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Author Topic: Lying about being a URM?  (Read 990 times)

Say Yes

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Lying about being a URM?
« on: August 12, 2008, 04:01:52 PM »
no need to do so because I am a URM, but saw this on the URM board and was very curious.has anyone here sat for a character and fitness exam?  if it truly is self identification, then the bar has no way to say you lied right?  i read over on TLS that only somehting like .002% of applicants are denied.  one anecdote says that a former cop who covered up a murder was denied, but also encouraged to re-apply in a few years.  surely self-identifying with a race that might not be your nationality isn't going to keep you from being admitted to the bar?

surely a law school could never know since it is self-identification?
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Sambamc

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008, 04:09:21 PM »
You might be able to pass the bar but might run into problems long before that in the form of the law school's equivalent of the character and fitness board. They might not care at all since it boosts their numbers whether or not you're actually a minority but god help you if they decide to launch a formal inquiry since they take lying pretty seriously.

America's Next Top Lawyer

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008, 06:00:08 PM »
no need to do so because I am a URM, but saw this on the URM board and was very curious.has anyone here sat for a character and fitness exam?  if it truly is self identification, then the bar has no way to say you lied right?  i read over on TLS that only somehting like .002% of applicants are denied.  one anecdote says that a former cop who covered up a murder was denied, but also encouraged to re-apply in a few years.  surely self-identifying with a race that might not be your nationality isn't going to keep you from being admitted to the bar?

surely a law school could never know since it is self-identification?

Somebody on this board tried it and got caught. I wouldn't try it.

remember, when you start classes they will ask you for a picture....

xferlawstudent

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008, 06:31:56 PM »
Even if they ask you for a picture or see you, they cannot prove you are not a certain ethnicity (well, they could but they're not administering a DNA test).

The main problem is if Bar C & F or the law school looks at college applications and notices the discrepancy.  I still doubt one would get in serious trouble for this.

Realistically, no one will probably find out or care much.  Seriously though, who wants to be this sleazy?

PS-I don't think being a URM makes that much difference in the process.  It will only help if you are absolutely borderline and competing with a non-URM for the same spot.

madoka

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008, 11:27:44 PM »
Even if they ask you for a picture or see you, they cannot prove you are not a certain ethnicity (well, they could but they're not administering a DNA test).

The main problem is if Bar C & F or the law school looks at college applications and notices the discrepancy.  I still doubt one would get in serious trouble for this.

Realistically, no one will probably find out or care much.  Seriously though, who wants to be this sleazy?

PS-I don't think being a URM makes that much difference in the process.  It will only help if you are absolutely borderline and competing with a non-URM for the same spot.

Let me dispel some misconceptions here:

1.  Being a URM can make a big difference if properly explained/used in the application.

2.  Law school WILL care greatly about lies.  The consequence could be that your acceptance is withdrawn and notification of your deception sent through LSAC to all the other schools you applied to.

3.  Once you accept a school, usually the minority groups are given lists of the incoming minority students so that law students can contact them.  So for example, if you listed yourself as hispanic/chicano and your fellow students learn that you are not, then they can/will raise a big stink about it.  Evidentually, you would get kicked out.

Lindbergh

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 11:33:23 PM »
Even if they ask you for a picture or see you, they cannot prove you are not a certain ethnicity (well, they could but they're not administering a DNA test).

Agreed. Would be pretty easy to scam the law school.  C&F it where it might come up. (I knew a girl with African-American blood/ancestry, but she looked completely white.)


PS-I don't think being a URM makes that much difference in the process.  It will only help if you are absolutely borderline and competing with a non-URM for the same spot.

This is patently false.  Being URM can make a huge difference in the process.  Whether or not it should is another matter entirely.

Lindbergh

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2008, 11:35:40 PM »
Even if they ask you for a picture or see you, they cannot prove you are not a certain ethnicity (well, they could but they're not administering a DNA test).

The main problem is if Bar C & F or the law school looks at college applications and notices the discrepancy.  I still doubt one would get in serious trouble for this.

Realistically, no one will probably find out or care much.  Seriously though, who wants to be this sleazy?

PS-I don't think being a URM makes that much difference in the process.  It will only help if you are absolutely borderline and competing with a non-URM for the same spot.

3.  Once you accept a school, usually the minority groups are given lists of the incoming minority students so that law students can contact them.  So for example, if you listed yourself as hispanic/chicano and your fellow students learn that you are not, then they can/will raise a big stink about it.  Evidentually, you would get kicked out.

The first part is true, but there's really no way for your fellow students to learn you are not.  All you would have to do is not discuss your ethnicity -- many hispanics are white, and don't have any obvious cultural differentiation from other whites.  Many urms also don't hang out with the minority student groups.

madoka

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 11:54:08 PM »
The first part is true, but there's really no way for your fellow students to learn you are not.  All you would have to do is not discuss your ethnicity -- many hispanics are white, and don't have any obvious cultural differentiation from other whites.  Many urms also don't hang out with the minority student groups.

I respectfully disagree.  Once the minority groups learn that you applied as a URM, then they will care.  At my school, the blacks, Asians, hispanics/chicanos, native Americans - they all cared right down to the people with mixed ethnicities.  All it takes is one noisy/suspicious fellow student and your legal career is ruined (and justifiably so).  Good luck hiding your identity for three years with a class size of somewhere around 180-400 very competitive people.

meggo

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Re: Lying about being a URM?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 12:36:29 AM »
I agree. And yes, many Hispanics look white (I myself have Spanish ancestry and look deathly pale) I would say that well above the majority of Chicano's and other Hispanics speak Spanish and have strong cultural ties to their ancestry. The hispanic side of my family speak Spanish and our ties go back well over 100 years. So I don't think that's a good example.   It doesn't take away that it's a shady thing to do and exploiting a system that was put in place to provide a bump for people who have been economically and socially disadvantaged (which despite people's occasional racist rantings on here, does exist).  You could theoretically lie on every bit of your application, convey a false story in your PS, discuss your diverse childhood growing up in a small village in the Andes, but lies are hard to maintain....