Law School Discussion

what do you think of my PS so far? need advice before proceeding

Alright I sat down last night and churned out the opening paragraphs of what could ultimately become my PS. I'm going to copy and paste what I have so far and then summarize the rest of the PS because I might need to tweak the format or change topics completely. I'd love to get some honest yet constructive feedback.

It was 9:30 pm in a small classroom at the University of X. Octafinal rounds of the prestigious X debate tournament had just concluded and the 3-2 decision rendered by the judges could have come as no greater a surprise. During the five hour drive to X in the cramped, deteriorating school van, I never would have dreamt that I would outlast more than one hundred competitors from every corner of the United States to speak in the quarterfinal round.
As I packed up my research and fervently prepared my case for the next round, my debate partner and long-time friend John burst into the room and nervously extended a piece of paper to me (I'm going to reword this)). I immediately recognized the look of trepidation on his face and as I looked down at the tournament schematic, my worst fears were confirmed: we were set to face the top policy debate team in the nation in the tournamentís quarterfinal round.
The level of anxiety I felt reached a new height upon entering the large auditorium that would host our next round. The 200 seat room was filled to capacity with ousted competitors, coaches, and curious onlookers. As I approached the podium to give preliminary arguments, the egg-shell timer in my hand shook timidly and I realized just how far I had come in my short life.
Next paragraph: Explain that I was shy and reserved as a kid. I had poor communication skills. I began looking up to people who could change mindsets and influence action through discourse.
Next paragraph: I won the debate round. I realized that something which was once my greatest weakness has become my greatest skill (discourse). My role models have helped shape who I've become.
Next Paragraph: Now I want to work in litigation.

So that's what I'm thinking about going with as of right now. Does this work? Does it sound alright? I think I may have some issues with flow and format. One thing I definitely want to keep is the chronology (or lack thereof). I'm shooting for Tulane/SMU/Wake as dream schools. I'd love to hear some insight. Thanks!

Re: what do you think of my PS so far? need advice before proceeding
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 10:16:38 PM »
Come on....surely one of the 25 people who have read this have some sort of opinion to share.  One word responses will work too (good, bad, decent, etc.)

Re: what do you think of my PS so far? need advice before proceeding
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 05:14:13 PM »
I'm just another lowly law school applicant.  Not a "professional Ivy-educated essay editor" by any means.

But I think you could do with more imagery at the very beginning.

Describe the setting more.  Was it hot?  Was it crowded?  Is there a smell you remember?  Is there memorable color to the classroom?

With your "It's 9:30PM in a small classroom..." I see that you're trying to put the reader in your place, but I don't know that describing a time is the most effective way to do that.

Sorry to only have a negative.  Not much else to go on.

From the other paragraph summaries, it looks like this could really go places.

Re: what do you think of my PS so far? need advice before proceeding
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 01:37:28 PM »
I think you have the right idea in that you are describing a particular event in your life and using that event to illustrate who you are and why you want to/ think that you can practice law. Because the event has to do with debate and discourse, I think it's an added plus. However, I think you should be very careful in how you approach the prose style of this piece. The above poster said that you should focus on better imagery and whatnot. I disagree. Do not attempt to be novelistic or orotund when writing your PS. Adcoms want specifics, logical reasoning, coherence, and good clear writing. Worry less about how descriptive you are and more about succintness, and, in the process, you will be more descriptive, or, rather, you will describe better. Well, good luck to you. SMU is also one of my reach schools, and I'm feeling the PS pain.