Law School Discussion

Setting The Record Straight


Setting The Record Straight
« on: March 10, 2005, 03:23:12 PM »
I applied to 35 schools. I sent a “race addendum” fully and honestly describing my background to 34 of those 35 schools. For one school X I did not, for the following reason:

All of the other schools invited an open “diversity” essay or had no overt warnings about submitting extra supplemental materials. In contrast, school X does have a unique warning. A quote from X’s app: “The Admissions Committee does not encourage sending supplemental materials aside from the attachments listed.” The only stated attachment that would have been close to acceptable for my “diverse race background” description was a “Statement on Economic, Social, or Personal Disadvantage”. However, this description for this essay required that the essay demonstrate severe hardship one has experienced in the past due to the socio/racial/economic background. I do not feel that I have experienced hardship because of my background and my “diverse race background” essay does not assert so. Thus, I did not know what to do. Should I submit my “diverse race background” essay explaining my situation or not?

Back in September I called school X. I fully explained my situation to the person on the phone. I explained my concern that I wanted to fully disclose my background but X’s application seemed to heavily dissuade one from submitting any materials not specifically asked for. I explained all the key facts in my race background and asked whether or not it would be appropriate for me to submit an essay describing all these facts so that there would be no confusion about my self identification as Hispanic.

I received the following cryptic response: “Follow the instructions on the application.” Continued further inquiries resulted in the same cryptic response. I did what I was told on the phone and followed the letter of the law on X’s application. Therefore, I did not submit my “race addendum” to school X.

X discovered my information on LSD and LSN and matched my profile up with my app. They read in some of my posts that I submitted a race addendum to various schools explaining my background. X was confused and angry because X did not receive said addendum. Without contacting me first, X proceeded to call many of the schools I listed on LSN as having applied to and raised questions about my honesty and integrity.

For all such schools I am immediately interested in, I have contacted them and they are fully aware of my side of the story and I have been assured that I am in no way viewed as having been dishonest. X is the only school with that opinion. After lengthy discussions with X, I believe X is beginning to understand the reason I did not submit the race addendum in the first place and is beginning to believe I made no attempt to deceive them and, in fact, my reason for not submitting the addendum in the first place was out of an attempt to be scrupulously honest. I did not want to give X the impression that I believe I have faced hardship as a result of my race identification.

I wish X had contacted me directly with their concerns. If they had done so, all of this could have been avoided. I do not think it was right for X to contact various schools and raise questions about my honesty and integrity without involving me in some way in the process. I debated whether or not to make this post, and in the end I decided the following:

X decided to use LSD/LSN to gather information on me and reached a false conclusion in doing so. As such, I feel it is appropriate for me to make this one last final post on the same board from whence they gathered their initial information.

I’m really signing off this time. Thanks guys. It’s been a blast. Kick ass in 1L, and to school X – no hard feelings. Sometimes these misunderstandings happen. I’m all good with things now. I hope you are too.

Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2005, 03:28:58 PM »
Good luck in law school - you're gonna do great - and congrats on the new change in your life - it makes all of the drama you've had to deal with in this post seem so small by comparison ... best wishes.

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Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2005, 04:07:01 PM »
I am reposting my 50 cents on this issue. Because I hope you read this and follow my advice:

" This is not right. This is not right at all! I think that you need to expose this school. What school was it? We all should know.

This school had the nerve to do an investigation on you based on incomplete information found on a message board. And without inquiring about your side of the story, they contact the other schools that you applied to? What??? This is very heavy handed.

You need to expose this school so we all can know. This school needs to be publicly shamed! If I were in your position, I would get the media involved. They practiacally tried to sabatoge you based on incomplete information. "


Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2005, 06:17:07 PM »
Everything is resolved. I'm not a vidictive person, but i am an honest person. Anyway, I wanted to post this in the thread i started:

This is a truth: i am hispanic. my father knows i am hispanic. my grandmother knew i was hispanic. my relatives all know i am hispanic. i have checked the 'hispanic' box my entire life from elementary school through high school when it was no advantage. When people ask "what kind of last name is that?", and i say "it's mexican", and they say "oh, you mean spanish", i say "no, it's mexican" with an edge of 'you got a problem w/ that?' tinge to it. I know i am an hispanic through and through.

This is another truth: i have not faced discrimination the way other hispanic applicants have because I look white.

During my law school admissions I tried to find the appropriate balance between these two truths, and even higher truths beyond them. Below is the "race addendum" i submitted in all my applications except for school X (as previously explained). I have absolutely no problem whatsoever if someone comes to the conclusion I should get no AA benefit from my Hispanic heritage. Part of me (in fact, a lot of me) agrees with that assessment. But i'll be damn$d if i'll ever hide my pride in my dark blooded mexican heritage by ever nodding "yes" when someone says "oh, you mean spanish" or by hiding who i know i am.

