Black person writing non-racial DS?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
citydweller09
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby citydweller09 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:55 pm

.
Last edited by citydweller09 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:57 pm

Just make up a story about white people being mean to you. hth

But if you don't want to do this, I'm not sure that a diversity statement including what you've indicated is really going to be worth it.

Carlisle
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:13 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Carlisle » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:00 pm

it can't hurt. you can write anything you want and as long as you mention somewhere that you are black you will be fine.

User avatar
iminlstrick
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:37 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:05 pm

Carlisle wrote:it can't hurt. you can write anything you want and as long as you mention somewhere that you are black you will be fine.


-1. If you don't have anything compelling to write, then don't write anything at all. Adcomms might invite diversity statements, but I really think that you should use discretion when submitting one. That you're a URM will be evident with your race selection on LSAC (presuming you disclose your race).

User avatar
kurama20
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby kurama20 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:09 pm

iminlstrick wrote:
Carlisle wrote:it can't hurt. you can write anything you want and as long as you mention somewhere that you are black you will be fine.


-1. If you don't have anything compelling to write, then don't write anything at all. Adcomms might invite diversity statements, but I really think that you should use discretion when submitting one. That you're a URM will be evident with your race selection on LSAC (presuming you disclose your race).


Yeah I agree 100%. And not to sound condescending but writing a diversity statement about the effect a blog had on you is just not something I would try. I'm not personally bashing it but I just don't see a way in which this will positively affect your application. In fact I think to a an adcomm (who is probably going to be 30+) it will be hard to make an essay out of that topic that doesn't seem a bit immature and naive. I think you should just skip the diversity statement.

citydweller09
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby citydweller09 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:12 pm

.
Last edited by citydweller09 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:14 pm

citydweller09 wrote:Yikes, immature and naive. Alright. So supposing I leave that essay topic aside, would a non-race based DS be a bad idea anyway?


Why do you feel like you even need to write one at all?

citydweller09
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby citydweller09 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:18 pm

Why do you feel like you even need to write one at all?


.
Last edited by citydweller09 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:20 pm

citydweller09 wrote:
Why do you feel like you even need to write one at all?


I have an extremely lame GPA for my purposes (3.4), so I was looking to take advantage of any conceivable opportunity to sell myself a little more to adcoms.


Contriving a diversity statement probably won't help.

User avatar
kurama20
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby kurama20 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:24 pm

citydweller09 wrote:Yikes, immature and naive. Alright. So supposing I leave that essay topic aside, would a non-race based DS be a bad idea anyway?


I'm just saying that based off of the age range that you are most likely going to be dealing with when talking about adcomms. In addition to the picture one tends to get in their head about a "blogger". Realistically I'm sure this picture is probably even less appealing to a 40 year old adcomm.

citydweller09 wrote:
Why do you feel like you even need to write one at all?


I have an extremely lame GPA for my purposes (3.4), so I was looking to take advantage of any conceivable opportunity to sell myself a little more to adcoms.


You need to write an addendum, not a diversity statement. And for what it's worth, except for Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, and maybe Harvard I would not even worry about writing an addendum for a 3.4. It's not a high GPA but it really isn't an addendum worthy GPA. This is particularly true if it was earned in the math/science disciplines. Just write a strong PS.

citydweller09
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby citydweller09 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:29 pm

.
Last edited by citydweller09 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:30 pm

hey I'm about to PM you

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:33 pm

citydweller09 wrote:
Contriving a diversity statement probably won't help.


I'd hardly call it "contriving a diversity statement" to consider writing about something else I bring to the campus (i.e. a particular ideology) besides the fact that I'm black. There's more than one type of diversity. "Contriving" a DS would be writing about the stuff I mentioned at the outset - poverty, racism - when I don't feel I have something meaningful to say about them. And I already established I wasn't planning to do that.

But yeah, thanks for your input.


You misunderstand. Everybody brings something different to the law school class, but that doesn't mean it's worthy of a diversity statement. I enjoy French New Wave films, my dad's name is Ben, I identify most with libertarian politics, and I'm taking part in a major that not a lot law students will have majored in. But I'm not going to write a diversity statement about any of those things.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:33 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:hey I'm about to PM you


Are you talking to me? Please don't PM me.

User avatar
kurama20
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby kurama20 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:34 pm

citydweller09 wrote:
Contriving a diversity statement probably won't help.


I'd hardly call it "contriving a diversity statement" to consider writing about something else I bring to the campus (i.e. a particular ideology) besides the fact that I'm black. There's more than one type of diversity. "Contriving" a DS would be writing about the stuff I mentioned at the outset - poverty, racism - when I don't feel I have something meaningful to say about them. And I already established I wasn't planning to do that.

But yeah, thanks for your input.


"Contriving" is going a bit far. I don't think the OP needs to write about her race if she does not feel it has impacted her. And I don't think there is anything wrong with the fact that this blog has impacted her. But for the sake of law school admissions I would be very careful about writing an essay on how a blog made me change my ideals. That just sounds too much like the sort of thing I've read that adcomms expect from young applicants; it conveys a vibe that they seem not to be fond of. In addition I'm not really sure how that really even falls into the diversity category (and I'm not saying that just because it isn't based on race). On the other hand if OP scores a 175 I don't think they will care one way or the other (outside of Yale, Stanford, and maybe Boalt).

