Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: diversity statement?  (Read 388 times)

zanardin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
diversity statement?
« on: November 11, 2013, 10:55:46 AM »
Hello,

After reading a bit more about diversity statements, I think that the following can be applicable, but I am hesitant.

Please let me know what your opinion is-is this a valid and helpful diversity statement, or is it completely wrong and/or insensitive to actual diversity statements?

Any comments appreciated!

Last year, as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, I lived in an intentional community with seven other women in Central Harlem. We chose to live out the values of simple living, community, spirituality, and social justice. Each of us earned $500 a month working at different public service organizations in New York City. We each put our entire paycheck into our shared bank account. As a group, we managed our account to pay for rent, groceries, house supplies, transportation, and modest personal spending.

We chose to live without cable and Internet, and we tried to make all of our meals from scratch. We ate together most evenings, each of us taking turns to cook for the community. We committed to having a spirituality night and a community night each week. During spirituality night, we would explore a particular value or faith, engage in a dynamic or personal reflection, or have a discussion about a social justice issue. For community night, we would go to a local event, volunteer as a group, or play board games together. In addition, we decided to take on a sustainability challenge each month. One month we did not eat meat, another month we did no buy any plastic water bottles or containers.

The lifestyle I led with my community last year was counter-cultural in a number of ways. At a time when our culture is defined by consumerism and individualism, especially among people in their 20ís, we made a conscious decision to share ourselves and our possessions and resources with each other every day. I learned to collaborate with my peers with understanding and resourcefulness, and I developed a strong ability to adapt to difficult situations with humor and creativity. I grew to be more open to different ideas and truly appreciate the company of others. I also grew in my ability to let go of my personal desires and ambitions in order to focus on how I can contribute to the good of the community, and I practiced lending my skills and ideas to positive teamwork.

Living as a Jesuit Volunteer was not easy, especially in New York City. My patience was tested beyond its previous limits, I missed luxuries I used to take for granted, and I was distracted by the commotion and glamour of the city. But this experience allowed me to grow in empathy and responsibility towards the people around me, awareness of the reality in which many people live, and self-confidence to be different and actively challenge societal norms and common injustices. Because of this experience, I will bring unique insight and fresh perspective and to (X school).



Miami88

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 12:33:09 PM »
1) I love your story!

2) It could use another edit to tighten up some syntax - but overall really easy to read.

3) Only thing I would consider really revising content wise is the last line. Unless you are referencing/connecting your story with a particular school's program, it is a throw away line (in other words, your last line is already implied by context.) Your story would be much stronger, then, if you ended with a hook.

zanardin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 01:19:43 PM »
Thank you for the feedback.

Do you think that it would be appropriate to use this as a diversity statement? After all, I chose to adopt this lifestyle for a year, while other people grew up with more significant challenges against their will. I do not want to sound snobby or insesitive. And I do not want the statement to be out of place if submitted as a diversity statement..

Maintain FL 350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
    • View Profile
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 05:59:06 PM »
Hi Zanardin,

Interesting essay, I enjoyed reading it and I'm sure the admissions committee will, too. But is this actually a diversity statement? I was under the impression that diversity had more to do with racial, ethnic, or perhaps socio-economic factors. As you said, choosing the lifestyle for a short period of time is not the same as being born into it. This seems like a good topic for a standard essay, but I'm not sure it's a diversity essay, per se. 

Citylaw

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 06:29:31 PM »
Agree with Maintain this is a good essay and I believe you posted it previously in a different thread. Each school has their own criteria and if your applying to a Jesuit school such as Gonzaga, Santa Clara, San Diego, or USF joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps might be something you really want to sneak in.

However, if your applying to a school in a highly diverse area and your white it may come across poorly. I think this is a great personal statement, but Diversity as far as I understand it is related to race, but I could be wrong. Remember I am just some guy on the internet I recommend contacting the admissions officer of schools you are applying to and ask if this experience would be appropriate as a diversity statement.

Good luck and great story.

Miami88

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 09:45:35 AM »
My take is a little different.

It really depends on the school and the prompt for the diversity statement (if they have one at all). Some schools will be specific, like "What about your cultural, racial, socio-economic background would add diversity to the student body?" Some even get really specific and make it just about race. Other schools will be much more broad, like "What about your background do you feel would add value and unique perspectives to the student body?" Some schools are even explicit and say it does not have to be about race or other commonly thought of diversity topics.

So, if presented with the first prompt, then yea, I would be hesitant to submit your essay as they are probably more concerned with diversity in the traditional sense. If presented with the second prompt, then I would submit it. If you are really in doubt, there is no harm in approaching your school's pre-law advisor to get their perspective or, heck, asking the law school directly.

Good luck!

zanardin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 10:05:35 AM »
Thank you all for your response. I decided to write this after reading something from UW Law, which said that they encourage all applicants to think about how their background or experiences will contribute to the student body to write a diversity statement. I will look more closely at each school's specific prompt to decide if I should submit it or not.

Do you think it is okay to all the school's admission office to ask if it is unclear?

livinglegend

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
    • legalmatch
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 10:52:58 AM »
You should absolutely contact the admissions office it is their job to answer questions related to law school applications and what a diversity statement is supposed to be differs from school to school and the only people that know the answer the exact answer ate the admission officers at the school.


livinglegend

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
    • legalmatch
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »
You should absolutely contact the admissions office it is their job to answer questions related to law school applications and what a diversity statement is supposed to be differs from school to school and the only people that know the answer the exact answer ate the admission officers at the school.


livinglegend

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
    • legalmatch
Re: diversity statement?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 10:55:03 AM »
You should absolutely contact the admissions office it is their job to answer questions related to law school applications and what a diversity statement is supposed to be differs from school to school and the only people that know the answer the exact answer ate the admission officers at the school.