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Writing Resources on the Web Advice on How to Revise your Lawyering Memo or Brief into a Writing Sample At some point during the application and interview process most employers will ask for a writing sample. A writing sample demonstrates how well you organize and express your thoughts in writing.
It also provides concrete evidence of your analytical skills. Naturally, you want to submit a sample that presents your abilities in the best possible light. Creating a positive writing sample takes some careful thought and effort. A memo or brief you prepared for lawyering seminar can work well as a writing sample.
Employers are looking for clear, effective legal writing and analysis. An objective interoffice memo or a persuasive brief are both acceptable vehicles for demonstrating your Writing sample example and analysis abilities.
Select a sample that is sufficiently recent to demonstrate your current writing and analysis skills. Most students' legal writing improves greatly over the course of law school, so selecting a recent piece of work should demonstrate your current strength and give employers confidence that they will see similar skills exercised on their behalf.
On the other hand, if your most recent work is not your best written work, select another sample. Try not to reach too far back in time for the sample. Make your sample reader-friendly.
As in all legal writing, consider your purpose and audience. As discussed above, your purpose is to demonstrate your writing and analysis skills. Chances are good that your reader - the prospective employer - must read several writing samples in a short time-frame.
Here are some tips for making your sample reader-friendly: Attach a cover memo that spells out context for the sample. If you are using a memo or brief prepared for lawyering seminar, the cover memo should describe the circumstances under which the sample was written, including the course Law Sem I, II, or III ; a one-sentence overview of the simulation and your assigned role in it; the details of the assignment and whether it was an objective memo or a persuasive brief; a summary of the fact scenario, legal issue sand doctrine presented in the sample; and an explanation of whether and how the sample was critiqued by your professor during the drafting process.
If your sample omits sections of the full memo or brief, you should offer to provide the employer with the full draft. Most employers won't read more than 10 or so pages to determine how well you write, and some employers will set a page limit for the sample.
You want to make sure that you give them pages that best demonstrate your proficiency. Keep the portions that best demonstrate your legal analysis abilities and that present legal issues and doctrine that are likely to be familiar to the reader.
Make sure your formatting is reader-friendly and professional. We recommend a basic font, like Times New Roman, point type, double-spaced with one-inch margins.
Do not shrink your type size or margins to shorten your brief! Create a header that includes your name, the words "Writing Sample," and the date.
If you are submitting the sample in hard-copy, staple the pages in the upper left corner. Maximize the positive impression your writing sample makes.
We cannot overstate the importance of refining and polishing your writing sample. Your writing sample conveys to the employer the level of care and attention - or lack thereof - that you pay to your writing. If you received comments from your professor on the final draft of the writing you are now using as a sample, incorporate that feedback into the sample.
In addition, exercise your own judgment as to how to improve the writing and analysis. Perhaps several months have passed since you wrote the memo or brief and you are further along in your development as a writer, analyst, and advocate. How would you revise to improve the writing today? Use legal phrases and terms carefully and precisely.
Your reader is a practicing lawyer. Your writing sample and cover memo must be error free!Writing a Good Research Question. The following unit will discuss the basics of how to develop a good research questions and will provide examples of well-designed questions. 10 Brilliant Examples of How to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang By Michael in Blogging, Example From: 7 Ways to Get Your successful but as it grows find myself with more and more requests and questions from readers that take me away from writing content.
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Nov 13, · For example, if writers at the institution you’re applying to tend to use formal and professional language in their writing, writing your sample in a snarky and informal tone will make reviewers think you don’t belong at their institution%(3).
Writing samples should usually be double-spaced (unless it is a clip). This can be a combination of one or more writing samples. If you want to use a paper that is longer than 5 pages, provide an excerpt with a notation at the top that tells the employer that it is an excerpt from an x-page paper.