but to give a little more insight: don't think about these things as ways you identify yourself. What you want to do with your PS (and ostensibly your DS as well) is give admissions a more robust perspective of what your being to their law school class. This is typically best done by finding an anecdote that typifies one of your strengths or exemplifies what makes you a good candidate for law school. You have a wealth of life experiences that have formed who you are from the sounds of it; now you just need to use a little introspection and figure out what you want an admissions officer to see in you that they won't be able to see in other aspects of your application. Writing about being an ESl teacher isn't sufficient, as an example, because they'll see that on your resume. But crafting a tale about teaching ESL and how it formed who you are, who you want to be, or what interests you in pursuing a legal education would all be excellent topics though when properly done. And you can look at any of your world experiences and do exactly the same thing.

It's all about putting your best foot forward, and really you're the only person who can determine what foot that would be.




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