Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
robjones7712
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby robjones7712 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi everyone,

I was recently accepted into Law School and had a question. Before taking the LSAT and speaking to advisors about law school, we had discussed my race/ethnicity. I have always been told from my family that I am literally 50/50 (Italian and Spanish). Dad is 100% Italian and Mom is 100% Spanish. All my life I have always been hesitant when checking the "ethnicity" box not knowing what is the right answer. I do not like and never wanted to reap benefits or to receive any special treatment by selecting Hispanic. Therefore, I have always selected Caucasian to avoid the question.. My advisors stated to me that by actually putting Hispanic down on law applications and the LSAT that I may have an edge in the dreadful admission process. Either way, I am not lying about it and would definitely not want to start a legal career by lying. Long story short, I have selected the "Other Hispanic Latino" option on LSAC and have submitted my law application identifying as Hispanic/Latino. I was admitted! Not mentioning where but a top 50 school... While still curious about my ethnicity and background, I recently paid around $150 for a DNA Genetic Test through Ancestry!

The results came back as I am actually 70% European (Italian) and the other 30% Spanish.

My question to all of you, I now do not feel comfortable especially after being accepted with my student profile stating that I am Hispanic/Latino. What should I do about this? I am especially worried and do not know what to do. I can literally update my race on both the law portal and LSAC back to Caucasian. Would this hurt me in any way? Thanks a lot and I appreciate everything..

TirantMartorell
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby TirantMartorell » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:50 pm

robjones7712 wrote:Hi everyone,

I was recently accepted into Law School and had a question. Before taking the LSAT and speaking to advisors about law school, we had discussed my race/ethnicity. I have always been told from my family that I am literally 50/50 (Italian and Spanish). Dad is 100% Italian and Mom is 100% Spanish. All my life I have always been hesitant when checking the "ethnicity" box not knowing what is the right answer. I do not like and never wanted to reap benefits or to receive any special treatment by selecting Hispanic. Therefore, I have always selected Caucasian to avoid the question.. My advisors stated to me that by actually putting Hispanic down on law applications and the LSAT that I may have an edge in the dreadful admission process. Either way, I am not lying about it and would definitely not want to start a legal career by lying. Long story short, I have selected the "Other Hispanic Latino" option on LSAC and have submitted my law application identifying as Hispanic/Latino. I was admitted! Not mentioning where but a top 50 school... While still curious about my ethnicity and background, I recently paid around $150 for a DNA Genetic Test through Ancestry!

The results came back as I am actually 70% European (Italian) and the other 30% Spanish.

My question to all of you, I now do not feel comfortable especially after being accepted with my student profile stating that I am Hispanic/Latino. What should I do about this? I am especially worried and do not know what to do. I can literally update my race on both the law portal and LSAC back to Caucasian. Would this hurt me in any way? Thanks a lot and I appreciate everything..


You're overthinking this. If your mom is Spanish, you are Hispanic. It doesn't matter that Spain is in Europe - that is still Hispanic. In fact, there are many Latin Americans who are overwhelmingly of Spanish and/or other European ancestry and no one would questions their status as Hispanic. I am of Latin American background and look very fair - can pass for your average white American. I did one of those DNA tests and told me I was 90% European (60% of that is Spanish), 5% Native American, and trace amounts from random places. I am most certainly Hispanic because I was born in a Spanish-speaking country and speak Spanish as a native language. You are Hispanic and checking off Hispanic on any box is a truthful answer in your case.

User avatar
magnum_law
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby magnum_law » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:27 pm

Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.

robjones7712
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby robjones7712 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:27 pm

I want to change it back to white. Do you think I will have an issue. I don't my acceptance to be revoked. I just feel that if I change it they will assume that I used Hispanic as an edge in the process. Thanks for your help buddy!!

robjones7712
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby robjones7712 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:39 pm

magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Oh ok, so I think I will be good if I switch to white?

para219
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:22 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby para219 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:44 pm

magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Why do you say this?

IExistedOnceBefore
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:47 pm

para219 wrote:
magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Why do you say this?


Because hispanics aren't considered URM while Latinos (who are also often Hispanic) are. It's weird. I wouldn't worry about it and I wouldn't change it.

robjones7712
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby robjones7712 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:54 pm

Do you think I should speak to someone in the school? Thanks again everyone ?

IExistedOnceBefore
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:57 pm

robjones7712 wrote:Do you think I should speak to someone in the school? Thanks again everyone ?



I would leave it. You didn't do anything incorrect. You are Hispanic and marked it correctly. I would take a deep breathe and continue on.

robjones7712
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby robjones7712 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Yes I know . But I just don't feel comfortable leaving it at that when I am white majority.

robjones7712
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby robjones7712 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:10 pm

If you can just answer if you think the school will get pissed?

