Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
wthelicopt
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:08 am

Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby wthelicopt » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:28 pm

Would writing about my background as a science student with a graduate degree in biology and internship experiences in international commerce suffice as a topic for the DS? Or, is the DS limited to the traditional economic/racial topics? Thanks a lot.

User avatar
gaud
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby gaud » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:53 pm

Write about whatever makes you "different"

tabula rasa
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby tabula rasa » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:54 pm

wthelicopt wrote:Would writing about my background as a science student with a graduate degree in biology and internship experiences in international commerce suffice as a topic for the DS?

No.

User avatar
gaud
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby gaud » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:57 pm

tabula rasa wrote:
wthelicopt wrote:Would writing about my background as a science student with a graduate degree in biology and internship experiences in international commerce suffice as a topic for the DS?

No.


I'm going to disagree. If you OP can spin those experiences to make it seem like he brings something different to the table, then he's got a diversity statement.

User avatar
emkay625
Posts: 1835
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby emkay625 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:00 pm

I think it would depend on the way each school's is worded. for example, UT's diversity statement asks you to write about any disadvantages or significant challenges you've faced as a result of your background - race, gender, religion, orientation, English language learner, etc. In this case, that would not apply. In other ones it would, those that essentially ask what makes you unique.

User avatar
gaud
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby gaud » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:01 pm

^ TCR

wthelicopt
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:08 am

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby wthelicopt » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:12 pm

Thank you very much for your responses. If I can bother you with another question, it seems TLS's guides suggest I bring up my professional ambitions in the PS, but Anna Ivey suggests the opposite in her book. What do you guys think?

User avatar
gaud
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby gaud » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:14 pm

wthelicopt wrote:Thank you very much for your responses. If I can bother you with another question, it seems TLS's guides suggest I bring up my professional ambitions in the PS, but Anna Ivey suggests the opposite in her book. What do you guys think?


Eh.. tough to say. Go with whichever is a better essay.

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby collegebum1989 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:02 am

wthelicopt wrote:Thank you very much for your responses. If I can bother you with another question, it seems TLS's guides suggest I bring up my professional ambitions in the PS, but Anna Ivey suggests the opposite in her book. What do you guys think?


I say it depends on what type of applicant you are...if you're still in college and writing about what you "think" the real-world is like, then it's better to write about an unique experience. But if you have either (a) have a graduate degree, (b) 2+ years work experience, or (c) combination of both, then I think it's best to focus on professional goals since you are more of a "mature" applicant.

Either way, the better essay wins, but in most people's situations it turns out that people with work experience tend to have better professional essays since they have work experience to back up the topics they discuss in their PSes and undergraduates tend to have better essays without because they don't really have work experience to substantiate broad professional goals.

Just my opinion.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:55 am

collegebum1989 wrote:Either way, the better essay wins, but in most people's situations it turns out that people with work experience tend to have better professional essays since they have work experience to back up the topics they discuss in their PSes and undergraduates tend to have better essays without because they don't really have work experience to substantiate broad professional goals.


Seconded. Most of the time, I edit the professional ambitions out of the personal statements of students with whom I work. But that's because they generally don't have work experience, so they say very naive things about what they expect legal practice to be like. Or they throw around words with actual legal meaning as if they're 'in the know' when discussing what they'll do as a lawyer. That's a bad thing.

When I leave it in, it's usually for people who have years of relevant work experience and are going back to law school for a very specific reason - to continue doing the work they were doing, only as a lawyer instead of a (paralegal/fill in the blank). They actually know what they're talking about, so it's fine to mention in an essay.

As to the original question about the diversity statement, I personally wouldn't write one. While there are ways to make it work, essays like that tend to have an undercurrent of, "I had a real major, not any of this liberal arts BS, and it qualifies me for patent law." The ones that don't do that tend to just rehash that science classes are hard, and different, and that's what you'll bring to law school. If you have something interesting to say about the major (i.e. something you would say on a first date to enrapture the other person), then go for it. If not (which is the norm - you just want to get across that science isn't the norm, which schools are very aware of since they have those statistics), skip it.

User avatar
honeybadger12
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:40 pm

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby honeybadger12 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:07 pm

wthelicopt wrote:Thank you very much for your responses. If I can bother you with another question, it seems TLS's guides suggest I bring up my professional ambitions in the PS, but Anna Ivey suggests the opposite in her book. What do you guys think?

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=190511
Also +1 at bpshinners about the DS. And I also agree that it depends on the school. E.g. it seems Chicago wants the app to be concise, while at Penn more is better.

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Is this a fair diversity statement topic?

Postby collegebum1989 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:59 pm

bp shinners wrote:
collegebum1989 wrote:Either way, the better essay wins, but in most people's situations it turns out that people with work experience tend to have better professional essays since they have work experience to back up the topics they discuss in their PSes and undergraduates tend to have better essays without because they don't really have work experience to substantiate broad professional goals.


Seconded. Most of the time, I edit the professional ambitions out of the personal statements of students with whom I work. But that's because they generally don't have work experience, so they say very naive things about what they expect legal practice to be like. Or they throw around words with actual legal meaning as if they're 'in the know' when discussing what they'll do as a lawyer. That's a bad thing.

When I leave it in, it's usually for people who have years of relevant work experience and are going back to law school for a very specific reason - to continue doing the work they were doing, only as a lawyer instead of a (paralegal/fill in the blank). They actually know what they're talking about, so it's fine to mention in an essay.

As to the original question about the diversity statement, I personally wouldn't write one. While there are ways to make it work, essays like that tend to have an undercurrent of, "I had a real major, not any of this liberal arts BS, and it qualifies me for patent law." The ones that don't do that tend to just rehash that science classes are hard, and different, and that's what you'll bring to law school. If you have something interesting to say about the major (i.e. something you would say on a first date to enrapture the other person), then go for it. If not (which is the norm - you just want to get across that science isn't the norm, which schools are very aware of since they have those statistics), skip it.


Agreed, I'm a science graduate student and I don't think major counts as diversity. Again, because writing one implies that you think you are different based on a major you chose in college, when technically law school is open to all majors. If you could tie in your major into a story about adversity or culture, then I say go for it.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: woojin1287 and 2 guests