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Does language proficiency merit a diversity statement?

ahnendc-1ahnendc-1 Member
edited August 2020 in Law School Admissions 642 karma

White heterosexual male here. Ergo, don't have any 'typical' diversity factors and I'm curious if I could write a diversity statement about the languages that I have learned/studied.

I actually think I have an interesting story to tell around learning languages - committed myself in High School to learning another language because I thought it would let me see the world through another lenses (the linguistic/psychological research actually says that this is not one of the many benefits of bilingualism lol); self-studied Arabic for 9 months - FAILED, self-studied Spanish for ~1 year - FAILED, self-studied French and it actually worked out! I was able to teach English in France and have around a ~C1 proficiency (can communicate well but not fluently). From there I studied Chinese (studied abroad) and got my HSK 3 which is a true intermediate level and have also circled back to Spanish and am working on that which is slowly improving.

Don't want to write another essay per se but I'm hoping to be able to express how intellectually curious I am since I didn't attend a prestigious undergrad (although have solid GPA). In general, learning languages have also been a big part of my adult life and I feel like it would be important to include.

On the flip side, I don't want this to feel like a stretch especially because I am not claiming actual fluency in anything but English lol.


What do I do?
  1. What do I do?10 votes
    1. Don't write this diversity statement
    2. Write this diversity statement
    3. Use this as your PS


  • noonawoonnoonawoon Alum Member
    3481 karma

    Not sure how this is a diversity factor since most people have to learn a second language because of high school or college curriculum requirements. Could be a great personal statement though!

  • hopefullinghopefulling Member
    edited August 2020 905 karma

    I LOVE studying languages also (High School, University and outside of school), BUT I don't think you should write anything that might come across as cultural appropriation. Personally, I consider my language interest as a quirky hobby - although I do list my proficiency for each on my résumé. I would consider writing about your love of language and cultural exploration in an additional essay that captures more about who you are as a unique person. Even more so since your language acquisition is so diverse in language family range. Maybe even towards the end of your personal statement as/if it contributed to your desire to attend law school.

    :smile: ... And hooray that I've met a fellow language lover!! (I went to a more technical undergrad and I was always sad that the big schools (without my major) had such a huge selection of some really awesome language classes).

    ETA: you could even try to work it into your personal statement as something that makes you stand out: that through your language interests/study, you are more able to offer legal services to a wider range of people who may not be proficient in English - least of all the ability to work elsewhere in the world (lawyers without borders type of thing??). And that you have the personal drive and interest to really make it happen.

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