Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

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rachelwang712
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Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby rachelwang712 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:44 am

I am a Chinese girl graduating next year from one of the top univs in Shanghai, China. I have been an exchange stu in Waseda Univ, Tokyo and will also earn a degree there. It means I will have double bachelor degree when I graduate.
My GPA is 3.81. I took the Oct LSAT but don't know the score yet.
Since I want to apply early, before the score finally gets out, I am working on my PS now. But the problem is whether I need to emphasize my Chinese background. Some say law schools look for diversity so me being Chinese is a plus. But I also heard people talking about how Asians have more difficulty in getting in a decent law school.
Could any one give me an idea about which is more true?
Thx in advance.

vulpixie
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby vulpixie » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:31 am

Yes, you should definitely mention your heritage in your PS. I would strongly recommend writing a DS as well. You have an extremely interesting background and adcoms will love hearing about it. Yes, it's generally true that Asian Americans are treated a bit less favorably by adcoms than white Americans, all else being equal (no diversity statement). But a DS like yours will definitely mitigate that (already small) disadvantage.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:33 am

Have you searched LSN? That would be the best way to find information here. Some Asian candidates I came across from the last cycle:

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/sunyoo25
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/lotus
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/mueh
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/cx5573

Two of these candidates seem to have slightly underperformed their numbers, the other two got about the results you would expect. They certainly don't seem to be overperforming their numbers. If you search LSN yourself you should be able to find further candidates from previous cycles.

If I was you, my biggest concern would be getting a job after law school. If you want to get a job in America there are things that could make that more difficult for you. Two that stand out: (a) you would need a work visa - which is expensive and a hassle for employers; and (b) an accent and/or doubts about your written English. Also, you would have to line up a job before law school ended, because your student visa would expire very shortly after that.

rachelwang712
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby rachelwang712 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:14 am

I understand the difficulty of finding a good job as a Chinese in the States. My undergrad major is journalism, which I believe is no less difficult in this sense.
But I do want to give it a try. At least being educated abroad gives me some hope of getting out of mainland and CPC. China's undergrad edu sucks. I got frustrated after wasting time on courses for CPC propagenda. So I just want to learn something substantial. It may be naiive and idealistic to say that but even just for the academic interest, I want to go to law school.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:30 am

It def. isn't a disadvantage. If there's any disadvantage or extra trouble that Asians have, it might be because if you're first/second generation and grew up in a non-English speaking household, your PS might be bad, but this is the same disadvantage that Russian, Middle-Eastern and non-URM hispanics have. Just show your PS to an English professor.

madvillain
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby madvillain » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:49 pm

I personally am inclined to think that it is in your best interests to emphasize your unique educational background as best you can. It is going to be obvious to the Admissions committees from the fact that you graduated from Shanghai that you are an applicant with strong ties to China and so you might as well use that to your advantage and show them how you stand out from the thousands of Americans who will be applying. I would focus on detailing your dual program in Japan because this shows that you are not merely learning "Chinese" material but rather are exposing yourself to a truly international undergraduate experience. Avoid criticizing the "propaganda" that you are frustrated with though, rather focus on the strengths and positives of the Shanghai program. You have a strong GPA and with a strong LSAT there's no reason why you can't at least meet the expectations of your numbers.

As a second-generation Chinese from a Western country I think you do offer a sense of real diversity because you are a true international as opposed to a basically Westernized person such as myself. The only issue is your English so the quality of your personal statement will be very critical, but showing it to your English professor to look over is the best idea for this.

Jia you!

BKB
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby BKB » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:29 pm

I think it's good to talk about your background if there is indeed something interesting. Otherwise, merely being a "native Chinese" won't benefit you since a number of Chinese students are applying each year.
BTW, don't be too hostile towards CCP, since you probably will come back and work in China. :wink:

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bk1
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:34 pm

rachelwang712 wrote:But I also heard people talking about how Asians have more difficulty in getting in a decent law school.


This isn't true.

The only thing that could hurt you is if you are a foreigner as some schools don't like them (UChi comes to mind).

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:35 pm

vulpixie wrote:Yes, you should definitely mention your heritage in your PS. I would strongly recommend writing a DS as well. You have an extremely interesting background and adcoms will love hearing about it. Yes, it's generally true that Asian Americans are treated a bit less favorably by adcoms than white Americans, all else being equal (no diversity statement). But a DS like yours will definitely mitigate that (already small) disadvantage.


I don't know if the bolded is true. From what I have seen, law schools tend to treat Asian Americans the same as White Americans. International students, on the other hand, are a different story. I think you may be thinking of ugrad...where Asian Americans suffer quite a distinct disadvantage (essentially in SAT adjustments at least).

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:35 pm

bk1 wrote:
rachelwang712 wrote:But I also heard people talking about how Asians have more difficulty in getting in a decent law school.


This isn't true.

The only thing that could hurt you is if you are a foreigner as some schools don't like them (UChi comes to mind).


We're meant to be.

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bk1
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Re: Is my Chinese background a disadvantage?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:40 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
bk1 wrote:
rachelwang712 wrote:But I also heard people talking about how Asians have more difficulty in getting in a decent law school.


This isn't true.

The only thing that could hurt you is if you are a foreigner as some schools don't like them (UChi comes to mind).


We're meant to be.


<3




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