User avatar
Carnertine
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Carnertine » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:35 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:hey I'm about to PM you


Ok!

User avatar
-KommonOddity_
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 7:39 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby -KommonOddity_ » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:37 pm

If selling yourself to ADCOMS is the case (which i presume goes without saying), I'd recommend getting a 170+ on the LSAT. If you choose to write a DS, make sure you've put in the time to produce something worth looking at.

Lark
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:01 am

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Lark » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:01 pm

I think a lot of us (edit to clarify: URM applicants) aren't inner-city ghetto/barrio dwellers who got routinely called racial epithets from the time we were children. Race is a lot more subtle than that. I don't know about stuff from the admissions POV, but if you want to discuss your contribution to diversity, I think you can discuss race without trumping up disadvantages you didn't have.

Possibly something along the lines of discussing how your background was relatively privileged, but that it was that way because of all the effort people of prior generations made to overcome disadvantages *they* had, and now you're in a position to provide a positive role model for future generations by entering a profession which has historically not been as accessible to minorities or to women, etc? That sort of thing.

User avatar
iminlstrick
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:37 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:07 pm

Lark wrote:I think a lot of us (edit to clarify: URM applicants) aren't inner-city ghetto/barrio dwellers who got routinely called racial epithets from the time we were children. Race is a lot more subtle than that. I don't know about stuff from the admissions POV, but if you want to discuss your contribution to diversity, I think you can discuss race without trumping up disadvantages you didn't have.

Possibly something along the lines of discussing how your background was relatively privileged, but that it was that way because of all the effort people of prior generations made to overcome disadvantages *they* had, and now you're in a position to provide a positive role model for future generations by entering a profession which has historically not been as accessible to minorities or to women, etc? That sort of thing.


I mean I guess -- except, and without intending to turn this into some kind of race debate -- I just feel like that particular line of argument only works 1) if it's true; I mean who knows, maybe OP's parents were royalty from Africa (not even kidding, know someone who fits this description). 2) Be careful of how you frame this if you do go this route; if you're not careful, it can come off cliche and/or an argument that pretty much any minority (and plenty of non-minorities) can make.

citydweller09
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby citydweller09 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:35 pm

.
Last edited by citydweller09 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:36 pm

Lark wrote:I think a lot of us (edit to clarify: URM applicants) aren't inner-city ghetto/barrio dwellers who got routinely called racial epithets from the time we were children. Race is a lot more subtle than that. I don't know about stuff from the admissions POV, but if you want to discuss your contribution to diversity, I think you can discuss race without trumping up disadvantages you didn't have.

Possibly something along the lines of discussing how your background was relatively privileged, but that it was that way because of all the effort people of prior generations made to overcome disadvantages *they* had, and now you're in a position to provide a positive role model for future generations by entering a profession which has historically not been as accessible to minorities or to women, etc? That sort of thing.

That's a pretty contrived essay topic.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:39 pm

citydweller09 wrote:The topic I'm leaning toward concerns the surprisingly strong effect that a popular blog has had on me - essentially that it's turned me into a more staunch feminist than I ever could've claimed to be before, and how that manifests in my day-to-day life and outlook. My race would enter into it a tiny bit, I'm sure, but would by no means be the focus.

Should I bother?

Has it influenced you to actually do anything? If it was just thought provoking, it's not exactly worthy of an essay topic. Also, which blog?

User avatar
iminlstrick
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:37 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:41 pm

citydweller09 wrote:
Anyway, the sense I'm getting from people's responses is that outside of something like my race, religion, sexual orientation, or perhaps economic hardship or disability, other topics fall more into the "fun facts about me as a person" category than DS material. Does that sound about right?


Yes. Last year a friend of mine asked me if submitting a DS about a unique musical talent was appropriate. It's not that schools clearly dislike these kinds of topics, but I feel like given the gravity of diversity statements that ARE submitted (e.g. poverty, refugee status, etc.), a "fun facts" DS might make you look insensitive or silly. I just wouldn't want to risk that.

citydweller09
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby citydweller09 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:49 pm

.
Last edited by citydweller09 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
NayBoer
Posts: 1013
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Black person writing non-racial DS?

Postby NayBoer » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:52 pm

iminlstrick wrote:
citydweller09 wrote:
Anyway, the sense I'm getting from people's responses is that outside of something like my race, religion, sexual orientation, or perhaps economic hardship or disability, other topics fall more into the "fun facts about me as a person" category than DS material. Does that sound about right?


Yes. Last year a friend of mine asked me if submitting a DS about a unique musical talent was appropriate. It's not that schools clearly dislike these kinds of topics, but I feel like given the gravity of diversity statements that ARE submitted (e.g. poverty, refugee status, etc.), a "fun facts" DS might make you look insensitive or silly. I just wouldn't want to risk that.
I skimmed through an applications-process book that included a handful of DS samples. I don't think any of them included race. Go to Barnes & Noble or something similar and find one of those books for an idea of what people submit.

I was under the impression convential wisdom is that simply checking off URM status is less helpful without a DS.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Thewanderer and 1 guest