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Topics - owlsmid17

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Minority Topics / Final Verdict on Asians and URM
« on: June 08, 2007, 01:40:39 AM »
I did a little backtracking, and this question has already been breached, in a matter of speaking (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,52463.0.html), but it would not appear as if a conclusion on it was actually reached.

The simple question is, do Asians qualify as an URM, particularly if said Asian is Vietnamese? As previously demonstrated, it doesn't help you in regards to undergrad, but what effect does it have in regards to law school admissions (independent of numbers, is it a strength or a weakness, as far as an admission factor is concerned)? LSAC seems to indicate that we are an underrepresented group ("Only 1 in 25 lawyers look like you! Woot!" = http://www.lsac.org/LSAC.asp?url=/lsac/minorities-in-legal-education.asp), but much of the discussion on this board seems to indicate otherwise; even going to the point of advising prospective Asian prelaws to hide their heritage on their apps (lest we be forced to compete against each other). I am of mixed heritage (half-Vietnamese, half-Arab...dinner at my house is always interesting), and I plan to detail how growing up in a multicultural household (family reunions were always a lot of fun; everybody is yelling and laughing, but nobody has any idea what the other half of the family is saying) has helped me develop as an individual, etc. in my diversity statement or PS, but can such a classification even hurt me when applying to various T14 law schools?

If any adcomms happen to be reading this, and would like to provide some insight to end the discussion once and for all (PLEASE, PLEASE, for all that is good and holy, end it), it would be very helpful. Regardless of what the final verdict is, I plan on identifying myself ethnically either through my PS or in the little check box, but it would be nice to know what exactly I'm getting myself into.

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So, at the risk of sounding ignorant, elitist, and/or ridiculously pretentious (hit the trifecta...apologies in advance), how much does the quality of one's undergraduate institution affect their chances of getting into a top law school? I would assume that top undergrad universities would have a higher success rate (The WSJ did some sort of study on this a couple years back for grad schools in general, found here: http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf), simply because there tends to be a more competitive, more qualified pool (in comparison to larger schools, who probably have a similar group of equally qualified applicants, but also have more at the lower end of the academic spectrum).

But I suppose my question pertains specifically on a case-by-case basis; namely, differences in GPA. One would think that those at a top private school may generally go through a more rigorous courseload at than one at a large state school, and as such, may have a slightly lower GPA. If I'm not as ridiculously off-base as I think, how exactly do adcomms account for this potential difference (for example, a 3.85 in Econ at Duke v. a 3.95 in Econ at Indiana University)? Or are LSAT scores just used as the great equalizer?

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