Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

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sanetruth
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Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby sanetruth » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:10 pm

So I've come to realize that 'diversity statement' is a blanket term for statements that schools request if you think that you will in some way enhance the 'diverse atmosphere' at that institution. They also make a point to say that this is not limited to racial or socioeconomic issues. Here are two random diversity statement prompts from two T14's:

"In making admissions decisions, we give consideration, among other things, to diversity factors (including but not limited to racial or ethnic group identification, cultural, linguistic or economic group; sexual orientation; or other factors), obstacles that applicants have overcome, and/or discrimination that you have experienced. If you choose, please submit a separate statement (in addition to the required personal statement) discussing any or all of these issues to the extent they apply to you."

Describe how your background or experiences will contribute to or enhance the diversity of the community (e.g. based on your culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, ideology, age, socioeconomic status, academic background, employment experience, etc.).

However 99% of the diversity statements samples that I see are either about race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. SO, my question is, does my background warrant a diversity statement:

I grew up moving around a lot, I've lived in 2 countries, 4 states, major cities, small towns, rural communities. I have attended large public schools, tiny private schools, international schools. The longest I ever spent living in one place was college. I've also also traveled to over 40 states, and over 25 countries. My experiences moving and travelling have had a large effect on me so I drafted a diversity statement, but then when i started looking at samples I realized mine was not what others would consider 'real diversity'. But it fits the prompts, so what do you think?

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Moomoo2u
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby Moomoo2u » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:13 pm

Yes. Not everyone is an ethnic minority and the diversity statement serves to prove how you are different and how you would make the class more diverse. It's also useful in that you don't have to throw that stuff into your PS if you are writing a DS.

Also consider how it might look if almost everyone is going to be writing one and your application lacks one.

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cinephile
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby cinephile » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:16 pm

If you have some extra time, why not try writing one and posting it here for critique?

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sanetruth
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby sanetruth » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:18 pm

Moomoo2u wrote:Yes. Not everyone is an ethnic minority and the diversity statement serves to prove how you are different and how you would make the class more diverse. It's also useful in that you don't have to throw that stuff into your PS if you are writing a DS.

Also consider how it might look if almost everyone is going to be writing one and your application lacks one.


Well sure, I know i'd LIKE to write a diversity statement, but the question is does my background qualify as diverse? I feel like the only thing worse than not writing a diversity statement is writing one that pales in comparison to all the others or that is just straight up not illustrating any real diversity.

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sanetruth
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby sanetruth » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:45 pm

anyone else have input?

czelede
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby czelede » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:04 pm

I think it comes down to how you present it. In my opinion, a good diversity statement isn't just a "look how diverse I am" essay. If you can show how your out of the ordinary experiences have molded you into an applicant with something unique to contribute, then I'd say you're in good shape.

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TommyK
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby TommyK » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:06 pm

sanetruth wrote:anyone else have input?


Sure - your experience is different - and while being a military brat (my assumption) is far from unique, the experience has given you something different from an experience standpoint. You can argue that you'll be bringing something different to the classroom, which is what they want.

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sanetruth
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby sanetruth » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:12 pm

TommyK wrote:
sanetruth wrote:anyone else have input?


Sure - your experience is different - and while being a military brat (my assumption) is far from unique, the experience has given you something different from an experience standpoint. You can argue that you'll be bringing something different to the classroom, which is what they want.


not a military brat actually, but everyone makes that assumption. so perhaps slightly more unique. anyways, thanks for the input.

dkt4
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby dkt4 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:56 pm

why not just weave this into your PS? i tend to think extra essays are pretty useless if you craft your PS correctly, but i'm sure plenty of folks disagree with me.

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sanetruth
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby sanetruth » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:41 pm

dkt4 wrote:why not just weave this into your PS? i tend to think extra essays are pretty useless if you craft your PS correctly, but i'm sure plenty of folks disagree with me.


My PS is actually on a completely different, and far more interesting, topic. But I think this aspect of my background is important to communicate, so perhaps in this case an extra essay isn't superfluous?

dkt4
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby dkt4 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:21 am

it's hard for me to really speculate since i don't have a clue what your PS will be on, but if you feel it is worth it, there's little harm in writing the DS.

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jdMission
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby jdMission » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:00 am

You can always find something about yourself that will set you apart from others in your law school class and convince the admissions committee that you would be a welcome addition. A few full paragraphs should be enough to make your argument. The importance of highlighting your distinctiveness to an admissions committee has been recently echoed by two elite law schools:


“[Putting together an entering class is] like organizing a choir; we want 270 distinct voices. There are hundreds of similar applicants, but only one of you; so take the opportunity … to let us hear your voice.”

– Edward Tom, Dean of Admissions at UC Berkeley School of Law


“It’s important to us as an institution to have a variety of viewpoints represented in order to foster robust and challenging classroom discussion—to this end, we’re very interested in having ideological diversity in each class.”

– Asha Rangappa, Dean of Admissions at Yale School of Law

Your ability to differentiate is everything!

Sunitha Ramaiah
jdMIssion Consultant

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Yeshia90
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby Yeshia90 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:24 am

jdMission wrote:You can always find something about yourself that will set you apart from others in your law school class and convince the admissions committee that you would be a welcome addition. A few full paragraphs should be enough to make your argument. The importance of highlighting your distinctiveness to an admissions committee has been recently echoed by two elite law schools:


“[Putting together an entering class is] like organizing a choir; we want 270 distinct voices. There are hundreds of similar applicants, but only one of you; so take the opportunity … to let us hear your voice.”

– Edward Tom, Dean of Admissions at UC Berkeley School of Law


“It’s important to us as an institution to have a variety of viewpoints represented in order to foster robust and challenging classroom discussion—to this end, we’re very interested in having ideological diversity in each class.”

– Asha Rangappa, Dean of Admissions at Yale School of Law

Your ability to differentiate is everything!

Sunitha Ramaiah
jdMIssion Consultant


So what you're saying is that everyone should write a diversity statement? Bro, if everyone is diverse, then nobody is--though as a very boring straight white guy, I sure wouldn't mind that situation.
Last edited by Yeshia90 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TommyK
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby TommyK » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:12 pm

PSUdevon wrote:So what you're saying is that everyone should write a diversity statement? Bro, if everyone is diverse, then nobody is--though as a very boring straight white guy, I sure wouldn't mind that situation.


Um, I don't think so. I believe the deans are saying is that no one person can be diverse. A group can be diverse and the onus is on the candidate to show how his/her admission can add to the diversity of the class. On paper, a candidate may look like any other 3.6 gpa, 163 lsat poli sci major, but ideology, religion, ethnic, racial, sexual identity, levels of physical ability - all add to the diversity of a class, and hopefully the value of the education for all.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Do I Write a Diversity Statement?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:18 pm

I think if the nature of your upbringing has contributed to giving you an outlook that you believe would not be shared by the rest of the middle class white guys, then a statement might be warranted. If it's something that comes off as really forced, it would be less impactful




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