Is URM Status Limited to Race?

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Stanzy1
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Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby Stanzy1 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:08 pm

The LSAC definition says nothing about whether URM is race related or not, it just states that the group's percentage in a school is lower than its percentage in the general population. For example, gay people make up 4% of the American population and AAs make up 14% of the American population. Since about AA population in law school is something like 6-7%, they are considered URM. However, hypothetically, what if the gay population in law school was less than 4%, would they be considered a URM? They are not Native American, African American, or Mexican American, but they would be a minority group whose population in law school is less than it is in America.

LSAC Definiton of URM:

What is a URM?

As noted earlier, URM is an acronym for the phrase Under Represented Minority. Much confusion surrounds the “underrepresented” portion of the acronym, thus frequently rendering the entire term unclear. A URM is, quite simply, a minority group whose percentage of the population at a given law school is lower than their percentage of the population in the country. This also means that at some schools URM applicants may be treated differently than at others.

For example, if School A has an African American population of 8% and School B has an African American population of 25%, an African American will likely receive a URM boost at School A while not at School B. For the most part, however, the URM designation is relatively consistent among schools, with exceptions arising when dealing with HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

Which groups are considered URMs?

American Indians/Alaskan Natives, African Americans/Blacks, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans are typically considered URM’s. Please note that there is a difference between Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other types of Hispanics in the admissions process. Additionally, I would like to offer a small caveat to international students, who fall into a separate category of their own.

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ph14
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:09 pm

Stanzy1 wrote:The LSAC definition says nothing about whether URM is race related or not, it just states that the group's percentage in a school is lower than its percentage in the general population. For example, gay people make up 4% of the American population and AAs make up 14% of the American population. Since about AA population in law school is something like 6-7%, they are considered URM. However, hypothetically, what if the gay population in law school was less than 4%, would they be considered a URM? They are not Native American, African American, or Mexican American, but they would be a minority group whose population in law school is less than it is in America.

LSAC Definiton of URM:

What is a URM?

As noted earlier, URM is an acronym for the phrase Under Represented Minority. Much confusion surrounds the “underrepresented” portion of the acronym, thus frequently rendering the entire term unclear. A URM is, quite simply, a minority group whose percentage of the population at a given law school is lower than their percentage of the population in the country. This also means that at some schools URM applicants may be treated differently than at others.

For example, if School A has an African American population of 8% and School B has an African American population of 25%, an African American will likely receive a URM boost at School A while not at School B. For the most part, however, the URM designation is relatively consistent among schools, with exceptions arising when dealing with HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

Which groups are considered URMs?

American Indians/Alaskan Natives, African Americans/Blacks, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans are typically considered URM’s. Please note that there is a difference between Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other types of Hispanics in the admissions process. Additionally, I would like to offer a small caveat to international students, who fall into a separate category of their own.


Yes, it's what you posted: "American Indians/Alaskan Natives, African Americans/Blacks, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans are typically considered URM’s."

Stanzy1
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby Stanzy1 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:14 pm

Yes, those groups are "typically" URM groups, but that does not them the ONLY URM groups considering the literal definition of URM.

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ph14
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:40 pm

Stanzy1 wrote:Yes, those groups are "typically" URM groups, but that does not them the ONLY URM groups considering the literal definition of URM.


It's a term of art in the law school admissions process.

wolfgang
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby wolfgang » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:42 pm

Stanzy1 wrote:Yes, those groups are "typically" URM groups, but that does not them the ONLY URM groups considering the literal definition of URM.


That's true, actually. There was just a great discussion in the Q&A w/ admissions officers thread about how, contrary to popular belief, asians are considered to be URM even though they make up a greater percentage of law school students than they do in the general population.
I only include this to show that, if we believe spivey and perez (which I do), the list provided by the lsac is not comprehensive.

That being said, I don't know the answer to your question. My inclination is to say that lgbt are NOT considered urm, because the lsac does seem to limit the definition to race, as you suspected. To open the doors to other things would be a slippery slope: I have seven fingers on my right hand, so I should be URM (assuming there's few others in law school).

But, if you're just looking for the URM boost in admissions, there are other way to get a boost besides being a 'traditional' urm. For example, if one was lgbt, you have a solid diversity statement that schools seem to like. If there was something else that makes you think that IF the lsac would consider things other than race you might qualify, see if you can turn it into a diversity statement or a great PS.

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twenty
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby twenty » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:43 pm

I don't understand this. Everyone is going to tell you that URM status, as it relates to admissions, is limited to AA/MA/NA/PR. Is it possible a T6 school accepts you with meh numbers because of your Laotian ethnicity or your pan-sexual identity? Sure. Do the vast quantity of profiles on LSN show this to be a regular occurrence? Not so much.

wolfgang
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby wolfgang » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:47 pm

^ your post makes me realize that I should clarify my post:

When we talked about asians being URM, this does NOT mean that they get a bump comparable to that of the "traditional" urm groups. The consensus seemed to be that the bump, if it exists, was slight and varied from school to school.

twenty is right: for the purposes of admissions, which is what I think you were really asking about, the traditional ones are all that "matter" in the sense that they give you a significant bump.

Perhaps I attempted to answer your question a little more theoretically than it ought to have been :)

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ph14
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:48 pm

ph14 wrote:
Stanzy1 wrote:Yes, those groups are "typically" URM groups, but that does not them the ONLY URM groups considering the literal definition of URM.


It's a term of art in the law school admissions process.

Stanzy1
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby Stanzy1 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:57 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I don't understand this. Everyone is going to tell you that URM status , as it relates to admissions, is limited to AA/MA/NA/PR.


Just because "everyone is going to tell me this" doesn't negate the fact that the LSAC has a theoretical idea of what a URM could be, which is not limited to these groups. Think of it in terms of LSAT, just because all AA/MA/NA/PRs are URM, doesn't mean all URMs are AA/MA/NA/PRs.

Do they do this simply because it is easier to document whether these groups' population in law school as opposed to someone who is lgbt, 6-fingered, etc?

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Ramius
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby Ramius » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:07 pm

The only part of being URM you should care about is in admissions and hiring. You can call any group of people a "URM" and argue it all day long, but the only place where there is quantifiable data defining it is in admissions and legal hiring (within the law school realm) where TCR is AA/NA/MA/PR.

Why do you want to make this a discussion?

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twenty
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby twenty » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:20 pm

There's a fundamental misunderstanding of what URM status actually entails here. The "M" is the part that the ABA looks at when they consider minority enrollment, and is more importantly the data that gets published to the school's student profile page. In that discussion, any non-white individual (or at least partially non-white) are considered minorities. Thus, if a law school does not traditionally attract a large Asian/Pacific Islander/Aboriginal Canadian/etc. group of students that would otherwise not enroll in that law school, it is entirely possible the school gives students of those ethnicities a boost in the admissions process.

However, at no school will the average non-URM minority receive the same level of "boost" that the average URM minority receives. This is because all minority groups aside from the "big four" are either represented, or overrepresented. Accordingly, a school will never be lacking qualified non-URM or Asian-American students because these students in particular are not rarities for the school to pick from. So even if a law school did say, "We want 10% of our class to be Asian-American," they'd receive enough qualified applicants to where they could not apply any kind of boost to this ethnic group.

On the other hand, URMs are underrepresented in law schools because they disproportionately exist in smaller ratios in law schools in comparison to the general population. For instance, if the top 14 law schools stopped giving African Americans an admissions boost, there would be a total of 11 to 18 African-Americans in the entire T-14. Therefore, a school interested in having URM students attend there is going to invariably take candidates with lower numbers, because candidates that get 167+ scores simply don't exist in the prospect pool.

Also, this:

Why do you want to make this a discussion?

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wowhio
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby wowhio » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:07 pm

URM or not, if you can write a kickass diversity statement about being LGBT you may still get a boost.

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wowhio
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby wowhio » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:11 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:if the top 14 law schools stopped giving African Americans an admissions boost, there would be a total of 11 to 18 African-Americans in the entire T-14.


Just curious where you got this from.

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twenty
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Re: Is URM Status Limited to Race?

Postby twenty » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:44 pm

wowhio wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:if the top 14 law schools stopped giving African Americans an admissions boost, there would be a total of 11 to 18 African-Americans in the entire T-14.


Just curious where you got this from.


viewtopic.php?f=14&t=195443

This is old info, the 3SD is now 11 AAs total at 167+. But also doesn't count mixed-race. Assuming that everyone with a 167+ also had a T14-qualifying-GPA and that everyone who got in would go, that's anywhere from 11 AAs to 18 AAs in the whole T14.




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