Another DS Thread

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TheThriller
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Another DS Thread

Postby TheThriller » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:09 pm

I know I addressed my DS in another thread but the more I think about including 1 of the 2 I have written, the more I worry about the impression of desperation my application might have.

I am a K-JD, white, middle-class male.

Here are my two diversity statements in brief:

1. Freshman year I had a practicing Muslim roommate who was Palestinian (his mother was a refugee). I am Jewish and the statement is about how we worked through our differences and became very close family friends. His dad has offered me a job working in the UAE and I still keep in very close contact with his whole family. This one is more about "diversity" through understanding.

2. This one used to be my PS before I changed the direction I wanted to go with it. This statement is about how I currently race my bike in order to pay rent/utilities and food. Family has fallen on some hard economic times and when I left the university track team I had to leave me scholarship as well. This one is more about "diversity" through becoming stronger during hardship.

Any input would be nice, even if it is not to include one in my application packet.

Swimp
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Swimp » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:34 pm

I'm no expert on diversity statements, but I would be pretty skeptical of either of these if I were an admissions officer. I'm not trying to discourage you--I'm a white, middle class male too, and I've definitely been thinking pretty hard about how I could portray myself as diverse. I just don't think "I'm Jewish and I'm friends with a Muslim guy," or "I started racing my bike for money recently" are too convincing.

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TheThriller
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby TheThriller » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:38 pm

Swimp wrote:I'm no expert on diversity statements, but I would be pretty skeptical of either of these if I were an admissions officer. I'm not trying to discourage you--I'm a white, middle class male too, and I've definitely been thinking pretty hard about how I could portray myself as diverse. I just don't think "I'm Jewish and I'm friends with a Muslim guy," or "I started racing my bike for money recently" are too convincing.


I agree with you but you should probably give me some credit. First I have come incredibly close with his family and I don't know of many Jewish people who have accepted in the home of a Palestinian because they were their son's roommate.

Also, its not racing for bar money. If I didn't race I would be forced to take out loans.

Again, I agree with you and am debating on whether to include these statements but I have to stick up for some very defining life experiences that you reduced.

Ti Malice
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:19 pm

You are definitely better off not including these. Just submit a great PS.

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TheThriller
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby TheThriller » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:24 pm

Alright, sounds good.

As a follow-up. I originally wrote a PS around my biking (and how it makes me a great LS candidate) but my adviser highly suggested I change it to list all the awesome shit (academic and professional) that makes me good for law school. However, this stuff is on my resume. Suggestions?

I trust TLS a lot more than my advisor.

Swimp
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Swimp » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:29 pm

TheThriller wrote:Alright, sounds good.

As a follow-up. I originally wrote a PS around my biking (and how it makes me a great LS candidate) but my adviser highly suggested I change it to list all the awesome shit (academic and professional) that makes me good for law school. However, this stuff is on my resume. Suggestions?

I trust TLS a lot more than my advisor.


First of all, I wasn't saying the stuff you wrote about was actually that trivial--just that that's the general impression they might give to an admissions officer who's looking at a hundred of these things a day.

Anyway, I think the biking thing would be way more engaging and unique than recapitulating your resume in more detail. I hear so many stories on this forum about academic advisors giving such terrible advice.

Ti Malice
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:31 pm

There are probably some good pre-law advisors out there, but so many provide awful advice. Absolutely do not turn your PS into a résumé dump.

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Crowing
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Crowing » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:46 am

I don't see why those topics wouldn't fly as long as you write good statements with proper emphasis. If your DS is well-written, I doubt it would have any negative effect even if the topic isn't about extreme circumstances.

mysteryprincess
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby mysteryprincess » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:04 am

Your topics seem a little risque to me. My fiance's strategy on PS, interviews, cover letters, etc sounds pretty sage to me: Always go with a safe topic (like your advisor said, concentrate on your academics because even if it's already on your resume you can flesh it out, tie them together and really paint a picture for them). The reason being, even if you write a phenomenal essay in your mind, if it rubs one of the admission guys the wrong way, you could be rejected even if you're a strong candidate. It's better to not be memorable than to stick out and have somebody hate you.

That was his philosophy all throughout law school too and now he's working a v10 firm, and had tons of offers his 2l summer. So his strategies pretty solid.

Swimp
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Swimp » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:51 am

mysteryprincess wrote:Your topics seem a little risque to me. My fiance's strategy on PS, interviews, cover letters, etc sounds pretty sage to me: Always go with a safe topic (like your advisor said, concentrate on your academics because even if it's already on your resume you can flesh it out, tie them together and really paint a picture for them). The reason being, even if you write a phenomenal essay in your mind, if it rubs one of the admission guys the wrong way, you could be rejected even if you're a strong candidate. It's better to not be memorable than to stick out and have somebody hate you.

That was his philosophy all throughout law school too and now he's working a v10 firm, and had tons of offers his 2l summer. So his strategies pretty solid.


I don't think "risqué" is the word you're looking for... :?

It's conceivable that the Jewish/Muslim topic could be somewhat delicate, I guess, but please describe the sort of person you think would be offended by an anecdote about a guy who takes up racing his bike to pay his bills.

Ramsey
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Ramsey » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:10 am

I actually think your second topic could turn into an interesting DS because "biking for living" is definitely rare and interesting. But I think it's better to keep the topic for PS.

The first topic, on the other hand, is not about what kind of diversity you could bring to the law school of your choice (active) but how you will cope well with diversity you will encounter in law school (passive). Unless your experience with your roommate (and his/her family) has changed your life direction in a concrete and significant way (i guess the answer depends on what kind of job his dad offered you and whether you took it and continue on it), it's better not to write about it.

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Davidbentley
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby Davidbentley » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:38 am

Do not listen to advisers. Ever. You list your accomplishments on your resume. Neither topic sounds like a diversity statement, but they both sound like good starts for PS's. Remember the PS order of merit is....

Something good and interesting>>>>> something good>>>>>> typical why law bullshit.

WanderingPondering
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby WanderingPondering » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:55 am

TheThriller wrote:
I agree with you but you should probably give me some credit. First I have come incredibly close with his family and I don't know of many Jewish people who have accepted in the home of a Palestinian because they were their son's roommate.

Also, its not racing for bar money. If I didn't race I would be forced to take out loans.

Again, I agree with you and am debating on whether to include these statements but I have to stick up for some very defining life experiences that you reduced.


You don't get any credit for finding the strength deep inside you to befriend your roommate, who was a Muslim kid. Maybe it would work better if you lived in Tel Aviv and he was a refugee that you took under your wing. It's not offensive, but it's not a diversity statement or interesting in the least.

That's cool that you race your bike. Could be a personal statement in there. Again, probably not a diversity statement or anything. I'd also leave out the part about quitting your college track team and losing your scholarship. Since that seems like a personal choice, I'm not sure if anyone would feel bad for you. I mean I ran track in college and dealt with all sorts of injuries, so I get that there are lots of reasons of leaving a team. But I'm just not going to be that captivated by the fact that you switched from track to cycling.

bp shinners
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Re: Another DS Thread

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:31 pm

Davidbentley wrote:Do not listen to advisers. Ever. You list your accomplishments on your resume. Neither topic sounds like a diversity statement, but they both sound like good starts for PS's. Remember the PS order of merit is....

Something good and interesting>>>>> something good>>>>>> typical why law bullshit.


That's a pretty good relative weight of the stuff.

OP, definitely don't just rehash your resume. Better law student through biking, however, could be an interesting essay - definitely go with that.




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