Diversity Statements

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GoingForGold
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Diversity Statements

Postby GoingForGold » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:16 am

Do most people fill these out? Most anyone can come up with something that makes them 'diverse', but, my guess is the majority of non-URM are not going to fill it out as it's going to largely just come across as an additional hassle to the reviewer.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:01 pm

If you don't have anything to write about, then don't write one. I think most people who aren't lower class/POC/LGBTQ/immigrants don't write diversity statements.

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dingbat
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby dingbat » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:15 pm

GoingForGold wrote:Do most people fill these out? Most anyone can come up with something that makes them 'diverse', but, my guess is the majority of non-URM are not going to fill it out as it's going to largely just come across as an additional hassle to the reviewer.

If you need to stretch the definition and put in serious effort to explain why you're diverse, then it just ain't true.

eerie_erie
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby eerie_erie » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:13 pm

I agree with the two people above me. Just think about it this way: should you decide to become an attorney in the traditional sense of the word, it matters most of the time that you are credible and sincere in what you say. Therefore, it is important to start now with applications to law school and such.

That being said, if you think you are truly diverse but are just having a difficult time articulating what to say, take some time to yourself and really think about what you want to present to a complete stranger. I had a hard time writing my personal statement (yes, I know you're asking about DS), but that didn't necessarily mean that I had a hard time knowing who I was! Only that I didn't know what to say. Only you can tell what scenario you're in.

GoingForGold
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby GoingForGold » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:21 pm

I am white and come from an upper class family. But, I started my first company when I was 14, have started two since, and have been able to support myself for over a decade entirely by entrepreneurial ventures. To me, that makes me 'diverse', and does so more than being an URM or coming from an underprivileged background. I would wager that a lower percentage of applicants fit the description I just gave versus being lower class/POC/LGBTQ/immigrants. So, do I write about the fact that I am an entrepreneur, put myself through college, have started three successful companies, or, is it going to come across as someone who is answering a question that wasn't meant for them?

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francesfarmer
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:53 pm

GoingForGold wrote:I am white and come from an upper class family. But, I started my first company when I was 14, have started two since, and have been able to support myself for over a decade entirely by entrepreneurial ventures. To me, that makes me 'diverse', and does so more than being an URM or coming from an underprivileged background. I would wager that a lower percentage of applicants fit the description I just gave versus being lower class/POC/LGBTQ/immigrants. So, do I write about the fact that I am an entrepreneur, put myself through college, have started three successful companies, or, is it going to come across as someone who is answering a question that wasn't meant for them?

I think diversity statements are generally about hardship. Your unique background would make for a great PS, though.

And there is really no need to say you would add more diversity to a law school class than a URM. That's pretty offensive.

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joshhoward
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby joshhoward » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:37 pm

francesfarmer wrote:I think diversity statements are generally about hardship. Your unique background would make for a great PS, though.

+1

francesfarmer wrote:And there is really no need to say you would add more diversity to a law school class than a URM. That's pretty offensive.

and +1

GoingForGold
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby GoingForGold » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:40 pm

Yes, there is a need. It is central to my question.

I didn't make a value judgment about anything. I implied diversity is equal to the rarity of a given set of characteristics in a population. Obviously, certain sets of characteristics (Being 6'7, 145lbs and having red hair for example), are perhaps quite rare, but, have no intrinsic value.

I then postulated that "starting 3 successful businesses, putting oneself through college, and being a successful entrepreneur for over a decade" was more diverse (based upon the above definition) than being a URM. I said nothing about the intrinsic value of either.

So, what's offensive, my definition of diversity or my descriptive statement about the world?

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:33 pm

Obviously "diversity" in the sense of POC is different than the definition of diversity you have made up to justify your position. Don't play dumb and stop doubling down on your offensive comment.

In lieu of replying please refer to the following website:

http://derailingfordummies.com/complete.html

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mi-chan17
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby mi-chan17 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Even if I agreed with your assessment that 'rarity' is equivalent to 'diversity' (which I don't):

Putting oneself through college is not rare. Commendable, probably, but certainly not rare. Plenty of people here paid for college themselves (through merit scholarships, full-time employment, etc.) So I don't think this is compelling 'diversity'.

Business experience, even self-employed entrepreneurial experience, is not rare amongst law school applicants. It's not even rare on this board. I've read enough threads here to feel like by not having a business background, I'm the weird one. So no, I don't think this makes you diverse.

Not even by using your definition of 'diverse', which I really don't think is quite right.

If you want to talk about these things, and about how you think they make you awesome, go for it! But use your PS for it or show it through your resume. Calling it a diversity statement just makes you seem obnoxious; or at least it would make you seem that way to me, if I were someone required to read your application.

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02889
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby 02889 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:06 pm

GoingForGold wrote:I am white and come from an upper class family. But, I started my first company when I was 14, have started two since, and have been able to support myself for over a decade entirely by entrepreneurial ventures. To me, that makes me 'diverse', and does so more than being an URM or coming from an underprivileged background. I would wager that a lower percentage of applicants fit the description I just gave versus being lower class/POC/LGBTQ/immigrants. So, do I write about the fact that I am an entrepreneur, put myself through college, have started three successful companies, or, is it going to come across as someone who is answering a question that wasn't meant for them?

Along with other posters, I don't quite agree with your assessment of your start-ups making you "more" diverse than others, but I do think there is space for this in the application beyond the PS if it doesn't fit there. You could easily write a Why ___ essay that speaks about your interest in the school's business clinics or journals or professors and work in your own experiences and how you'd be a good fit because of them. Just because these experiences are not as appropriate for a diversity statement doesn't mean they're not a great component of what could be a well-assembled application.




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