Often asked: What Is A Legal Writing Sample?

How do you write a legal writing sample?

Your writing sample should be recent work product that is from your practice experience. Be sure that it can be shared without disclosing confidential information. It is important that whichever sample you choose is wholly your own work, with minimal editing from partners or senior attorneys.

How long should my legal writing sample be?

Typically, the length of a writing sample for legal jobs ranges from 8 to 20 pages. This should be considered the legal writing sample format as it provides the firm with sufficient information for evaluation.

What is meant by legal writing?

Legal writing involves the analysis of fact patterns and presentation of arguments in documents such as legal memoranda and briefs. One form of legal writing involves drafting a balanced analysis of a legal problem or issue. Another form of legal writing is persuasive, and advocates in favor of a legal position.

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What should I use as a writing sample?

How do I choose a writing sample?

  • Research papers from a job or class.
  • Narrative papers from a job or class.
  • Other writing assignments.
  • Blog posts.
  • Press releases.
  • Articles or other contributions.

What is unedited writing sample?

Many employers will request an “unedited” writing sample. This means that the work must be substantially your own and should not have been edited by another person. You may personally edit any document, including one that was produced at a law-related job.

What makes good legal writing?

The Article then provides an analysis of the fundamental qualities that enable legal writing to do this, concluding that there are three such qualities: clarity, conciseness, and the ability to appropriately engage the reader.

Should you redact a writing sample?

Be sure the writing is redacted for any confidential information, if necessary. In particular, redact the client/parties’ names and any other key identifying items. Some decision-makers will give the writing sample more weight; others will not read it at all.

Can I use a brief as a writing sample?

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 and analysis abilities.

Can I use a motion as a writing sample?

ACCEPTABLE WRITING SAMPLES: Work product such as legal memoranda, briefs, or motions written for a legal clinic student, law clerk/intern, or judicial extern can also be used, only with permission and subject to the guidelines below.

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What are the basic rules of legal writing?

David Gargaro

  • Use short sentences for complicated thoughts. Do not put too many important ideas in one sentence.
  • Use active voice verbs.
  • Make verbs do the work.
  • Remove unnecessary or extra words.
  • Remove redundant (legal) phrases.
  • Use everyday language.
  • Choose specific and concrete words.
  • Use modifiers carefully.

What are the elements of legal writing?


  • Introduction. Law is a profession of words.
  • Correctness. A good piece of legal writing hews to the accepted standards of form, tone, and manner of writing.
  • Accuracy.
  • Clarity.
  • Use specific instead of general words.
  • Conciseness.
  • Simplicity.
  • Organization.

What are the basic principles of legal writing?

Like general English, a legal document should be grammatically correct. Legal document once written shall ever remain as piece of evidence and shall be examined by several people. Specially by judges, lawyers and well –knowledgeable client. There should not be any mistake in grammar.

What are the examples of professional writing?

Examples of genres that might be called Professional Writing include business letters, reviews and recommendations, feasibility studies, progress reports, and application materials. Professional Writing commonly refers broadly to texts written for business purposes.

What is the purpose of a writing sample?

The goal of a writing sample is to measure your ability to write professionally, clearly, and succinctly. The best way to demonstrate this ability is by discussing an issue area relevant to the position or program for which you’re applying.

How can I write good writing?

8 Tips for Improving Your Writing Style

  1. Be direct in your writing. Good writing is clear and concise.
  2. Choose your words wisely.
  3. Short sentences are more powerful than long sentences.
  4. Write short paragraphs.
  5. Always use the active voice.
  6. Review and edit your work.
  7. Use a natural, conversational tone.
  8. Read famous authors.

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