Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

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random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby random5483 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:57 am

The only writing assignments I have at my federal court internship is to draft various orders for the judge I work with. All the orders get reviewed by a law clerk and a judge. Most of the orders are not published/reported; however, they are available on Westlaw/Lexis (since you can search unpublished federal court orders on either database). Outside of these orders, I will not have any other writing assignments at my internship.

For OCI, can I use one of these work products as a writing sample, or should I stick to using my LRW memo as my writing sample? I am leaning towards using my memo because I feel uncomfortable using an order (Judge is ok with it), especially because I generally do at least 2 drafts (second/later drafts to make any requested changes).

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:18 am

The writing sample should be either wholly your own work, or should be redacted to tag or remove parts that are substantially the work of others. If the input you got was just things like, "expand your discussion of issue X," or "section A sucks, revise it," then it's still your own work if you did all the actual changes on your own. But if you had someone else detail editing your drafts and you just incorporated changes, then the piece will not make a great sample, because you will have to redact too much of it.

That said, work product >>>>> school work, assuming that it's actually your work product.

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Cupidity
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Re: Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby Cupidity » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:24 am

I was told by my judge that it was alright to use any order I wrote after it had been docketed. At that point, it becomes public record. Or, in the alternative, if the case is resolved.

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby random5483 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:13 am

The question is not whether it is public record or not (Judge is fine with me using it once docketed as you said). The writing is basically mine because I made all the changes. But I usually get some input regarding content (ex. argue more regarding a specific issue) and judge's personal preferences (such as word choice, structure, etc).

Aston2412
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:23 am

Re: Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby Aston2412 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:16 am

If the Judge doesn't mind you presenting it as your work afterwords I don't think it matters to what extent he made revisions at all.

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:36 am

Aston2412 wrote:If the Judge doesn't mind you presenting it as your work afterwords I don't think it matters to what extent he made revisions at all.

That's because you don't have any idea what you're talking about.
Last edited by Gideon Strumpet on Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: Work Product Writing Sample Etiquette

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:51 am

random5483 wrote:The question is not whether it is public record or not (Judge is fine with me using it once docketed as you said). The writing is basically mine because I made all the changes. But I usually get some input regarding content (ex. argue more regarding a specific issue) and judge's personal preferences (such as word choice, structure, etc).

Yeah, if he's giving edits down to the level of word choice and organization of paragraph, sentence, or section level stuff, then you're stuck with kind of a lot that's not your work. If it was just like "this whole section is confusing" or "you could cut this part down by half"; or if it's just one or two words he noted in a 10-page memo, then it's probably not a problem.




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