Please help critique my PS

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Please help critique my PS

Postby jdubb990 » Wed May 25, 2011 6:48 pm

This is only my first draft and I haven't really done any editing, would appreciate any and all criticism and advice.

A semester of law school is much like a marathon with an added sprint to the finish line for the exam period. It did not take me long to discover this as I spent many nights staying awake until the wee hours of the morning briefing cases and editing legal writing assignments. When exams approached, the tape at the finish line was in plain sight and I was ready to break through it and come out on top, showing my mettle as the best first year law student at XXXXXXX law school. I initially showed my potential in the first leg of the race when I made the highest grade, and only A, on the only graded mid-term my section had during the fall semester. I wanted to show that I could repeat this success across the board in all of my substantive classes during final exams. Yet sometimes life throws a curveball, and even though we see the ball breaking and a strikeout is certain, due to our determination to win we still swing for the fence. When my grandmother passed away a week before exams, that is exactly what happened to me, I wanted so badly to hit a home run by acing my exams that I took them regardless of my bereavement due to the loss of my grandmother who has meant the world to me as long as I can remember. Regardless of the results of my first semester grades I still know that I am capable of great success. During Spring semester my success continued both in and out of the classroom. Being someone who realizes the value of networking I began carving a niche in the XXXXX legal market, by voluntarily attending Continuing Legal Education seminars and XXXXX Bar events. My attempts paid off when I was selected by the XXXXXX bar to be the XXXXXX student representative for the XXXXXX Bar Young Lawyers Division Student Counsel. It is my deepest desire to continue the successful path which I have begun of my legal career at the University of South Carolina Law School. My roots run deep with the state of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina. I am well aware of the University of South Carolina School of Law’s history, and I want nothing more than to contribute to that history and devote my efforts and talents to furthering its prestige. While taking my Fall Semester Property class I became attracted to the field of probate after studying estates and future interests. The University of South Carolina School of Law is a perfect fit for my interest as I am both interested in working with professor Alan Medlin and writing onto the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal. I am ready to come home, back to South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Law, both are the place for me.

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Re: Please help critique my PS

Postby specialblend35 » Wed May 25, 2011 8:34 pm

This needs a lot of work, to be honest.

Here are some suggestions:
- You use a lot of cliches (e.g. "crossed the finish line," "hit a home run," etc). Get rid of these. They're cheap, and in my opinion detract significantly from the overall effectiveness of your writing and the piece itself.
- Best first year law student? What does this mean? Did you receive the highest overall GPA? Were you #1 in your class? Is this the name of a proper award? Or are you saying you were trying your best? Be more clear here.
- Watch comma placement.
- The transition from your activities at the Bar Association (good, but not sure volunteering at CLEs qualifies as "carving out a niche" in a legal market) is a bit abrupt. Put this in paragraphs and make sure you have proper transitions.
- I think you should be more specific about why you're seeking to transfer to S.C.
- Avoid using platitudes like "furthering its prestige."
- I like the fact that you've included a specific professor and journal that are attracting you to this school. You should expand on this.

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Re: Please help critique my PS

Postby VinceIrons » Sat May 28, 2011 6:20 pm

Since I'm currently in the process of writing my own transfer PS, take what I say with a grain of salt.

The sports metaphors are a bit much. I honestly cringed a few times reading them.

Saying you were the "best" has some subjective connotations you might want to stray away from (e.g. essentially saying you're better than everyone else sounds exceedingly conceited). If you were first in your class, I'd imagine mentioning wouldn't hurt, but put it in that language. Perhaps expand on your relationship with your grandmother and your success despite her passing.

Your involvement as a student rep is admirable, expand on that, maybe include how you can continue such work at SC.

Be more precise on why you want to go to SC, not just that you want to go there. The law journal is a good start, but perhaps develop more about wanting to return to SC because you want to end up practicing there.

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