Minority Status?

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Maryam19
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Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:51 pm

Hey everyone,

I would really appreciate some advice. I'm working through my applications for next year's cycle (early, I know), and am stuck in an ethical dilemma. I'm working with a law school admissions adviser, who has suggested for me to apply as identify as African African American on my applications. My mom is 100% Arab, and my father is half Arab, half African American (black). I have always identified myself as "White," given that most applications include the White-North African/Middle Eastern designation. Technically my father is half black, and my adviser suggests this is grounds for me to claim minority status. I have always claimed White, so wouldn't it look akward/deceiving if I decided to apply as African American for law school purposes only? What happens if I decide to just leave the race box empty, and write a diversity statement explaining these circumstances? I don't want to get into any kind of trouble...but then again this adviser as a dean of admissions at a top 30 law school.....does he know what he's talking about? HELP

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Rock Chalk » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:59 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:01 pm

You were born in the USA, correct? If so, I would check African American and then write a diversity statement with basically what you said. I am fairly certain that 1/4 black is black by admissions standards.

scammedhard
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby scammedhard » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:03 pm

If you fit the law school criteria for being African American, then I don't see anything wrong with claiming that you are African American. You are merely playing by the rules that have been given to you, and it is not your fault that there are serious flaws with these rules.
To avoid problems during the C+F, I would talk about your "complex" diversity and situation in a Diversity Statement.

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:09 pm

Thanks Scammedhard. Makes sense. Would the C&F receive a copy of my diversity statement?

scammedhard
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby scammedhard » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:12 pm

Maryam19 wrote:Thanks Scammedhard. Makes sense. Would the C&F receive a copy of my diversity statement?
Yes. They will get your law school application(s).

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:15 pm

My high school transcript, and college applications clearly designate me as White. I still just find this a little risky, but thanks for the suggestion.

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:17 pm

JamMaster, I was born in the USA. Does this make a difference?!

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:18 pm

Maryam19 wrote:JamMaster, I was born in the USA. Does this make a difference?!


No.

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:19 pm

No what?

ptblazer
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby ptblazer » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:20 pm

Having a complicated and diverse background shouldn't get you in trouble with C&F and explaining your situation should avoid any trouble. Mixed raced persons often have difficulty identifying with a specific culture/race, but it doesn't mean they aren't either of those races. And it doesn't change the fact that you are indeed an under represented minority as it is currently defined. My advise is to just do whatever you are comfortable with.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:22 pm

Maryam19 wrote:No what?


It doesn't make a difference if you were born in the US. You can check African American (along with any other boxes that are a part of your ethnicity).

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Thanks guys. I might call ABA on Monday...lol Don't know how to ask this question!?

scammedhard
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby scammedhard » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:37 pm

Maryam19 wrote:Thanks guys. I might call ABA on Monday...lol Don't know how to ask this question!?

The ABA is useless, but, out of curiosity, please tell us what they say. Good luck!

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Ostrizr316
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Ostrizr316 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:40 pm

Being 1/4 of a URM is enough to qualify as that URM if you so choose. Your advisor knows what he is talking about, and is correct that you can and would be benefited by identifying as such. The effect would be similar to adding 5-9 points on your LSAT in some cases.

However, the C+F (character and fitness) section of the bar will look to your law school applications and enrollment in other institutions to see how you've represented yourself. If you were enrolled as 'Caucasian' or 'White' in undergrad and 'African American' or 'Black' in law school that will raise a definite red flag. If you want to apply as black, look to see if you can change your race with your undergraduate school's registrar.

Also, be sure to fill out your law school apps carefully. Some schools allow you to check more than one box for race/ethnicity. Others ask for what your "predominant" race is. Others as for the race that "best describes you." No matter what, be sure to include a diversity statement that fleshes out your background.

Hope this helps.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:56 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:
Maryam19 wrote:No what?


It doesn't make a difference if you were born in the US. You can check African American (along with any other boxes that are a part of your ethnicity).

aren't international students treated differently than american's?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:31 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:
Maryam19 wrote:No what?


It doesn't make a difference if you were born in the US. You can check African American (along with any other boxes that are a part of your ethnicity).

aren't international students treated differently than american's?


Sorry for the lack of clarity. You are born in the US, you can check African American. So JMJ's response was correct.

