Bingo! This was exactly the qualification that I needed to be accepted into law school. I did not need perfect grades, high test scores, or even a proven ethic of hard work. No. I needed the single-teenage-mother label to ensure my success in the legal profession.
I am a full-time law student. To my disadvantage, I am also Caucasian, blonde, and upper-middle class.
As an undergraduate, I had a near perfect GPA. My LSAT score was excellent. I interned, and I was the president of every college organization that had a president.
Despite my qualifications, however, I was very nervous that I would not be accepted into the law school of my choice, because I lacked the one characteristic that law schools crave—diversity.
Every day I received stacks of mail from law schools all over the country trying to persuade me to apply. They shared the same tactic of persuasion: multipage pamphlets and catalogs designed to prove that they are more “diverse” than all other law schools. The pamphlet pages were lined with photos of African American students, professors, and famous alumni. They had statistics in a big, bold font informing me of the percentage of students who are black and Hispanic. Every pamphlet increased my anxiety that, despite my hard work and excellent performance, I had little chance of being accepted into law school.
I feared that my inability to bring “diversity” to a campus would be more important than my intelligence and proven ability.
Even the law school that I am attending has a Diversity Committee. According to my school’s brochure it plays a big part in creating a culture of “inclusiveness” at my University.