Steve Schwartz of LSAT Blog was kind enough to interview me earlier this week. In our interview, we discussed burnout (and how to fight it), diversity statements, and addenda.
Here is an excerpt from our interview:
2. Now, about supplemental essays. What do you tell your students about writing diversity statements?
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the diversity statement. Two of those are that:
1. Diversity statements is only for underrepresented minorities (URMs)
2. Diversity statements are mandatory.
Both of these statements are far from correct.
You don’t have to be an underrepresented minority to write a diversity statement. Similarly, diversity statements are not adversity statements, either. Anyone who feels that their background or upbringing has allowed them to have a more diverse experience can write one. This also goes for anyone who feels that, by being part of the representative admitted class, will bring diversity to the student body of their prospective school.
That being said, you don’t have to write a diversity statement. Yes, it can be a valuable asset to your application package, but it’s not mandatory and, therefore, isn’t necessary. If you are considering writing a diversity statement, be sure that you have something well-argued and genuinely compelling to say; it’s better to submit your application “as is” with its required materials than to submit an extra essay that is questionable or, worse, written poorly.