I'm really confused about URM status, I was hoping to get some feedback from anyone/everyone...OK this is probably going to confuse you, but bear with me...In one sense I am Caucasian - I am white, and am ethnically from the Arab Levant. The Arab Levant also qualifies as Western Asia in a lot of categorizations (Middle East, Near East, Western Asia are the most used terms, I believe). My family is part of a large community that emigrated to Africa from the Arab Levant a long time ago (over 4 generations), and most of my family is from and lives in the Sudan. Sudan is technically African, but most Northerners consider themselves Arab (and speak Arabic). I lived in the region (multiple African, Arab, and Asian countries), and I identify strongly with that part of the world. I have been American since birth, and thoroughly confused when it comes to ticking those stupid ethnic boxes.I believe the US government considers most of the Arab world as "non-Hispanic Caucasian", but I find it really weird to lump myself in with Europeans and the majority of white Americans....culturally, linguistically, etc my background is quite different to the norm. I have no idea whether Arabs are under-represented in law schools (judging by the lack of Arab-related threads on any online forum, I'm guessing we're not OVER-represented, but I could be wrong), and therefore I don't know if my claim is really legitimate in that sense. I personally have never had to qualify my identity as an Arab by choosing exclusively "African" or "Asian" status...but I've always ticked "other" and I'd like a little more clarity. For what its worth I was an active member of my undergrad's African, Arab, and Asian societies (probably not worth much :roll: )I don't want to start a debate about the pros and cons of the URM system, and I don't want to offend anyone by making it seem that I'm treading on some sensitive ground (for example claiming African American status as a "white" guy). I understand that the reason the URM system exists is to help balance against the obstacles faced by African Americans (and other URMs) because of a general education system/society that is simply not balanced and retains certain prejudices and discrimination. I also realize that plenty of groups can claim discrimination in many walks of life...and as an Arab I am not exactly helped out by my ethnicity in a post-9/11 world (tho this never affected education, it certainly affected (and still affects) professional opportunities). If I can claim URM status legitimately, I will do so...but I just want to make sure my ass is covered and that law schools won't see me as some white kid who's trying to weasel his way into a better school by making a dubious claim.So..I know I am Arab American....but does that make me African American? Asian American? Neither?I'd appreciate your thoughts on what I should do
It makes you Arab American or African American or whatever you choose to classify yourself as. The question asks what you identify yourself as. If you think you're African American, check it. If you think you're Caucasian, check it. It's only likely to become an issue for you if you identified as a Caucasian on official forms all your life, and now magically realize you're African American. That might come up during C&F for the bar. From the fact that you're only now asking whether you can identify as a minority, I'm guessing that you never have before and thus you'll probably get a nice committee meeting at the bar when they discover the inconsistency. Not sure why this was posted in this forum rather than the general forums. Nobody here has special insight on this aspect of admissions.
FWIW, I think you may identify as African American as you wish. I know Arabic Egyptians who do, and certainly the term isn't reserved for people who descend from sub-Saharan Africa. That said, if you have lived in Africa and the Middle East, you are probably more like African immigrants than like most people who identify as African American, regardless of your citizenship status.