When the OP said her dad was half AA, I assumed (and probably shouldnt have) that she was a US Citizen/"not-international"

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coldshoulder
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby coldshoulder » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:44 pm

The boost in admissions is completely worth it. Do it, then write a diversity statement about how you've came to identify with your AA roots through college.

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:13 pm

Thanks everyone, really appreciate all of the advice.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun May 01, 2011 2:13 am

coldshoulder wrote:The boost in admissions is completely worth it. Do it, then write a diversity statement about how you've came to identify with your AA roots through college.


but what if the OP doesn't?

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powerlawyer06
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby powerlawyer06 » Sun May 01, 2011 2:33 am

I have posted this before but it rings true here.

If you don't identify with the culture and you haven't had to deal with cultural stigma because you don't appear to be of this minority group then you should not put it down. If you have to ask then you are not a minortiy.

/thread

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun May 01, 2011 2:57 am

powerlawyer06 wrote:I have posted this before but it rings true here.

If you don't identify with the culture and you haven't had to deal with cultural stigma because you don't appear to be of this minority group then you should not put it down. If you have to ask then you are not a minortiy.

/thread


I'm not sure if I can speak to what other people do or should do but I can give my personal experience. My grandmother on my mother's side is 3/4 native american (her mother was native american and her father was half black half native american). Whereas my grandmother on my father's side is half native american. So I guess that makes a significant part of my heritage native american technically. I have never associated with that part of my background and have always percieved my self as only black. I grew up in a city far away from my NA relatives. If you saw me I'm not sure you'd think I was native american and I don't really have many traditional NA features (except wavy hair sometimes). I would not feel right putting down NA because I have never been apart of that part of my heritage. Although I'm not sure if my way way is right, sometimes I wonder if I'm disregarding my NA ancestors by not acknowledging that part of my past on applications.... But the truth is if I disregarded them for most of my life I'm not going to start embracing them to help me get into law school. Just my .02

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powerlawyer06
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby powerlawyer06 » Sun May 01, 2011 3:14 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:
powerlawyer06 wrote:I have posted this before but it rings true here.

If you don't identify with the culture and you haven't had to deal with cultural stigma because you don't appear to be of this minority group then you should not put it down. If you have to ask then you are not a minortiy.

/thread


I'm not sure if I can speak to what other people do or should do but I can give my personal experience. My grandmother on my mother's side is 3/4 native american (her mother was native american and her father was half black half native american). Whereas my grandmother on my father's side is half native american. So I guess that makes a significant part of my heritage native american technically. I have never associated with that part of my background and have always percieved my self as only black. I grew up in a city far away from my NA relatives. If you saw me I'm not sure you'd think I was native american and I don't really have many traditional NA features (except wavy hair sometimes). I would not feel right putting down NA because I have never been apart of that part of my heritage. Although I'm not sure if my way way is right, sometimes I wonder if I'm disregarding my NA ancestors by not acknowledging that part of my past on applications.... But the truth is if I disregarded them for most of my life I'm not going to start embracing them to help me get into law school. Just my .02


Thank you for posting this. Sometimes I feel like people abuse the NA urm status. I personally am half NA and half mexican but I am a full member of my tribe and I grew up in the culture and traditions of my tribe. I definitely rebeled agaist that part of my heritage for awhile but several years ago I started volunteering with the social services division of my tribe. Now I am involved enough too fully understand the economic, social, and societal issues that plague my tribe and certain parts of the NA community. I find it detestable that people would claim to be NA in order to get into law school but do nothing to give back to the culture and people they are supposedly claiming to be a part of. If you claim NA (no matter what the percentage) you should be able to understand and fully identify with that culture.

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:32 am

That's true. These are all valid points. Fortunately, I have identified with this part of my heritage. I just never thought being a quarter of a race would qualify as claiming the race as a whole. Racial profiliing has definitely affected my father (who reflects his race), which in turn has affected me. I have already acknowledged that I have not faced the social stigma typical of African Americans in the US, which is why I posted this thread. I just wanted feedback based on what my adviser has suggested for me to do. These are just the rules...

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:36 am

Also, I wouldn't say I "disregarded" any portion of my heritage. As people get older, they change, and start reevaluating their life and a lot of times, their heritage. If you have "disregarded" them for 20 something years, then come to learn that this really is an active part of your life, and maybe has been your whole life, why not start embracing it now?




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