User avatar
Delano
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby Delano » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:20 pm

TirantMartorell wrote:
robjones7712 wrote:Hi everyone,

I was recently accepted into Law School and had a question. Before taking the LSAT and speaking to advisors about law school, we had discussed my race/ethnicity. I have always been told from my family that I am literally 50/50 (Italian and Spanish). Dad is 100% Italian and Mom is 100% Spanish. All my life I have always been hesitant when checking the "ethnicity" box not knowing what is the right answer. I do not like and never wanted to reap benefits or to receive any special treatment by selecting Hispanic. Therefore, I have always selected Caucasian to avoid the question.. My advisors stated to me that by actually putting Hispanic down on law applications and the LSAT that I may have an edge in the dreadful admission process. Either way, I am not lying about it and would definitely not want to start a legal career by lying. Long story short, I have selected the "Other Hispanic Latino" option on LSAC and have submitted my law application identifying as Hispanic/Latino. I was admitted! Not mentioning where but a top 50 school... While still curious about my ethnicity and background, I recently paid around $150 for a DNA Genetic Test through Ancestry!

The results came back as I am actually 70% European (Italian) and the other 30% Spanish.

My question to all of you, I now do not feel comfortable especially after being accepted with my student profile stating that I am Hispanic/Latino. What should I do about this? I am especially worried and do not know what to do. I can literally update my race on both the law portal and LSAC back to Caucasian. Would this hurt me in any way? Thanks a lot and I appreciate everything..


You're overthinking this. If your mom is Spanish, you are Hispanic. It doesn't matter that Spain is in Europe - that is still Hispanic. In fact, there are many Latin Americans who are overwhelmingly of Spanish and/or other European ancestry and no one would questions their status as Hispanic. I am of Latin American background and look very fair - can pass for your average white American. I did one of those DNA tests and told me I was 90% European (60% of that is Spanish), 5% Native American, and trace amounts from random places. I am most certainly Hispanic because I was born in a Spanish-speaking country and speak Spanish as a native language. You are Hispanic and checking off Hispanic on any box is a truthful answer in your case.

+1 to all of this.
I think you're misunderstanding what the question's asking and what the DNA test is measuring.

Re - will the schools get pissed - No.

TirantMartorell
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby TirantMartorell » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:21 pm

IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
para219 wrote:
magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Why do you say this?


Because hispanics aren't considered URM while Latinos (who are also often Hispanic) are. It's weird. I wouldn't worry about it and I wouldn't change it.


This is not true. Hispanic and Latino are used interchangeably in the application. There is no separate Latino vs. Hispanic category. I have never seen a form anywhere in America that distinguishes between Latino and Hispanic.

IExistedOnceBefore
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:23 pm

TirantMartorell wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
para219 wrote:
magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Why do you say this?


Because hispanics aren't considered URM while Latinos (who are also often Hispanic) are. It's weird. I wouldn't worry about it and I wouldn't change it.


This is not true. Hispanic and Latino are used interchangeably in the application. There is no separate Latino vs. Hispanic category. I have never seen a form anywhere in America that distinguishes between Latino and Hispanic.


I have. But YMMV. I see non white hispanic, and Latino as separate options. More and more often as well, I was suprised the first time I saw it.

You also run into Hispanic/Latino and Mexican being separate and Mexicans get a boost while the former doesn't.

TirantMartorell
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby TirantMartorell » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:53 pm

robjones7712 wrote:Yes I know . But I just don't feel comfortable leaving it at that when I am white majority.


I think you don't understand the meaning of Hispanic. Hispanic and white are not mutually exclusive categories. You can be white and Hispanic at the same time. Just turn on any Mexican soap opera on Univsion and you'll see what I'm talking about.

TirantMartorell
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby TirantMartorell » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:56 pm

IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
TirantMartorell wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
para219 wrote:
magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Why do you say this?


Because hispanics aren't considered URM while Latinos (who are also often Hispanic) are. It's weird. I wouldn't worry about it and I wouldn't change it.


This is not true. Hispanic and Latino are used interchangeably in the application. There is no separate Latino vs. Hispanic category. I have never seen a form anywhere in America that distinguishes between Latino and Hispanic.


I have. But YMMV. I see non white hispanic, and Latino as separate options. More and more often as well, I was suprised the first time I saw it.

You also run into Hispanic/Latino and Mexican being separate and Mexicans get a boost while the former doesn't.


