Stating Minority status on application

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gabletrained
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Stating Minority status on application

Postby gabletrained » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:58 pm

I am American Indian. Not full blood Indian, but my Grandmother is half Indian and there is rumor of Indian on the other side of the family as well. Growing up my father was always proud of his heritage. Our house was decorated and vehicles were decorated with dream catchers, arrow heads, and chief statues. A couple of my uncles and cousins belong to the Chippewa Tribe. I have always been aware of my heritage, but my complexion is white. I also grew up in a small town where stating that I was Indian was not exactly the way to gain popularity. Thus, for much of my childhood and young adult life I was somewhat ashamed of, and, never told anyone I was Native American, including colleges and jobs.

I am considering stating my minority status on my law school application. Obviously there are slight benefits to doing this. The problem for me is in ethics. I have never stated my minority status in the past, mostly because my mother filled out my applications and she has never really been into the whole Indian thing anyway. I have always checked white on job applications. I have only recently began exploring my Native American Heritage. My brother did some digging and found relatives living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also spoke with the tribe and is considering joining, for unselfish reasons (he's a plumber).

Anyway, I have a new found interest in my Native American heritage. My reservation (no pun intended) is that putting it on a college application will appear devious. I really don't know what the legal definition of minority is anyway. Does one have to be full minority to be considered for urm status?
Last edited by gabletrained on Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:08 pm

I am interested in seeing where this thread goes.

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Yeshia90
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby Yeshia90 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:13 pm

I believe the correct term is Native American.

Racist.

(But seriously, if you're part NA, you'll receive a significant bump. Write a diversity or personal statement about how hard it was to be Native American growing up, and don't worry about it.)

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:14 pm

Hold on, let me get my popcorn and get all comfy before the shitshow starts.

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Verity
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby Verity » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:16 pm

Law schools try to recruit URMs hard. You are a URM. You will get acceptances and scholarships that the white man can only dream about.

But if you really wanna make it rain, do a rain dance.

FreeLPeltier
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby FreeLPeltier » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:30 pm

OP
This is a very delicate subject on TLS (or anywhere else for that matter). What I’ve been told is to check the boxes you identify with. There is no officially recognized “right” answer to your question, so do what you think you can live with. Bear in mind, however, that you may feel uncomfortable (if you check boxes you don’t really identify with) when affinity groups at your new law school seek you out to join/participate.

P.S. A large percentage of NA that I know call themselves Indian - not necessarily racist if OP is NA.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:44 pm

Fine, I'll start.

TBF, OP, I can understand your dilemma. There will be people on here that will argue that you have every right to claim URM status and it doesn't matter how much blood you have and others will give the argument that because you've never claimed this status before, it will be deceitful to say so on your law school applications (especially since it gives you such a boost). To be honest, I agree with the latter. From your post, I gather that you haven't claimed this status earlier in life because it was more advantageous to be a white guy. Now, one of the few times that Native American status can help you, you suddenly become "interested" in your heritage. There are a lot of red flags for me in this post. Of course, I don't know you personally, and I am really not trying to attack your character because you sincerely seemed concerned about this and if I were in your shoes I'd be tempted to do the same thing. I believe that your "ethical" concerns are warranted however.

FWIW, I am also 1/8 Seminole, but I would never put that down on an application because I have NEVER identified myself with that group of people. But at the same time, I am a black male and so I already hit the jackpot in terms of law school admissions. If I were a white guy, I'd be on here asking the same question. Read some of the responses on here and go with what you think is right, either way. It's your decision.

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lrslayer
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby lrslayer » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:11 pm

Doesn't this type of thing become a problem when one is filling out the bar ethics questioner? Those are the ones who will question why you never claimed this heritage until applying to LS. I would keep that in mind in I were you. Good look to OP.

gabletrained
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby gabletrained » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:35 pm

lrslayer wrote:Doesn't this type of thing become a problem when one is filling out the bar ethics questioner? Those are the ones who will question why you never claimed this heritage until applying to LS. I would keep that in mind in I were you. Good look to OP.


Good point. My father and my siblings have always Identified most with NA when discussing our heritage. But like you said, I have never checked the NA box for job or college apps. My father is very dark complected as is the rest of his family, besides his father who is French. My mother is French and mixed European decent. The tricky part for me is that I have never identified myself as French. I have always identified mostly with NA and white. I never bothered asking my mother where her relatives came from because to me, there was nothing interesting or proud about being French or English.

