Am I an URM?

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yasias

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Am I an URM?

Post by yasias » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:00 pm

Is Indo-Guyanese considered URM? What do I indicate on an application?

crazywafflez

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by crazywafflez » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:35 pm

Hey, I'm sorry if I come off as insensitive during the post, but I'm trying to just be frank with you. Indo-Guyaneses are not URMs. URMs are going to be Blacks, Hispanics (of Mexican and PR ancestry- not others), and Natives. Indians, Middle Easterners, Jews, Hispanics of differing origin, Asians, etc., do not count as URMs for the sake of law school admissions. They all count as minorities, sure, and feel free to write a diversity statement- many of these groups are actually over-represented in the legal field in some places. If I were you I'd mark Asian or Indian (I cannot remember if Indian is included, but if it is not you'd mark Asian). You can mark other as well (I think this was an option when I was going through but cannot remember) if you don't feel comfortable putting Asian or Indian.

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bretby

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by bretby » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:10 pm

crazywafflez wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:35 pm
Hey, I'm sorry if I come off as insensitive during the post, but I'm trying to just be frank with you. Indo-Guyaneses are not URMs. URMs are going to be Blacks, Hispanics (of Mexican and PR ancestry- not others), and Natives. Indians, Middle Easterners, Jews, Hispanics of differing origin, Asians, etc., do not count as URMs for the sake of law school admissions. They all count as minorities, sure, and feel free to write a diversity statement- many of these groups are actually over-represented in the legal field in some places. If I were you I'd mark Asian or Indian (I cannot remember if Indian is included, but if it is not you'd mark Asian). You can mark other as well (I think this was an option when I was going through but cannot remember) if you don't feel comfortable putting Asian or Indian.
I think URM status is more complicated than this answer allows. For starters, the notion that only Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are URMs among persons of Hispanic origin is particularly odd to me. I would suggest that the OP mark whatever box feels the most representative. Ultimately the question is a complicated one and different people will have different opinions, so I would also not spend too much time trying to divine how any particular admissions officer will evaluate your status.

nixy

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:51 pm

To my understanding, the answer about Mexicans/PRs comes from the fact that in the original court case addressing URMs in admissions, they were the only ethnically Hispanic groups specified when talking about diversity (and, I think, some concern that many others of Hispanic origin, such as Brazilians or Ecuadoreans or such, aren't actually underrepresented in law schools compared to their numbers in the US population).

I don't know how true it is, or how closely law schools parse Hispanic ethnicity, but that's the general theory. Schools certainly don't seem to parse Asian very closely (some Asian groups are overrepresented but others aren't), so it's perfectly plausible that Hispanic is Hispanic is Hispanic.

Just for fun, LSAC's current categories under Hispanic are: Central American, Chicano/Mexican, Cuban, Other Hispanic/Latino, and South American (and those are the same categories on U Michigan's law school app; lots of schools don't have sample apps online, so I can't tell). The Indian subcontinent shows up as Asian.

OP, no one is going to ask you to check a box saying that you are/aren't a URM. They'll ask you to check off boxes that fit how you identify yourself (as many as apply). I'm not particularly familiar with Indo-Guyanese identity, but depending how you see yourself, it seems like checking Hispanic (South American) and/or Asian (Indian subcontinent) would be fair. Adcomms will decide whether you fit a group that's underrepresented in their school/the legal profession and whether that means they'll look at your scores differently. I'm not sure what they'll do with your categories, but there's nothing you can do about that anyway.

Joachim2017

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by Joachim2017 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:17 pm

yasias wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:00 pm
Is Indo-Guyanese considered URM? What do I indicate on an application?


I mean, does anyone really believe someone (at schools or firms or the bar or whatever) would call you out and accuse you of not being a URM if you said that you were? No way.

nixy

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:28 pm

Joachim2017 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:17 pm
yasias wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:00 pm
Is Indo-Guyanese considered URM? What do I indicate on an application?


I mean, does anyone really believe someone (at schools or firms or the bar or whatever) would call you out and accuse you of not being a URM if you said that you were? No way.
Except no admissions form or bar application asks if you're "URM." They ask you to identify your race/ethnicity, and then they decide what to do with that. (Possible exception is law firm diversity programs, but those are definitely broader than the category of URM and often just ask how you "contribute to diversity" in the legal profession or whatever, which lots of people who don't "count" as URMs can satisfy.)

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:59 pm

From a purely law-admissions perspective, "URM status" consists of two criteria:

1) having more people with X characteristic would enrich the educational experience (remember, this is the allowable rationale for affirmative action under current SCOTUS precedents) and

2) the admissions office needs to adjust its LSAT/uGPA requirements in order to admit/matriculate a sufficient number of people with X characteristic

Most ethnic, sexual, religious, etc. minorities, along with a wide range of people who bring other sorts of diversity (e.g. military vets), meet the first criterion, which is why people get confused about this topic. The second criterion is the one that makes a difference for individual applicants.

Because of the effects of racism and socioeconomic marginalization, black/Mexican-/Puerto Rican-Americans graduate college less often and get lower LSAT scores than their compatriots. So law schools, by necessity, change their admissions approach for members of those groups.

What this means for OP: you should write a diversity statement, because most law schools love to have people from your background, but don't expect to outperform your hard numbers.

EnjoyIllinois

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by EnjoyIllinois » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:34 pm

A person who is Indo-Guyanese would fall under the following U.S. Census categories:
- Asian Indian
- Hispanic, Spanish, or Latino origin (a category that also includes Argentinians and Colombians)
- Biracial
Also you have to imagine that admissions officers are not robots. They would realize that not many law students are Indo-Guyanese and so a student with this background brings some diversity to a class.

nixy

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Re: Am I an URM?

Post by nixy » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:30 pm

EnjoyIllinois wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:34 pm
Also you have to imagine that admissions officers are not robots. They would realize that not many law students are Indo-Guyanese and so a student with this background brings some diversity to a class.
I agree with this, but I don't think that "diversity" necessarily equates to the measurable boost (in the sense of admission with lower numbers) that you see in many traditional URM candidates.

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