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Author Topic: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement  (Read 5463 times)

ccast

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Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« on: November 11, 2004, 06:25:49 PM »
Question:

I am a Mexican-American (full, for those that care) and although have a Hispanic surname and checked the box, I went against the grain and DIDN'T talk about being Hispanic in any of my personal statements.  Instead, I focused on what I thought to be more relevant, my interest in legal scholarship.  What effect, if any, will this have on how an admissions committee might view my contribution to the diversity of their law school?

alphalyrae

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2004, 04:02:45 PM »
The admissions reps I've talked to suggest that "diversity" is more than race. I happen to be Puerto Rican, but I didn't really get into that in my apps. My personal statement focused on how I will contribute to diversity because of my unusual career and educational background. (Theatre and Cinema major, worked in film and video production after undergrad, come from a state college, not an ivy league.)

I've also been told that just being a minority doesn't mean much to admissions people unless you can give some explanation for how it has shaped you.
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smujd2007

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2004, 05:56:33 PM »
Checking the race box is not enough. If you wanted adcoms to consider your race, you should have made it clear.  Checking the race box does not do it.  You have to talk about how coming from a different culture makes you different from the other applicants who have the same LSAT scores and GPA that you do.
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smujd2007

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2004, 01:18:19 PM »
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Checking the race box is not enough. If you wanted adcoms to consider your race, you should have made it clear. Checking the race box does not do it. You have to talk about how coming from a different culture makes you different from the other applicants who have the same LSAT scores and GPA that you do.

Hmm..I'm not so sure this is true. While I think a lot of people would like there to be some requirement for you to be "into" your ethnicity to receive the benefits of AA, I don't think it's requisite. And I don't think it should be. You might have gotten more "Mexican points" if you were more involved with ethnicity issues, but I'm sure your ethnicity counts even if that's not the case (and I'm not sure your "involvement" makes any difference at all to adcomms, honestly.)


Better safe than sorry, whether it is true or not (which, at many top schools, it is true).  And trust me, in terms of admission to top schools and financial aid decisions at all schools, you are much better off writing the optional essay than checking the race box.  Anyone can check a race box, and they may or may not get caught.  But explaining how you are a URM and how it has shaped you is a much better admissions stragegy. My personal experiences, both through my own admissions process and those of friends who are URMs that have completed the admissions process all say that race has to be explained in order to be used effectively for admissions.  I think the opposite of what mobell is saying is actually true . . .people want to believe that by checking the race box, they will easily reap the benefits of AA, but this is actually what is not true. 
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davidfriedland

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2004, 11:11:17 PM »
Ok I really need your advice. I am half argentine/ half white. After talking to numerous people I am having a hard time deciding what to do. Either I check spanish and attach a diversity statement (I have already written one) or I check other and attach a diversity statement.

What do you think is the best option and the one that will give me the least troubles? Or are they basically the same?

smujd2007

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2004, 12:06:23 AM »
Don't think it really matters if the diversity statement is well written and says what it needs to say about your background. Good luck.
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brooklynman

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2004, 12:15:47 PM »
Don't think it really matters if the diversity statement is well written and says what it needs to say about your background. Good luck.

Thanks for the info.

The reason I ask is because I know that schools are trying to amp up their diversity rankings. If that is the case maybe if you put other plus a diversity statement you get put into a different category than hispanic with a diversity statement. Maybe the moment I check other he school will not put me in the hispanic category when they are ranked for diversity and therefore will have more of an incentive to put someone who checked the hispanic box without a diversity statement.

smujd2007

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2004, 12:00:14 PM »
It's going to come out that you are mixed race one way or the other.  The explanation is what counts.  They know that people who are mixed race are going to have issues checking more than one box, especially when some applications say "please check only one" rather than "check all that apply." So just do what you think, and wrtie a really good diversity statement.  Good luck.
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lawhijabi

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2006, 05:02:21 AM »
Is your being Jewish your ethnicity or your religion?  It is so interesting how so many people in South America (ex Brazil) are considered white or other races but if they were in America they would be black.  You would be Latino.  In my opinion, but it is all about what you identify as.  All of who you are is important, you are unique not because your Jewish, but because your Jewish, Argentinean, etc.  For the sake of checking boxes you can often check more then one, or other and write what you identify with most in the other.  In an essay I would mention it all.

daisy1985

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Re: Minority Perspective in Personal Statement
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2009, 04:44:12 AM »
the basic law speaks of cultural and linguistic minorities in broad and general terms, it does not specify the groups, which are to be treated as such. One of the consequences of this constitutional silence is that the identification of groups and communities as minorities has been left to the administrative prerogative, at times to court verdicts. Thus, certain denominational orders flowing from the Hindu religious tradition have now been considered as minority groups. The Presidential Executive Order, which constitutes the basis for identification of minority groups in India, has notified five such communities as minority groups. Further, this identification applies at the all-India level. Thus, irrespective of its proportionate share in the population of a particular district of state, these five communities are treated as minority groups in India.
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