Total Members Voted: 51
NYBound05My gpa was a 3.4 which isn't the greatest but for what I lacked in numbers I compensated with my personal statement and extracurricular activities. Since I'm experienced in the whole admissions game, make sure the other materials of your application are on point. USC is GREAT choice as a minority applicant. They are one of the few law schools that have a genuine focus on diversity. I wouldn't have even thought to apply there had I not received a fee waiver. Nothing is a given in the application process,but if you have a solid application including numbers at least at or above mine, I think you should be ok.
I don't mean to be offensive, but I think that "diversity" is only partially defined by the percentage of African-Americans in the student body. Berkeley is not "un-diverse" because its student body is only 2.5% black. As you mentioned, it is 30% Asian and I think that Asians, as well as members of other ethnic and racial groups, certainly contribute to the diversity of a particular school. Furthermore, I personally do not limit the difinition of diversity by only considering racial and ethnic criteria. Diversity has to do with the unique perspectives people from various backgrounds can offer to the intellectual and social environment. Those perspectives can come from people from under-represented racial backgrounds, but members of other groups can also contribute to diversity. Gays and lesbians, people with disabilities, foreign-born students and others all contribute to the diversity of Berkeley. Therefore, I think it's unfair to say that it is not diverse simply because it has a low representation of African-American students. Once again, I appologize if this comes off as offensive, especially since it is coming from someone who is not traditionally considered a minority (Russian female).
What I'm looking for most in a school is student diversity, so if USC is big on that, I may just consider them as one of my top schools. And by diversity, I mean diversity of different races. People consider the school I attend to be diverse (UC Berkeley), while the student population is only 2.5% Black.
And so no, Berkeley is not racially diverse, which is extremely unfortunate. A lot of the time when people think of diversity, the first thing that comes to mind is race. To overstep that completely, especially in a city that is so racially diverse, is to impair the whole meaning of diversity itself.
My recommendation is for applicants to apply to schools where they fall within the 25/75 percentile range. DO apply to a few dream schools but also be realistic in your approach. I attend USC and spoke to several admissions counselors...they emphasized LSATs. As a matter of fact, they will overlook some GPA issues if you have a stellar LSAT score. One thing I respect about USC is that is very diverse in comparison to other law schools in So. Cal. They make a conscious effort to make sure black and Latino students are admitted. HOWEVER...you must remember that you are competing with individuals with high LSATs and GPA who are also URM. URM still need to be on point with everything when applying to law schools.