How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
beautyistruth
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:23 am

How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby beautyistruth » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:51 pm

0L here. I've been taking a look at 1L diversity SA positions. Beside nailing 1L grades, what sorts of factors make people more competitive for these positions?

User avatar
theInnerCircle
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:46 am

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby theInnerCircle » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:41 am

Hey OP, this is an interesting question that I would like to hear some opinions on as well. How about posting this in the URM section?

beautyistruth
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:23 am

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby beautyistruth » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:23 pm

I would, but I don't think it's necessarily just URM related since, as I understand it, "diversity" for firms usually includes groups like Asians, females, LGBT, and other groups that may not receive URM status.

User avatar
CalAlumni
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:58 am

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby CalAlumni » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:22 pm

If anyone has insight into this that would be great.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:26 pm

Get really good grades, interview extremely well, ideally attend a top school. It's not complicated (which isn't the same thing as saying it's easy).

VyingDestiny
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby VyingDestiny » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:09 pm

Diversity may include many things, but you would be incredibly naive to believe that firms evaluate all "diverse" groups equally. Specify how you are "diverse" and I can attemp to specify how you might want to market yourself.

beautyistruth
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:23 am

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby beautyistruth » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:19 pm

I was glancing at Perkins Coie's diversity fellowship page (--LinkRemoved--) and they have three factors. The first two are standard (pursuing J.D, good academic standing).

The third factor is "The individual must contribute meaningfully to the diversity of the law school student body and, upon entering the legal profession, the legal community."

Does anybody have insight on what soft factors these translate to? Would this be things like volunteer work, interest/activism for specific groups? If anybody has, or knows anybody who got one of these positions could comment on their softs, I, and I'm sure others in this thread would be very appreciative.

I'm an Asian female. Probably not the most desirable type of diversity, but I'd technically be eligible.

VyingDestiny
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby VyingDestiny » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:02 pm

Honestly, given that you are an Asian female who is straight through, I would say that you are facing an uphill battle, and the criteria are pretty much: grades > interviewing. While this post is certainly no major revelation, I will just add that interviewing skills are severely underrated. You absolutely need to understand how you come across, and if you are not crisp, professional, and affable, you will struggle.

Also, be proactive. This is not a war that is won on the battlefield oftentimes. Put yourself out there, and try to make contacts who will pass your name along.

These positions are ridiculously competitive, and I can understand the desire to want to make yourself as prepared as possible, but really, in my experience the carpet is rolled out for two people: the stunners (the law school savants), and the charmers (the networking hustlers). Get in where you fit in.

spiritniffler189
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:04 am

Re: How to be competitive for a 1L Diversity SA/Fellowship

Postby spiritniffler189 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:42 am

I think the best way to stand out, aside from grades, is showing sincere interest in the firm. That can come from speaking with associates there, and including that in your personal statement (most personal statements ask 'why X firm?'). But that's hard to do as a first semester 1L. And apply early -- I'd work on a personal statement now if I had down time, because waiting until winter break makes it harder to stand out. If you're one of the few that actually applies on December 1st your app won't be lost in a pile. Don't think you'll have time over Thanksgiving break -- that's when you should be outlining/gearing up towards finals. But as everyone has echoed in here, grades are by far most important.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: oldtimeywestern and 3 guests