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Author Topic: A Myriad of Questions  (Read 425 times)

Groundhog

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A Myriad of Questions
« on: August 25, 2005, 07:12:46 AM »
A lot of background info is necessary, as on paper, I look like a mainstream non URM applicant.

My first question deals with my background and as it applies to a PS/diversity essay. I'm a white male, but I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, where I remain the only white kid(when I'm at home). Further, I was the only white person in my school until middle school, and then I went to a very mixed middle school with no ethnicity having above 30%. After that, I was again in a small minority(of about 20%) of white students amongst a vast majority of non-traditionally aged students, as it is one of the school's specialties. How can I frame this best in my personal statement? I was going to use amusing anecdotes of my experiences, especially in elementary school, being the only white kid. Should I use this only as a diversity question? Is either likely to backfire? Will this help at all, when most personal statements are mostly the same?

Second, I started full-time college enrollment before finishing ninth grade through a special program. I was planning on using that fact, but I wasn't sure exactly how. Also, earning good grades in college was harder at the age of 15 than it was now, which hurts my cumulative GPA. Also, this adds to the diversity issue, because I've almost always been younger than everyone else. Any suggestions on how to discuss this and how it might affect admissions?

On a completely unrelated question, I signed up for Intramural sports a couple times. Well, it required you do something every week or you'd supposedly get dropped. Well, a couple times out of the 10 times I took it, I was sick and missed it and it was supposedly dropped, but it showed up as a No Credit, which I believe will lower my LSAC calculated GPA, even though they of course promised us that it didn't matter. At that point, I would've rather been penalized on a percentage basis. Is there anything I can do about it? It's a darn PE Class, and it was, in spirit more like No Credit Attempted, even though my school only has No Credit, which I believe the LSAC counts as No Credit Earned from my school. A letter to LSAC? Anything?

Now for the boring stuff. With or without all the darn I listed above, what are my chances at the tops? Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley are the main ones I'd be interested in(along with every other law applicant). I've got a 3.7(3.75 without those two units of NC), and I've been earning around 173 on the LSAT.

Thanks so much for any advice you can give.

Oh, and I'm a Philosophy major, with strong Latin and Classics background, if that helps.

HippieLawChick

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Re: A Myriad of Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2005, 01:43:21 PM »
Diversity essays are supposed to be about how you would contribute to the diversity of the law school if admitted, not how you were a "minority" in the past.  You can write about these things as interesting experiences you had, but I don't believe that being white makes you unique for law school purposes.  While this was a challenge you had in middle school, it isn't something you will encounter in law school. 

If LSAC counts those no credits, there is nothing you can do, unless your school changes the transcript they are submitting to LSAC.  You should probably just write a quick addendum on it.

For your chances, see www.lawschoolnumbers.com and chiashu.com

Best of luck to you!

Groundhog

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Re: A Myriad of Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2005, 08:17:16 AM »
Thanks for the frank advice. I was planning on using it as my main personal statement, though, figuring maybe it'll help me stand out compared to other non-URMs. I figured it might make for a different perspective, if nothing else, which I hoped law schools might value.

What kind of addendum would I write, and is it worth drawing attention to the two NCs for a .05 boost in GPA?

HippieLawChick

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Re: A Myriad of Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2005, 09:07:23 AM »
The schools will definitely appreciate the different perspective if you write it right....

make the grade addendum short and sweet...remember that these people have thousands of apps to read.  In the grand scheme of your academic career, these two grade issues are a drop in a bucket.


Groundhog

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Re: A Myriad of Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2005, 09:52:09 AM »
Thank you. Would you be interested in reading it? Should I post a new thread in the PS forum asking for volunteers?

Anyone else want to read?