Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: LGBT Applicants  (Read 1930 times)

NickMc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - svencub
    • View Profile
    • Email
LGBT Applicants
« on: August 19, 2009, 01:52:06 PM »
I am gay and not sure if presenting this would be a help or a hinderance in the admission process.  I am totally out and completely comfortable with who I am, therefore, presenting this does not bother me.  I figured including some reference to this would be approrpaite within my personal statement as it has been a challenge and something that has truly shaped my leadersip abilities as well as how I have dealt with adversity.

I have a 3.6 GPA and my first practice LSAT test was a 158 and I have been able to reach a 171 on subsequent practice tests.  I'm shooting for a 170 on the test next month.  Should I rely on my gpa and lsat score primarily or is it wise to "come out" during the admission process?  I'm unaware if there is a level of homophobia to avoid? 
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence” - John Adams

violaboy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1126
    • View Profile
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 06:16:32 PM »
I am also an LGBT candidate, and I'm am disclosing myself on all of my applications as part of my personal statement.  If you want more info, just PM me.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 06:46:40 PM »
I am gay and not sure if presenting this would be a help or a hinderance in the admission process.  I am totally out and completely comfortable with who I am, therefore, presenting this does not bother me.  I figured including some reference to this would be approrpaite within my personal statement as it has been a challenge and something that has truly shaped my leadersip abilities as well as how I have dealt with adversity.

I have a 3.6 GPA and my first practice LSAT test was a 158 and I have been able to reach a 171 on subsequent practice tests.  I'm shooting for a 170 on the test next month.  Should I rely on my gpa and lsat score primarily or is it wise to "come out" during the admission process?  I'm unaware if there is a level of homophobia to avoid? 

I think this a great question.  I am an LGBT student, and I was very open and candid in my PS about my sexual identity, particularly because it had a lot to do with my diversity as an applicant and the community I want to serve (in part) as a future attorney.  In my experience (and I applied to over 30 schools), it only strengthened my application, and based on the success of my application cycle, it was not a hinderance.  With that being said, I only applied to schools that were a part of the AALS, had a non-discrimination policy that covered sexual orientation, had an LGBT student organization and/or offered courses that addressed LGBT-sensitive issues (even schools built from Jesuit or religious traditions).   I also looked here to make an informed decision: http://www.lsac.org/SpecialInterests/lgbt-chart.asp  This was the way I made sure that my mentioning my experiences as a sexual minority in my personal and diversity statements would be received well.

The truth is, you don't want to be at a law school with an environment that will view you (and other sexual minority students) in askance.  Of course, if you find yourself at such an institution, it is a great thing to be the one who breaks this barrier, creating more opportunity for other sexual minority students (current or prospective or even alumni). 

Generally, I think the legal education arena is a welcoming place for sexual minorities (although, there is along way to go with regard to gender-identity). These videos by LSAC on being a sexual minority applicant might be able to fill in the blanks: http://www.lsac.org/videoStreams/Outlooks_Main.asp  One of the videos here specifically addresses being "out" in the application process.

In all fairness, I happen to be both a racial and sexual minority (among other things), so my circumstances in the application cycle might be more unique, but I still came away from the application process with an amazing impression.

Send me a private message if you want to talk more.  8)

violaboy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1126
    • View Profile
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 07:09:37 PM »
Vandonson gives some great references.  The videos are well done.

One of my friends thought that it gave a boost, like being a URM.  I don't think so, but it does add diversity to the class.

Frogconcept

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 07:11:56 PM »
This is actually a good question.  If there's a boost, I'd be seriously tempted to out myself on my application, and I'm not even gay.  That being said, that would obviously undermine the reasoning behind it, so I guess I probably wouldn't, but how tempting would that be?

violaboy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1126
    • View Profile
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 07:14:46 PM »
It would be tempting.  But you could say you were 1/16 African American, and I don't think anyone would know the better either.  But hey, we're supposed to be truthful on these applications, right?  Standing for truth and justice :)

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 07:22:19 PM »
It would be tempting.  But you could say you were 1/16 African American, and I don't think anyone would know the better either.  But hey, we're supposed to be truthful on these applications, right?  Standing for truth and justice :)

lol... Well I'm definitely more than 1/16 African-American, but Viola makes a good point... But I wonder if an applicant not being truthful about this could be a character and fitness issue or misconduct and irregularities problem?!  I mean the categorical designations that we're talking about are generally optional, and the ambiguity, fluidity, and intersectionality of these categories can raise some questions about whether an applicant was being misleading...

I'm with Viola... it's better to just be truthful! lol

violaboy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1126
    • View Profile
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 07:27:57 PM »
It would be tempting.  But you could say you were 1/16 African American, and I don't think anyone would know the better either.  But hey, we're supposed to be truthful on these applications, right?  Standing for truth and justice :)

lol... Well I'm definitely more than 1/16 African-American, but Viola makes a good point... But I wonder if an applicant not being truthful about this could be a character and fitness issue or misconduct and irregularities problem?!  I mean the categorical designation that we're talking about are generally optional, and the ambiguity, fluidity, and intersectionality of these categories can raise some questions about whether an applicant was being misleading...

I'm with Viola... it's better to just be truthful! lol

Yeah, you could definitely get into some deep problems!

The only two schools (that I know of) that ask it on the application are Penn and Cornell.  I heard that W & L does too, but I've never seen their app.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 07:34:57 PM »
It would be tempting.  But you could say you were 1/16 African American, and I don't think anyone would know the better either.  But hey, we're supposed to be truthful on these applications, right?  Standing for truth and justice :)

lol... Well I'm definitely more than 1/16 African-American, but Viola makes a good point... But I wonder if an applicant not being truthful about this could be a character and fitness issue or misconduct and irregularities problem?!  I mean the categorical designation that we're talking about are generally optional, and the ambiguity, fluidity, and intersectionality of these categories can raise some questions about whether an applicant was being misleading...

I'm with Viola... it's better to just be truthful! lol

Yeah, you could definitely get into some deep problems!

The only two schools (that I know of) that ask it on the application are Penn and Cornell.  I heard that W & L does too, but I've never seen their app.

Yeah, Washington and Lee asks it. Albany and Hamline both ask it as well.  Hofstra asks if you would be interested in an LGBT fellowship on its application, which you don't have to be a member of the LGBT community to be interested in, but it's clearly meant to attract and identify LGBT students.

vthokie21

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: LGBT Applicants
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 04:36:02 PM »
Hi, I'm new to this site and I'm also an African-American LGBT applicant. I've been out of school for 4 years now and my issue is this: I have a 2.65 undergrad GPA. I took the LSAT on September 26th so I'm still waiting for my score. I obviously don't have a shot at any top schools with that GPA, so which lower ranked schools (lower T1, T2, and T3) should I target that are located in LGBT-friendly areas?