Diversity Statement Critique

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Mr. Elshal
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Diversity Statement Critique

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:01 am

Hey guys,

I have come up with a draft for my Diversity Statement and I could really use a fresh set of eyes to check it out. I'm open to a swap, but I am also posting it here for anyone who just wants to glance at it and give some quick feedback. Thanks in advance.


"It was not until my teenage years that I realized my grandfather spoke differently from other people’s grandfathers. Around this time, it also occurred to me that my family ate different foods and spoke different languages than other people. It was in these formative years that I realized that the barometer by which I had been measuring normalcy was, in fact, abnormal.

I was raised in a tight-knit Arabic-Jewish community in Brooklyn, but only half of my family was Arabic. My father’s side of the family, being Egyptian, fit right in with our traditional Middle-Eastern community, while my mother’s family, from Argentina, had very different customs stemming from a very different heritage. This made me feel self-conscious as I was growing up. I did not fit in with the Arabic kids because of my Latin descent, and there were few other Latin Jews in my community. I was lost between cultures.

As I got older, and became more self-confident, I determined to transform my unique background into an asset. By my high school graduation, I had taken every Spanish-language class offered in my school. In addition, outside the classroom my father’s family would teach me basic Arabic words and phrases – what my grandmother called “just enough words to get by.”

During my Junior year of college, I went to Spain with an international business class. We were split into teams and I quickly assumed the role of navigator for my team, being the only person in the group who spoke Spanish. Many of the people on my team ate only Kosher or Halal food and were concerned about finding appropriate meals in a foreign country. I taught them a few basic phrases, in Spanish, Arabic, and Hebrew, and we set out to find the Jewish and Arabic neighborhoods in Barcelona. Once we found these areas, we were able to not only get around, but also to get steep discounts from merchants who were pleasantly surprised to hear tourists speaking their native languages. The variety of my cultures, which had always made me feel like an outcast, had enabled me to help myself as well as my friends.

The same features that had once made me feel insecure and embarrassed have now made me self-confident and proud. They have given me a unique set of experiences to draw upon and I am grateful for these distinctive backgrounds, which have so strongly shaped who I am today."

User avatar
VUSisterRayVU
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Diversity Statement Critique

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:01 pm

This doesn't seem 'compelling'. That is to say, you don't really go in to any detail about why your diversity is so unique. Plenty of people come from mixed backgrounds.

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

Re: Diversity Statement Critique

Postby bp shinners » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:05 pm

VUSisterRayVU wrote:This doesn't seem 'compelling'. That is to say, you don't really go in to any detail about why your diversity is so unique. Plenty of people come from mixed backgrounds.


This, exactly. I need more about what made your experience unique. That involves telling me stories about your upbringing, not just asserting that you were different. You say you didn't fit in with the Arabic kids because of your Latin heritage - tell me a story that highlights that.

When it flips and you become proud of your heritage, you tell me a story in a very passive way (the merchants giving you discounts because you spoke their language). Instead of that being almost an aside to the paragraph, that should be the driving force behind it.

You don't have to be diverse in a way that's different than everyone else to write a DS. However, you do have to make your diversity into an interesting story. In short, less tell-y, more show-y.

User avatar
Mr. Elshal
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Diversity Statement Critique

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:45 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna try to work on that right now. I definitely see where you're coming from with that feedback




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests