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Author Topic: Is my minority status worth mentioning?  (Read 2558 times)

rezn0r

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Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« on: July 24, 2007, 01:31:52 PM »
I've been up and down this forum and some of the user profiles on LSN, but I really haven't ferreted out what the deal with non-URM minorities is. Here's the skinny on me, I'm a gay Jewish male, grew up in the warm bosom of the Bible Belt here in Texas, and although I feel I'm pretty well adjusted, my life has not been sunshine and rainbows (well maybe sometimes rainbows - funny story for those Jews reading this, my Barmitzvah torah portion involved rainbows). Anyway, on paper, I'm just a white male from the suburbs who now attends a private school (Rice) here in Houston with a fairly good GPA and an LSAT score that's nothing to write home about, and I know that doesn't exactly place me apart in this crazy application race. So, should I, and if so where, emphasize my minority status on my law school apps?

I already have a few inhibitions about writing a diversity statement to this effect, mostly because I fear that my story will come off as self-serving and overall tool-ish (maybe there's a better word for that) to admissions at these schools. Will they just see me as a white male who's grasping at whatever ethno-religious or sexual orientation straws that he can to try to escape the rejection list? Or will this legitimately help my chances, and if ignored be something that law schools would have wanted to consider? I've also read some of the "diversity" statements and some of the writers made me want to vomit (a little). If in writing one of these statements, I have to get out my "sad times" violin and tell a saccharine/maudlin tale fit for the pages of an SAT reading prompt, then I have serious doubts about this. I really want this statement to be an honest encapsulation of my identity, and although I know that there are benefits to polishing certain parts about yourself, I can't see myself writing something that felt dishonest to me. And since I don't really like to complain about my situation (probably not true - see Jewish) and hate it when others do for their own gain, I can't see myself writing a "diversity" piece that comes off to me as whiny or manipulative. I'm just wanting to tell my story (and I know this sounds hokey), for what it is and not what it isn't, and if that isn't worth writing about in a personal statement, then I'll just choose something funny to write about. Like lying countless times to give blood - see "had sex with another man since 1977".

Let me also take this time to acknowledge that my Jewish ethnic background and religious practices help me less than none in this whole game of admissions, and that there are ample Jews in law firms everywhere. Also, I know from reading some of the posts in the GLBT forums that "coming out" in your application essay or personal statement is really a mixed bag, and there are not that many cases in which it helps you significantly (and again, there is the fear that admissions will see this is a ploy to create diversity ex nihilo).

So, tell me what you think.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=funkyfreshlaw

saz

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 04:21:28 PM »
I think you have a pretty good grasp on the dangers involved in the personal statement/diversity statement you are thinking of. That said your identity is relevant to your law school applications and if you can tastefully express it it will make you look good to adcom's. One thing I thought when I saw your LSN profile was that you applied to all reach schools considering your LSAT and GPA. I'm not saying you don't have a chance with those schools only that you should consider casting a wider net.

Amy Winehouse

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 04:24:12 PM »
Sorry, but you are not a URM in the sense that law schools use it.  Your story would make a good diversity statement, though.  IMO, diversity statements have the most benefit for people whose story can't be told by checking race and ethnicity boxes.

ETA: I agree with the previous poster.  You need to add some target schools to your list.
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Lindbergh

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 05:51:27 PM »

law schools like gays, are indifferent to jews.

ohstacey

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 09:10:43 PM »
I think you have a pretty good grasp on the dangers involved in the personal statement/diversity statement you are thinking of. That said your identity is relevant to your law school applications and if you can tastefully express it it will make you look good to adcom's. One thing I thought when I saw your LSN profile was that you applied to all reach schools considering your LSAT and GPA. I'm not saying you don't have a chance with those schools only that you should consider casting a wider net.

Seconded.
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TheBreadWinner

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 09:15:31 PM »

law schools like gays, are indifferent to jews.

LOL Very tempting to sig that.
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slacker

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2007, 12:59:56 PM »

law schools like gays, are indifferent to jews.
Depends on the law school. At some schools being gay can be a plus, all else being equal it may give you a boost on soft factors. At others, it won't necessarily be helpful.

As for being Jewish, that's really not going to make you part of an underrepresented group in law school.

If being gay and Jewish and from the south has been something that's been the source of internal or external conflict, consider writing about it for a statement. If not, yeah, it'd be tool-ish.

Quail!

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2007, 04:53:06 PM »
Sent you a PM
2

docpepper

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Re: Is my minority status worth mentioning?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2007, 08:25:27 PM »
I've been up and down this forum and some of the user profiles on LSN, but I really haven't ferreted out what the deal with non-URM minorities is. Here's the skinny on me, I'm a gay Jewish male, grew up in the warm bosom of the Bible Belt here in Texas, and although I feel I'm pretty well adjusted, my life has not been sunshine and rainbows (well maybe sometimes rainbows - funny story for those Jews reading this, my Barmitzvah torah portion involved rainbows). Anyway, on paper, I'm just a white male from the suburbs who now attends a private school (Rice) here in Houston with a fairly good GPA and an LSAT score that's nothing to write home about, and I know that doesn't exactly place me apart in this crazy application race. So, should I, and if so where, emphasize my minority status on my law school apps?

I already have a few inhibitions about writing a diversity statement to this effect, mostly because I fear that my story will come off as self-serving and overall tool-ish (maybe there's a better word for that) to admissions at these schools. Will they just see me as a white male who's grasping at whatever ethno-religious or sexual orientation straws that he can to try to escape the rejection list? Or will this legitimately help my chances, and if ignored be something that law schools would have wanted to consider? I've also read some of the "diversity" statements and some of the writers made me want to vomit (a little). If in writing one of these statements, I have to get out my "sad times" violin and tell a saccharine/maudlin tale fit for the pages of an SAT reading prompt, then I have serious doubts about this. I really want this statement to be an honest encapsulation of my identity, and although I know that there are benefits to polishing certain parts about yourself, I can't see myself writing something that felt dishonest to me. And since I don't really like to complain about my situation (probably not true - see Jewish) and hate it when others do for their own gain, I can't see myself writing a "diversity" piece that comes off to me as whiny or manipulative. I'm just wanting to tell my story (and I know this sounds hokey), for what it is and not what it isn't, and if that isn't worth writing about in a personal statement, then I'll just choose something funny to write about. Like lying countless times to give blood - see "had sex with another man since 1977".

Let me also take this time to acknowledge that my Jewish ethnic background and religious practices help me less than none in this whole game of admissions, and that there are ample Jews in law firms everywhere. Also, I know from reading some of the posts in the GLBT forums that "coming out" in your application essay or personal statement is really a mixed bag, and there are not that many cases in which it helps you significantly (and again, there is the fear that admissions will see this is a ploy to create diversity ex nihilo).

So, tell me what you think.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=funkyfreshlaw

I don't think you want write about lying about "sex with a man since 1977" on your Diversity Statement. Just a hunch.