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February 10, 2006

How to: Submit a writing sample

Many legal employers (both full-time and temporary) will ask applicants to include a writing sample in their application packets along with a resume and cover letter. But is it enough to just print out some memo or brief you've written and drop it in the envelope?

For answers to that question, check out the last paragraph of this post from Kristine and the comments that follow. Here's the money bit:

Each writing sample should be accompanied by a cover page explaining (a) the sample's original purpose (e.g., a legal writing class assignments; a moot court brief; an internal memorandum for an employer; a court pleading); (b) when and for whom the sample was written; (c) the extent of editing by any third party; and (d) if the writing sample is an excerpt from a larger document, the nature of that larger document, including issues addressed. If an applicant chooses to submit a writing sample containing confidential or privileged information, the applicant must identify the steps taken (e.g., redactions; changed names; consent obtained from a client or an employer) to preserve the confidential or privileged nature of the document.

So now you know, and as GI Joe always told me, “knowing is half the battle.”

Posted by mowabb at February 10, 2006 09:19 AM

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