Law School Discussion

Should I mention sexuality?


Should I mention sexuality?
« on: November 07, 2003, 07:09:11 PM »
I'm in a particular situation with my personal statement.  I'm wondering if I should include my sexuality, and the face that I'm gay as a key focus of it.  I think that I probably should, because as a result of being removed from my household in my first year of university my marks suffered notably.  Through hard work, the building of confidence, and friends I was able to get my average back up to an A-A+ level.  Is it wise to focus my personal statement around this aspect of my life?  I'm thinking of applying to Columbia, Yale, NYU, Princeton, and Harvard, and am not sure how they'd respond to such facts.  

I welcome any suggestions.


Re:Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2003, 01:40:37 PM »
Admissions offices in top universities will be open-minded.  There are even a large number of Yale Law professors suing the military for anti-gay practices.

I suggest that you also do some more research yourself.  For example, Princeton doesn't have a law school.


Re:Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2003, 05:13:03 PM »
Princeton is one law school, I can get into :)

Jennifer C

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Re:Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2003, 10:11:01 AM »
Personally, even as an advocate for my local gay community, I wouldn’t include it. You don’t know who is going to be on the admissions committee, and you don’t know if they have some personal (and because of the sensitive nature of this world, probably unspoken) bias against homosexuals. In a perfect world, the admission offices would be filled with open-minded, accepting people. The world isn't perfect, so if you really want to get into a top-tier school (which are hard enough to get into), you need to remove as many reasons as you can for which they could reject you (remember, sexuality still isn't covered under anti-discrimination laws :-[ ).

Unless you are leader of your local pride chapter, you have made some huge contribution to the gay community, or something along those lines, I would leave it out. I wouldn’t deny it if asked, but I wouldn’t announce it either.

Since you brought your grades up to an A average :) , I think the change would simply be seen as a maturation during your college years. If it was the opposite (you did well and then slid downhill), I would explain, but in this case, there doesn’t seem to be a need.


Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2004, 02:48:14 PM »
Well, if you really think you can turn being gay into a big "overcoming adversity" thing (or, as one girl on lawschoolnumbers put it, "overcoming DIVERSITY"), then I'd do it... if not, I don't see how it will help.


Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2004, 04:58:07 PM »
I don't think you should mention sexuality. I agree that you don't know who will be reading the letters and may not appreciate that fact. They may even put you in the rejected pile because of it.
  However I would include that you had family problems which affected your first year of ug.

Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2004, 04:46:10 PM »
Maybe you should go to and do some further investigation as other students have recommended.  When you register with lsdas, there is a box you can check if you are gay, lesbian, or transgendered...  They also have a section with specific information for gay, lesbian, transgendered students to read.  I would suggest starting there.  Good luck to you.  :)

Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2004, 02:38:16 AM »
If you feel that you honestly had to overcome adversity (or DIVERSITY :-P) due to your sexually, then by all means, write about it!  However, you need to find a way to tie this in about your desires to go to law school or how this shows your exceptional ability to overcome hardships.  Judging from your original post, it seems like you're on the right rack.  Don't let the possibility of a homophobe reading your application deter you from writing something that has shaped you into the person you are today.  Besides, if you get rejected from a school based on your sexuality, then you obviously don't want to go to that school anyway. 

Goodluck writing your personal statement.  I've had a lot of personal hardships during my life (none about my sexuality however), but I found starting my personal statement very difficult.  It reminded me a lot of past experiences I didn't want to relive again.  :-/ 

Well, goodluck to you!   


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Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2004, 03:53:21 AM »
I say include it if you think that the circumstances have made you into a better person and can also explain a lot of your trouble areas.

Don't include it, however, if you are applying to a religously affiliated school. Many of the tops schools aren't relgious, though.

Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2004, 11:19:52 AM »
I would agree and disagree with some of the other posters.  These would be my suggestions:

1.  What is your LSAT and gpa?  If your LSAT is 175+ and your GPA is 4.0, IMO, you could write that you were sexually attracted to aliens after your abduction last summer and you would still be let in to a lot of schools.  If your lsat is 130 and your GPA 1.0, it doesn't matter if you actually did meet aliens and introduced the world to them on CNN - the chances of you getting in anywhere would be slim to none.  It is all about the numbers.

2.  After you know what your numbers are, figure out the schools you want to apply to.  When doing this figure out where realistically you can get into (if you have a 3.5 and and a 165 you probably won't get into Harvard or Yale but there are other tier 1 schools that you could).  Look into location - both where you want to go to school for three years and where you want to work afterwards.  Depending on which schools you really want to get into and your chances (i.e. you want to go to DU and your numbers are 170 and 4.0, you will probably get in without any problems), you might want to also choose some safety schools just in case.  These would be the "I really, really want to go to law school and I am willing to go here in order to do it even though I don't really want to" schools.

3.  After you narrow down your schools, see what the culture at them is like.  If you want to study and go into gay rights advocacy law and you are applying to a school that specializes in that field, then your personal statement about being gay would be extremely appropriate.  If I was an admissions person and the strong area our school taught was gay rights law and the difference between you and someone else is the other person didn't know what they wanted to learn however you had the experiences that would make you want to study gay rights law, I'd choose you.  However, if you are applying to a school that is not very open (i.e. doesn't have a Gay/Lesbian/etc group on campus, maybe is very religious, etc), then you probably don't want to mention it.  It would only hurt your chances.  However, my bet is that you aren't going to be applying to many really, really uptight schools.  I know, personally, as a woman the last thing I would do is apply to school that hated women and thought they shoudl all be home in the kitchen as no matter how good I was, I wouldn't succeed there or I would have to pretend to be something I am not (in this case a man).

4.  Lastly, this post is mostly for anyone that reads it in the future are you have probably already written your statement.  That being the case, what did you end up writting about?  How did it work out with the schools you applied to?  Did you get any feedback from them?