Clerkship Writing Sample

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Writing vs. Analysis?

Writing - WS #1
3
30%
Analysis - WS #2
7
70%
 
Total votes: 10

Absurd
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:25 pm

Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby Absurd » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:27 pm

Two possibilities -- which should I use?

The first is an excerpt from a brief. I feel that the writing is great -- interesting, good and identifiable style, punchy sentences. But it's somewhat short and unimpressive on legal analysis: its arguments are mostly policy- and logic-based, and it's a fairly straightforward and uncomplicated issue.

The other is an excerpt from a motion. The writing itself is a lot more plain, almost formulaic, but the content and analysis is a lot more complex. It's on a somewhat novel issue, so there's lot of analysis, analogizing and distinguishing of cases, discussion of legislative history, etc.

Is one better than the other? In reading the writing sample, do judges/clerks look more for quality of writing or analysis?

And how often is the WS used as a topic of discussion in interviews? Because I feel I can have a better substantive legal discussion with the second sample than the first...

All input appreciated, especially from current and former clerks.
Last edited by Absurd on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:13 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:43 pm

Use whichever one is better.

Absurd
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:25 pm

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby Absurd » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:45 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:Use whichever one is better.

The whole reason for my post is that each is "better" than the other in different respects...

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:13 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:32 pm

Absurd wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:Use whichever one is better.

The whole reason for my post is that each is "better" than the other in different respects...


Then use whichever is best.

Absurd
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:25 pm

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby Absurd » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:14 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What kind of clerkships are you applying to?

Everything. Can't afford to limit myself. But district courts are definitely more my target given that COA is probably nothing more than a pipe dream.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:05 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
Absurd wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:Use whichever one is better.

The whole reason for my post is that each is "better" than the other in different respects...


Then use whichever is best.


You sir, seem brilliant

johndhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:25 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby johndhi » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:18 pm

Irony: the way you phrased the poll (i.e. the style of the poll) pushed me to choose "content" because it sounds a hell of a lot better than "style" when we're talking about judges.

Maybe you could consider conducting an Erie analysis to determine whether the issue is substantive of procedural.

Anyways... from what I know of judges, it seems they do have a predilection for interesting styles and a punchy/plucky attitude. However, I have the feeling many judges aren't looking for this in their clerks; likely, they want you there to make sure their analysis is solid. But who knows. I imagine solid procedure is wiser for some judges and solid substance is wiser for others. I can't imagine you want to research all of them to find this out, so IMO go with the solid analysis. GL.

Absurd
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:25 pm

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby Absurd » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:28 pm

johndhi wrote:Irony: the way you phrased the poll (i.e. the style of the poll) pushed me to choose "content" because it sounds a hell of a lot better than "style" when we're talking about judges.

Thanks for the input.
And I've changed the wording of the poll.




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