Optional/Diversity Statements?

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aegor
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:29 pm

Optional/Diversity Statements?

Postby aegor » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:41 am

Basically, I am wondering how optional these addenda are. My stats are at/above median at HYS, and I have two diverse recommendations.

The diversity statements in particular are unclear in purpose to me. Are they basically asking every applicant to address how he/she brings diversity, or are they asking applicants with unusual personal identities/experiences to mention those? I am a stereotypical white male etc., so demographically, I am not that interesting. On the other hand, I lived abroad during my formative years and have a strong religious affiliation, which are probably the two most salient characteristics about me. Are these worth mentioning? I am trying to balance providing relevant information and not wasting my time and that of the admissions committees.

The same applies to the addenda of other schools, e.g. Stanford. Are they a way to gauge demonstrated interest? Settle the question on bubble candidates? Amuse the admissions officers?

I typically like to keep things compact, so my natural inclination is to consider them truly optional, but in my head Admiral Akbar's voice is persistently exclaiming "It's a trap!"

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

Re: Optional/Diversity Statements?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:09 am

Diversity statements are optional. If you have to ask, you shouldn't write one. And "Why [X]" essays are absolutely unnecessary for HYSCCN. Those schools don't do YP.

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Rigo
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Re: Optional/Diversity Statements?

Postby Rigo » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:19 am

Do not write a diversity statement as a straight white male. Huge chance it will be offputting and backfire.

aegor
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Optional/Diversity Statements?

Postby aegor » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:58 am

Thank you for the feedback.


Would it be worth writing a short paragraph stating that I lived abroad (focusing on the facts: locations, dates)? I spent about half my life outside of the US through age 11, and that experience was obviously formative given that I was educated in a foreign school system and had to learn a foreign language since no one I knew outside of my family spoke English. This information appears nowhere else in my application, and it is important to who I am and a source of my appreciation of and enjoyment of different cultures and recognition of how different cultures can lead to different social and legal structures.

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

Re: Optional/Diversity Statements?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:58 am

aegor wrote:Thank you for the feedback.


Would it be worth writing a short paragraph stating that I lived abroad (focusing on the facts: locations, dates)? I spent about half my life outside of the US through age 11, and that experience was obviously formative given that I was educated in a foreign school system and had to learn a foreign language since no one I knew outside of my family spoke English. This information appears nowhere else in my application, and it is important to who I am and a source of my appreciation of and enjoyment of different cultures and recognition of how different cultures can lead to different social and legal structures.


If it's relevant, throw it in your PS. If it's not, just leave it off, or throw it in whatever version you have of an "Interests" section on your resume. It's not a diversity statement.

etramak
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 11:58 am

Re: Optional/Diversity Statements?

Postby etramak » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:01 am

If you have a sincere religious devotion which has in some way influenced your decision to apply to law school, then I think it could make for a good diversity statement, regardless of your race or gender. I think the most important thing is to avoid writing one for the sake of writing one, and, even more so, to avoid writing one because you think you're incredibly special, gifted, different, etc. (not that you're coming off this way).




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