Diversity Statement Help

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Mr. Elshal
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Diversity Statement Help

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:44 am

Hey,

I've completely revamped my Diversity Statement after some prior critiques and I'd like some feedback on what I have now. any help you can give is appreciated.


When I tell people that I am half-Egyptian and half-Argentinean, the most common response is, “How did that happen?” More and more, I have come to see that this is a very valid question. While my father’s family is conservative and traditional, my mother’s family is open-minded and modern. Caught at the intersection of these two seemingly irreconcilable value-systems, I felt that I had to choose which to follow.

When I was finishing high school, I had to decide what I would do after graduating. My father’s family, having come from a tight-knit community where your reputation and family connections are the keys to success, felt that I should join the family business. They wanted me to prepare to take it over so that I could perpetuate our family legacy. My mother’s family, on the other hand, came from a place where educated professionals held the highest esteem. They were certain that my path to success must lead through a prestigious university.

I struggled to find a middle path, as I went to college to study business, but also spent time working with my father and his brother to learn about how they run the family business. While I eventually decided that I preferred the professional route, their lessons in how to network and how to manage other people have actually supplemented the lessons that I have learned in college classrooms.

In my Junior year of college, I recruited for an internship at Ernst & Young. The recruiting process was a grueling one, involving several interviews and networking events. At one point in the process, the recruiters told us that the applicants who demonstrated the best balance of academic and interpersonal skills would get the position. It was then that I realized how well positioned I was for this recruiting process. Thanks to my college education, I could speak knowledgably about a wide array of business-related topics, and, through my father’s training, I had polished my networking and people-management skills. With these cards in my hand, I not only impressed my interviewers, but also befriended them. The people skills that I learned from my father, combined with the knowledge of the business world that I learned in my classes, have enabled me to be more successful than either one, alone, could have.

By combining the high value that my Arabic family placed on hands-on education with the high value that my Latin family placed on formal education, I have found that the right path for me involves both direct experience and academic learning. I have also learned, in a more general sense, that the correct path, in many situations, need not be contained within one person or group’s experience and knowledge, but rather, I must strive to learn a little bit from everybody and, only by piecing all of those insights together can I develop the tools necessary to successfully navigate the world around me. I am confident that, in law school, my background and the lessons that I have learned from it will bolster my relationships with those around me and allow me to learn valuable lessons from the diverse group of my professors and peers.

vman21
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: Diversity Statement Help

Postby vman21 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:49 pm

d[-.-]b
Last edited by vman21 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Diversity Statement Help

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:56 am

Thanks for the feedback, vman.

vman21 wrote:
While my father’s family is conservative and traditional, my mother’s family is open-minded and modern.


I would be a little careful setting up an opposition between conservative and open-minded, because it implies that conservative is closed-minded. That, of course, is a valid opinion if it is your opinion; just make sure that you are doing this intentionally.


Isn't that the definition of conservative? I could be wrong but I think it is.

vman21 wrote:
In my Junior year of college, I recruited for an internship at Ernst & Young. The recruiting process was a grueling one, involving several interviews and networking events. At one point in the process, the recruiters told us that the applicants who demonstrated the best balance of academic and interpersonal skills would get the position. It was then that I realized how well positioned I was for this recruiting process. Thanks to my college education, I could speak knowledgably about a wide array of business-related topics, and, through my father’s training, I had polished my networking and people-management skills. With these cards in my hand, I not only impressed my interviewers, but also befriended them. The people skills that I learned from my father, combined with the knowledge of the business world that I learned in my classes, have enabled me to be more successful than either one, alone, could have.


I don't mean to be too harsh, but I think this part of the essay needs the most work -- I am not sure why this is necessary/how an adcom would view you talking about how much you impressed your interviewers. I think this is a classic show vs. tell situation; you seem to just be telling everyone that you have a bunch of traits (I can speak knowledgeably, I have people skills, etc.) as opposed to showing those traits by recounting specific experiences.


The difficulty with getting into specifics is the maximum length. What I've posted here is 1.5X the length it should be, so I actually need to cut out a third of it in order to meet the length requirement. At most, I could dedicate two or three sentences to a story that shows rather than tells.

vman21 wrote:
in a more general sense, that the correct path, in many situations, need not be contained within one person or group’s experience and knowledge, but rather, I must strive to learn a little bit from everybody and, only by piecing all of those insights together can I develop the tools necessary to successfully navigate the world around me


I feel like this is your thesis, and it needs to be more specific (you even call it general!). I would return to this and hone it -- make sure the reader understands how everything you have written so far lead up to a central point/insight that is specific and enlightening and relates directly to why your unique point of view would add to the LS experience.


I fixed the wording of this sentence, based on your feedback and I think it looks better now.


These diversity statements are ridiculously hard. I wish I could just write a second personal statement.

Thanks again for the feedback and the good luck!

vman21
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: Diversity Statement Help

Postby vman21 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:19 am

d[-.-]b




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