The biggest reason I have always checked white on applications and not NA is that my mother told me long ago that I should be careful about checking NA. She was concerned that I would be lying because I do not appear NA in the least. Biologically, I am mostly European. I do not look NA. I have four siblings. Three of them look like my father (the Indian). They have dark complexion, black hair, and slight NA facial features. My sister literally looks like Pocahontas. One of my brothers and I got my mothers complexion.

I suppose the answer for me comes down to what have I always identified myself as. The answer to that question doesn't do me much good, though. I have always considered myself NA around family and close friends and white on apps. and with the general public. It wasn't until college that I got rid of the shame associated with my NA heritage. Now it seems absolutely ridiculous to be ashamed of something I consider unique. Part of the problem was growing up in a rural all-white community. Maybe joining the tribe would set aside the problem I could run into with ethics.

071816
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby 071816 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:39 pm

Image

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johnnyutah
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:51 pm

gabletrained wrote:I have never stated my minority status in the past, mostly because my mother filled out my applications

gabletrained wrote:My brother did some digging and found relatives living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also spoke with the tribe and is considering joining, for unselfish reasons (he's a plumber).

wut

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johnnyutah
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:53 pm

Also, someone turn on the Batman signal light that summons Nightrunner. We need at least a token real Indian in this thread.

071816
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby 071816 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:58 pm

gabletrained wrote:My brother did some digging and found relatives living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also spoke with the tribe and is considering joining, for unselfish reasons (he's a plumber).


LOL.

"He's a plumber." That was vital information that we couldn't have done without.

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johnnyutah
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:01 pm

chimp wrote:
gabletrained wrote:My brother did some digging and found relatives living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also spoke with the tribe and is considering joining, for unselfish reasons (he's a plumber).


LOL.

"He's a plumber." That was vital information that we couldn't have done without.

Maybe plumbers get a discount on smokes on that reservation?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:06 pm

The ABA just passed a resolution urging law schools to verify their Native American status through tribal citizenship or tribal affiliation as well as an "ethnic statement" describing why they indicated NA status. This is because of a spike in applicants who are identifying as NA on their applications, with the ABA wanting to reduce "ethnic misrepresentation" in this category.

Article: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... oan_debts/
Passed resolution: http://www.abajournal.com/files/102.pdf

Short version: If you just "check the box" after a history of identifying as white, you might get yourself in trouble.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:49 pm

vanwinkle wrote:The ABA just passed a resolution urging law schools to verify their Native American status through tribal citizenship or tribal affiliation as well as an "ethnic statement" describing why they indicated NA status. This is because of a spike in applicants who are identifying as NA on their applications, with the ABA wanting to reduce "ethnic misrepresentation" in this category.

Article: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... oan_debts/
Passed resolution: http://www.abajournal.com/files/102.pdf

Short version: If you just "check the box" after a history of identifying as white, you might get yourself in trouble.

Thanks for this informative post.

shoeshine
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby shoeshine » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:52 pm

I know people will disagree but I believe you are only NA if you have identified as such before you applied to law school.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:20 pm

shoeshine wrote:I know people will there are fucktards out there who will disagree but I know you are only NA if you have identified as such before you applied to law school.



FTFY

gabletrained
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby gabletrained » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:32 am

"The ABA just passed a resolution urging law schools to verify their Native American status through tribal citizenship or tribal affiliation as well as an "ethnic statement" describing why they indicated NA status. This is because of a spike in applicants who are identifying as NA on their applications, with the ABA wanting to reduce "ethnic misrepresentation" in this category.

Article: --LinkRemoved-- ... oan_debts/
Passed resolution: http://www.abajournal.com/files/102.pdf

Short version: If you just "check the box" after a history of identifying as white, you might get yourself in trouble."


Thanks for the info.

It does strike me as a little strange that the ABA is making a big deal about this. I know the schools are the ones creating the hysteria surrounding minorities and enabling them to gain benefits, but the ABA has not placed these sanctions on Hispanic, African American, or Asian applicants. Is the ABA picking on NA applicants only? It sure sounds like it! It should only matter that someone is NA, not whether they belong to a tribe or identify with that culture in particular. If I were 1/8 African American, is the ABA going to call me out and make me produce evidence that I am AA? Yeah right! I know Asian and Hispanic Americans who don't really identify with their heritage either. Is the ABA going to ask them to produce such documentation? No, I was not born on a reservation. My name is not Stands with a Fist, but I am still more NA than John Dunbar. Maybe I look white, but so does Jason Kidd. If the ABA is going to produce this kind of garbage, than they better set a precedent about what being a minority really is. Good luck with that, ABA!

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johnnyutah
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby johnnyutah » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:42 am

gabletrained wrote:I know the schools are the ones creating the hysteria surrounding minorities and enabling them to gain benefits

IBTL

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby Blessedassurance » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:27 am

So you discover your NA heritage right before applying to Schools presumably outside your numbers range?

Uncanny coincidence don't ya think?

rgndvo
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby rgndvo » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:01 am

dI recently went through a similar dilemma. I am 1/4 black and 3/4 Arab but did not check the AA box for undergraduate applications. I really did that out of laziness more than anything; I had singular mediocre grades in HS and was too lackluster to ask schools or my school counselor whether I could identify as AA.

For LS, I am planning on checking both the "other" box (filling in Arab; sorry US Census but we aren't treated as "white") and AA box for and explicating my heritage (i.e. the fact I am only a quarter black) in a Diversity Statement. I am African American but my connection to my heritage is much more tenuous than, say, yngblkgifted.

I would say -- in addition to of course identifying as white -- you can check the NA box if, through a DS, you are completely forthright about your relatively flimsy connection to that box; just nakedly checking it would (imo) be pushing it a bit, albeit probably not outright fraudulent. Your decision, though. :]
Last edited by rgndvo on Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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IamJosh
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby IamJosh » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:40 pm

gabletrained wrote:I am American Indian. Not full blood Indian, but my Grandmother is half Indian and there is rumor of Indian on the other side of the family as well. Growing up my father was always proud of his heritage. Our house was decorated and vehicles were decorated with dream catchers, arrow heads, and chief statues. A couple of my uncles and cousins belong to the Chippewa Tribe. I have always been aware of my heritage, but my complexion is white. I also grew up in a small town where stating that I was Indian was not exactly the way to gain popularity. Thus, for much of my childhood and young adult life I was somewhat ashamed of, and, never told anyone I was Native American, including colleges and jobs.


I feel like your best bet is to write the DS like a few others have said. If you can turn the above into something positive (right now it sounds negative) regarding why you feel like you can identify as NA now, maybe it wouldn't be so bad? Prove you care about your heritage, or it just makes you look bad. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, here. Something like, your fear of racism caused you to be ashamed, whereas now you feel you can bravely call yourself what you were raised to be? Dunno. I'll say, though, that I'm not really sure why you wouldn't tell your UG you're NA though... Probably would have helped you out there, too. That's where you'll run into a problem, because in checking the box this time around you're basically stating that you just want help getting into a better school than you'd normally get into. And if that's not true? Doesn't matter, because that's how it seems to strangers--unless you prove yourself.

V811
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby V811 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:21 pm

I think you can freely check multiple boxes, whether or not you add a Diversity Statement. This isn't an issue of "White North Africans checking the African American box."

You are indeed 1/8NA. Check multiple boxes. Write a DS regarding some hardship you've been through. There is no need to ever mention your exact 1/8 NA blood. Adcoms don't need to know whether you are 1/2 or 1/8. Neither will the state bar.

The entire URM boost process is severely flawed, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. People who are 1/8 Colombian are now checking Colombian and Puerto Rican to get the most boost they can, because really who is going to investigate your self-reported ethnicity? Don't say the bar, because they won't ever ask for documentation. NAs, though, do have documentation, so you should be careful about that (meaning don't outright lie if your arent NA, but if you are really 1/8, you'll find a way to make it though).

V811
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Re: Stating Minority status on application

Postby V811 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:29 pm

PSUdevon wrote:I believe the correct term is Native American.

Racist.

(But seriously, if you're part NA, you'll receive a significant bump. Write a diversity or personal statement about how hard it was to be Native American growing up, and don't worry about it.)



+1. It really is funny. He doesn't have to worry about it. If he really wants the boost write about how hard it is to grow up NA and ur good.




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