Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

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Gatorade
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:00 pm

Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby Gatorade » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:55 pm

memos I wrote during my internship at a law firm, which were submitted to the firm's clients, can I use them as writing samples? of course the names etc will be omitted.

I honestly don't know if that's breaking ethical/legal rules. thank you for your input and please easy on the flame!

MrAnon
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby MrAnon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:03 pm

Gatorade wrote:memos I wrote during my internship at a law firm, which were submitted to the firm's clients, can I use them as writing samples? of course the names etc will be omitted.

I honestly don't know if that's breaking ethical/legal rules. thank you for your input and please easy on the flame!


Ethical issues aside, any serious law firm interviewer will wonder if you would be so daring to do the same with future memos you write for him or her and would question your judgment in submitting these.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:06 pm

It is okay to use them. However, the information should be redacted...

Gatorade
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby Gatorade » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:09 pm

MrAnon wrote:
Gatorade wrote:memos I wrote during my internship at a law firm, which were submitted to the firm's clients, can I use them as writing samples? of course the names etc will be omitted.

I honestly don't know if that's breaking ethical/legal rules. thank you for your input and please easy on the flame!


Ethical issues aside, any serious law firm interviewer will wonder if you would be so daring to do the same with future memos you write for him or her and would question your judgment in submitting these.


hum....I honestly remember people submitting their "work product" as writing samples.... instead of law school legal writing assignments....

now what would those "work product" be?

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kalvano
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Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby kalvano » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:25 pm

I would submit something written for school first, and then if they ask to see other examples, use the firm ones. Or if they don't ask for a writing sample at first, but ask for one later on, then offer them a choice between the firm ones and educational ones.

In either case, I would make it clear that you have the blessing of the firm to use them as examples. I'm assuming you do; if you don't then that's very, very bad.

seatown12
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby seatown12 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:10 pm

kalvano wrote:I would submit something written for school first, and then if they ask to see other examples, use the firm ones. Or if they don't ask for a writing sample at first, but ask for one later on, then offer them a choice between the firm ones and educational ones.

In either case, I would make it clear that you have the blessing of the firm to use them as examples. I'm assuming you do; if you don't then that's very, very bad.

You HAVE to get the employer's permission and redact. That said, I have always heard, and personally felt, that a real-world sample is better than something written for school. The work you did for your previous employer was probably pretty similar to what the new employer will have you do, so it makes a better sample than whatever contrived memo you were assigned in Legal Writing class.

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NinerFan
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Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby NinerFan » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:23 pm

Doing this is fine as long as you have your employer's permission and redact whatever they tell you to redact (client name and confidential information, most likely)

Be sure to disclose on your cover sheet of the writing sample that is was produced for an employer but that you got their permission to use it.

Do not use work-product without receiving explicit permission to use it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:53 pm

Didn't read the previous posts but...just tell the firm you want to do this and they should have a process in place where your work product will go through a review and info is redacted. Then you don't have to worry about being unethical because you probably shouldn't send confidential info from your "clients" as a writing sample.

The Duck
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:14 am

Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby The Duck » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:02 pm

sparty99 wrote:It is okay to use them. However, the information should be redacted...


Only if given permission by the firm. Attach a cover letter stating you were given permission. Same thing goes for stuff from judicial internships.

Gatorade
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Submitting firm memos for writing samples, un-ethical?

Postby Gatorade » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:55 pm

thx! u guys are the best!




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