Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

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scoobyman
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Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

Postby scoobyman » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:06 am

I have a 67 page academic writing sample that I plan to submit to COA and Dist Cts. I have read and heard mixed things about whether I should excerpt this down (to 25-35 pages) or leave it whole and let the judge decide what parts to read. I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this.

Also, I'm planning on including an excerpt from a brief for a second writing sample for Dist Cts only. Any thoughts on this approach?

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ggocat
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Re: Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:01 am

Not much of a difference between 67 and 25-35, IMO. I'd try to keep it to about 10 pages. But ask your clerkship advisor.

If academic paper is on the resume, you could upload it somewhere and provide a short url. Easy way to let them read it if they want without bogging them down with paper.

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Emma.
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Re: Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:42 am

I went to an event with a panel of judges talking about the application process. They all recommended a writing sample between 8 and 15 pages, and said that something that resembles the work product you would be doing as a clerk is far better than an academic piece. Apparently the numbers of clerkship applications are way way up, and they simply don't have time to read really long writing samples. The judges mentioned that when they have the applicant pool down to around a dozen, everyone is incredibly well qualified... I'd imaging submitting a 60 page sample might just get you dinged because they won't have time to read it and another applicant who has similarly excellent credentials will have submitted something sorter and more relevant.

Definitely do what gocat mentioned though, and provide them with an easy way to read your article if they want to.

spondee
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Re: Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

Postby spondee » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:54 am

Emma. wrote:They all recommended a writing sample between 8 and 15 pages, and said that something that resembles the work product you would be doing as a clerk is far better than an academic piece.


Did they describe what this would be?

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Emma.
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Re: Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:04 pm

spondee wrote:
Emma. wrote:They all recommended a writing sample between 8 and 15 pages, and said that something that resembles the work product you would be doing as a clerk is far better than an academic piece.


Did they describe what this would be?


Good point. They talked about how academic articles just weren't that helpful as writing samples, but didn't really give specifics about what would be better. I guess if you'd done a judicial internship then a really strong bench memo would be perfect? The impression I got was that academic writing is generally too broad and doesn't have the fine-grained detail that they need from a good clerk.

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MrKappus
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Re: Whole or excerpted academic writing sample for clerkship?

Postby MrKappus » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:20 pm

You realize these judges receive hundreds of applications, right? You want to submit a 25-page writing sample?

I don't think you thought this through.




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