If a law school admission board thinks "this guy's not hispanic! no way we're giving him an AA advantage" i'm absolutely fine with that. That's why i submitted the addendum - so they could reach their own conclusions. That's why i tried so hard to see if i could somehow submit this addendum in an appropriate fashion to school X. But there's no freakin way i was checking the white box. if you ask me "what are you" on the street or in a law school application, you'll always get the answer "stone cold chicano". i will NEVER change that. EVER. Here's my race addendum:


Shortly after my birth, my biological father abandoned my mother and me. My mother was, at the time, a woman of modest means: a high school drop-out who bore me at the young age of seventeen and shortly thereafter left her troubled, impoverished family to fend for us both. We spent the following years in public housing and on food stamps as my mother struggled to make as secure a life as possible for our small family of two.

Having trained herself as a machinist sharpening drill bits for a tool factory in Houston (where she was the first female employee), my mother began to make a good income as a skilled laborer.  By the time I was six we moved into an apartment complex and were off food stamps when we met [redacted]. My mother married [redacted] and he became my father, my true father, the only father I have ever known.

Because of my mother’s estrangement with her own family, I knew nothing of aunts and uncles and grandparents. My concept of “family” did not extend beyond mother and son. But in gaining a father I also gained a vibrant, extended Mexican-American family replete with doting grandparents, aunts, and uncles. And through my new family I came to identify with Hispanic culture and received two of the most valuable gifts this Hispanic heritage has to offer. Not only did I now have a rich, complex, and extended family support system to comfort, console, and counsel me throughout my life but, perhaps even more importantly, I was ingrained with the unyielding Mexican-American work ethic that values an achievement in strict proportion to the labor required to achieve it. But along with these gifts came entanglements in other aspects of my life.

Though I appear Caucasian, in school I could never fit in with the white children. For them, family had a different, more nuclear meaning. And as I became more and more enmeshed in my Mexican-American family, the differences between myself and the white children became more pronounced. Thus I sought companionship with the Hispanic schoolchildren. But because I looked white I was ostracized and taunted.

I remember feeling incredibly frustrated by the situation. Having spent each summer vacation in my grandmother’s home in one of Kingsville’s Mexican-American barrios, I knew, in some inchoate sense, that many Hispanics were the victim of some sort of injustice. But the Hispanics in school themselves treated me so unfairly, so cruelly.

I came to understand at a very young age that justice is complex and nebulous and resists such simplistic designations as “good people” and “bad people”, “victims” and “perpetrators”. It is with this appreciation for such nuance that I hope to become a law student, an attorney, and a responsible participant in the dissemination of justice in the American legal system.

the REAL desi

Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2005, 06:33:21 PM »
bigtex, ignore what i said in the other thread (i'm sure you're lurking around here).

school "X" should not have done what they did.  however, you will be attending a prestigious institution who understands that you have done nothing wrong.  @#!* that ttt who called you out and enjoy freezing your ass off as a 1L up in michigan.  good luck with everything, and create a new account and remain anonymous.

btw, i still stand by my previous advice.  take it easy this summer and enjoy your time with your newborn.

Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2005, 07:24:28 PM »
I have to say that I never really cared for some of BigTex's comments against Christians, I never doubted that he identified very strongly with Hispanic culture.

Given that Hispanic is a culture, and not a race, and that his extended family and supporting peers were all Hispanic, I think his explanation is true and makes a lot of sense.  I don't disagree at all with BigTex's application approach.  Even though School X had that rule about supplemental information, I think he should have sent it in since his situation was unique and required additional explanation.


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Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2005, 07:33:45 PM »

If ann arbor is cool with all this, why are you leaving LSD?

The fact that you have been lurking and posting as a guest all day tells me you are still LSD obscessed.

Why let some a-hole at school X tell you where you can and can't speak, where you can and can't have friends.

@#!*'m! You're life is set right?

Come back and post, we'll support you.


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Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2005, 07:35:11 PM »
BigTex: I posted this in the other thread, but my advice is still the same. Sue the bastards!

And come back!

Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2005, 07:43:43 PM »
Holy f-ing *&^%.  The only unscrupulous thing about any of this is that law schools would openly seek and share confidential information about applicants with each other.  What BigTex did was obviously NOT unethical.  In fact, the problem arose from him worrying perhaps too much about being ethical and obeying the exact letter of School X's application.  I am not surprised ad comms would peruse these message boards.  I am appalled to hear that schools share information about specific applicants with each other.  I'm not sure what area of the law would govern a case like this.  In fact, it's exactly the type of thing I'm looking forward to learning this fall.  But I would like to believe that schools have no right to publicize our confidential information, especially  not to other schools. 

Re: Setting The Record Straight
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2005, 07:49:32 PM »
A simple google search reveals that this must be the University of Texas.

"Statement on Economic, Social, or Personal Disadvantage"

A poster on xoxo also made mention of a Texas ad comm member making contact with him about his postings on LSN/LSD/xoxo

It's pretty clear that members of the UT admissions team not only read these boards, but sometimes make some effort to match users with real people.