Law School Essays – Part 2: Diversity Statements

Law schools typically have a section in their application where you can submit supplemental essays. Most schools give you the option to submit a “diversity statement” which is a short essay (usually about one page) where you write about how you will contribute to the school’s commitment to diversity.

Each prompt for a diversity statement will be different, though most of them want you to talk about factors you cannot change. Good topics for diversity statements are your race, ethnicity, immigrant status, socioeconomic status, or LGBT identity. Of course, you don’t have to pick just one topic. If you can weave multiple factors into a story about your intersectionality, all the better.

There are some topics that may or may not work for some diversity statements. You may be able to pull off a diversity statement about military status, parental status, or unusual work experience. Make sure to read each prompt closely to see if the parameters allow for a more out-of-the-box topic.  

Then, there are some topics for diversity statements that are just awful. Please, please, please for the love of god do not write a diversity statement about how you are a white Republican male at a liberal college, so you are “politically diverse.” Just no. Also, don’t write a diversity statement about being a woman unless it intersects with another identity. Yes, us women are underrepresented in many high-powered positions in the legal field, but we are not underrepresented in law school. If you are grasping at straws to come up with a topic to write a diversity statement about, it usually means you should not write one. Not having a diversity statement will not hurt your application. Submitting a diversity statement about a frivolous matter will likely highlight your lack of self-awareness and harm your chances.

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