Please send me the link to a form that shows Hispanic and Latino as 2 separate categories where people must pick between them. I have never seen that and any form that asks that was made by someone who doesn't understand the meaning of those terms. I've seen forms distinguish among Hispanics - it might say, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Other Hispanic. But putting Mexican and Hispanic are separate categories also makes no sense because a Mexican person would then have to check 2 boxes.

User avatar
spqr351
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:06 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby spqr351 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:04 pm

You also can’t really trust the DNA test, especially one where you spit in a tube and mail it in.

I have Native American ancestry. I am 1/16. I am a member of the tribe. I know the names of my ancestors on the Trail of Tears, and pictures of Native ancestors dating from the 1890s. I have documentation proving my ancestry - iron clad documentation. I should have roughly 5% of my DNA show as Native. Ancestry DNA found zero trace of it! And yet they found I have 5% Chinese ancestry? My brother took the same test and shows as 12% Native. It makes zero sense.

The DNA test isn’t hyper-accurate. While it’s certainly fun, don’t make any decisions based off it. You’re Hispanic. Don’t worry about it.

User avatar
Gordon_Cole
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:14 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby Gordon_Cole » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:16 pm

spqr351 wrote:You also can’t really trust the DNA test, especially one where you spit in a tube and mail it in.

I have Native American ancestry. I am 1/16. I am a member of the tribe. I know the names of my ancestors on the Trail of Tears, and pictures of Native ancestors dating from the 1890s. I have documentation proving my ancestry - iron clad documentation. I should have roughly 5% of my DNA show as Native. Ancestry DNA found zero trace of it! And yet they found I have 5% Chinese ancestry? My brother took the same test and shows as 12% Native. It makes zero sense.

The DNA test isn’t hyper-accurate. While it’s certainly fun, don’t make any decisions based off it. You’re Hispanic. Don’t worry about it.


Yeah, the thing that most people don't understand about DNA tests is that not all of your ancestors' DNA shows up through genetic recombination. You get 50% of your father's DNA and 50% of your mother's. That means that, through recombination, you can end up with a lot of different results such as someone is one quarter Native American, one quarter Irish, one quarter Chinese, and one quarter Nigerian (in terms of your father and mother's DNA) show up through recombination with 50% Chinese and 50% Nigerian - as unlikely as that is. The oft-misused rule regarding absence of evidence and evidence of absence is actually applicable here.

Thus, absence of expected ancestry does not mean the test is faulty, though admittedly many of these tests are not the most accurate for many ethnicity. Native American ancestry is actually one of the populations for which the tests are most accurate, in terms of determining whether any of your DNA, not your complete ancestry, is of Native American origin.
Last edited by Gordon_Cole on Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

IExistedOnceBefore
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:16 pm

TirantMartorell wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
TirantMartorell wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
para219 wrote:
magnum_law wrote:Hispanics don't even get an appreciable (if any) boost. This doesn't matter.


Why do you say this?


Because hispanics aren't considered URM while Latinos (who are also often Hispanic) are. It's weird. I wouldn't worry about it and I wouldn't change it.


This is not true. Hispanic and Latino are used interchangeably in the application. There is no separate Latino vs. Hispanic category. I have never seen a form anywhere in America that distinguishes between Latino and Hispanic.


I have. But YMMV. I see non white hispanic, and Latino as separate options. More and more often as well, I was suprised the first time I saw it.

You also run into Hispanic/Latino and Mexican being separate and Mexicans get a boost while the former doesn't.


Please send me the link to a form that shows Hispanic and Latino as 2 separate categories where people must pick between them. I have never seen that and any form that asks that was made by someone who doesn't understand the meaning of those terms. I've seen forms distinguish among Hispanics - it might say, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Other Hispanic. But putting Mexican and Hispanic are separate categories also makes no sense because a Mexican person would then have to check 2 boxes.



I mean they're in job disclosures and applications so I'm not digging through my mass mailing madness to find them. But I don't disagree with you, there is a huge misunderstanding of terms. However you can be Latino and not Hispanic and I think that's where the differentiation is coming from, and of course you check two boxes, you don't have to check one? I never said you pick between them. Just that they're separated. For example. Someone from Brazil would pick Latino, but not Hispanic. While someone from Venezuela could pick both.

User avatar
TheBlueDevil
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:00 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby TheBlueDevil » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:18 pm

robjones7712 wrote:If you can just answer if you think the school will get pissed?


First, I think you were probably justified in identifying yourself as Hispanic. "Hispanic," in its original and still popular sense, just means "relating to Spain" (or, perhaps, Spain and Portugal together), even though it may now also be used in America as a synonym for "Latin American." Anyhow, if you have any Spanish heritage (and you do, even if less than previously thought), you are at least partly Hispanic, and therefore identifying yourself as Hispanic on your application is perfectly acceptable (obviously, you are not required to be fully Hispanic, i.e. solely of Spanish descent, to identify as Hispanic). Additionally, because those application questions deal more with personal identity than they do pure genetics, I don't think you're wrong to identify yourself as Hispanic if you commonly think of yourself as being of Spanish descent.

But I do think changing your race is liable to piss off the school. People generally do not change races. This whole genetics story is rather strange, and might suggest to the school that you've rather missed the point of the question. Moreover, because you knowingly and deliberately identified yourself as Hispanic, believing that doing so may confer some advantage in the admissions process, and because you attested to the truth of your application before submission (this is standard on all law school applications), with apparently at least some doubt about its truth (to the point you ordered a genetics test, which you now feel renders this portion of your application false), the school may have just reason to revoke your acceptance.

As this was a small part of this application and because I think you actually are Hispanic, I suggest that you do not attempt to amend your application at this point (or, at least, do not present the story as you've presented it here). In fact, I think you should continue to correctly identify yourself as Hispanic.

User avatar
MarkinKansasCity
#MAGA
Posts: 15931
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:18 am

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:27 pm

robjones7712 wrote: I do not like and never wanted to reap benefits or to receive any special treatment by selecting Hispanic.

Therefore, I have always selected Caucasian to avoid the question..

My advisors stated to me that by actually putting Hispanic down on law applications and the LSAT that I may have an edge in the dreadful admission process.

I do not like and never wanted to reap benefits or to receive any special treatment by selecting Hispanic.

Therefore, I have always selected Caucasian to avoid the question..


So you don't want an edge for being Hispanic, but you checked the box on your law school apps because it would give you an edge?

I mean, I don't really give a fuck one way or the other, and leaving it checked Hispanic is the right answer all the way around here, but you really did a 180 on the prefatory sentences in the OP, and then did another 180 2/3 of the way through like you're trying to take it back because you spit in a tube. That's some serious internal conflict you have there.

cavalier1138
Posts: 4483
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:47 pm

Yeah, stop worrying about this:

1. Those DNA tests are about 90% junk. Ancestral DNA markers are useful for finding out where your ancestors were in the stone age, not whether your great-grandparents were from China.

2. Even if the test is 100% accurate, you are still Hispanic and obviously identify as Hispanic enough to have checked the box in the first place. If you identify with that portion of your ethnic heritage and were raised (in some way) with that culture, then you're Hispanic. If this were an instance of someone raised in the world's most WASPy household trying to claim that they were black because of one of these tests, that would be different. But since that isn't what you're doing, go for it.

goingnutslawschool
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:54 am

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby goingnutslawschool » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:15 am

This is nuts. Obviously OP, you don’t really identify as Hispanic and thus your guilty conscience and second guessing. If you did identify as Hispanic, there would be no such internal conflict. If your mother is from Spain as you suggest then yes, you can honestly put down that you have Hispanic heritage and please leave it alone. And people here are getting confused about the race issue. If OP does change it to White, Non Hispanic then they are not changing Race. Hispanic is not a race- it’s an ethnicity. And it’s even more nuts that people are saying things like you can be Latino but not Hispanic. They are basically used interchangeably. Although someone might say Latino refers to Latin American descent and Hispanic more to Spanish descent but no they are not used that way in any real sense. And the US census has been using Hispanic as the ethnicity for both Latin American countries and Spanish descent. Yes, Hispanic can have different categories- PR, MA and so on. IDK that much about bumps though. I’ve just read that PR and MA may get the most bump in the application but really don’t know. My guess is that if you are a URM applicant, you get the most bump in a school that really needs diversity as opposed to a top school that already has plenty of URM applicants applying with top stats.

goingnutslawschool
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:54 am

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby goingnutslawschool » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:17 am

Sorry this is an old post. Will try to be more careful next time. Wish OP the best luck.

User avatar
slurp
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:59 pm

Re: Advice.. Ethnicity Change? Crazy Results DNA

Postby slurp » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:00 am

robjones7712 wrote:I do not like and never wanted to reap benefits or to receive any special treatment by selecting Hispanic...... My advisors stated to me that by actually putting Hispanic down on law applications and the LSAT that I may have an edge in the dreadful admission process

i fuck with the consistency

but rt and something to keep in mind - if you roll with hispanic now, you should probably keep this trend going and roll with it when filling out future job applications. not sure how thorough your bar's c+f will be, but it's something that's easy to spot and you may be questioned about it if you check the box now but fail to do so on your 1L, 2L, and beyond job applications.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests