What to use as a OCI writing sample?

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sheD
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What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby sheD » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:44 am

What do rising 2Ls generally use for writing samples? Will OCI interviewers expect me to use something from my 1L summer job, or would my class brief be appropriate? I'm sure I could come up with something usable this summer, but my brief is probably more polished.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:50 am

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flcath
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby flcath » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:13 am

Call me crazy, but I find the rigid CREAC (a.k.a. TREAT) format that the LRW profs force you to use to be cramped and cumbersome, and I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

Before some 1L tells me that "that's how real lawyers do it," no, it isn't. The typical task will be something like "sum this up in 2 pages," and I cannot imagine jamming a CREAC into 2 pages.

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Postby Myself » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:00 am

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flcath
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby flcath » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:57 am

ajax adonis wrote:IRAC?

IRAC is the exam-writing one. This one is like Conclusion/Thesis --> Rule --> Explanation --> Application --> Conclusion/Thesis.

It's a fine model, but at least my LRW prof (an HLS grad who admittedly had a real BL career) would not tolerate even the slightest deviation.

lukertin
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby lukertin » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:15 am

flcath wrote:Call me crazy, but I find the rigid CREAC (a.k.a. TREAT) format that the LRW profs force you to use to be cramped and cumbersome, and I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

Before some 1L tells me that "that's how real lawyers do it," no, it isn't. The typical task will be something like "sum this up in 2 pages," and I cannot imagine jamming a CREAC into 2 pages.

???????

CREAC is basically the streamline of how you should present anything in a business / professional setting, whether legal or not. The fuck?

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acrossthelake
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:57 am

lukertin wrote:
flcath wrote:Call me crazy, but I find the rigid CREAC (a.k.a. TREAT) format that the LRW profs force you to use to be cramped and cumbersome, and I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

Before some 1L tells me that "that's how real lawyers do it," no, it isn't. The typical task will be something like "sum this up in 2 pages," and I cannot imagine jamming a CREAC into 2 pages.

???????

CREAC is basically the streamline of how you should present anything in a business / professional setting, whether legal or not. The fuck?


Eh, at my summer internship, the full-time lawyers mostly just send out C---the conclusion/thesis. Maybe a little bit of R, E, and A, but abbreviated. And you def. don't repeat the C at the end. You're supposed to know the Rule/Explanation/A in very thorough detail in case anybody has a question on it, but most of what people send out is C with some REA dressing, which can be lengthy by itself.

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ilovesf
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby ilovesf » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:01 am

CREAC? What's the E? I'm working with a judge and the clerks told me to IRAC in the opinions. I'll probably use my order granting judgment if I can get permission, otherwise I'll use my LWR memo.

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queenlizzie13
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby queenlizzie13 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:04 am

ilovesf wrote:CREAC? What's the E? I'm working with a judge and the clerks told me to IRAC in the opinions. I'll probably use my order granting judgment if I can get permission, otherwise I'll use my LWR memo.

E = explanation of rule. RE can get jumbled together sometimes, but it's fleshing out the rule, essentially.

flcath
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby flcath » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:40 am

lukertin wrote:
flcath wrote:Call me crazy, but I find the rigid CREAC (a.k.a. TREAT) format that the LRW profs force you to use to be cramped and cumbersome, and I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

Before some 1L tells me that "that's how real lawyers do it," no, it isn't. The typical task will be something like "sum this up in 2 pages," and I cannot imagine jamming a CREAC into 2 pages.

???????

CREAC is basically the streamline of how you should present anything in a business / professional setting, whether legal or not. The fuck?

Well no shit. And IRAC is the way you should write exams, but I've never consciously used IRAC and still get mostly A's and A-'s, probably because the way I actually do write is pretty close to IRAC anyway. Still, the little deviations and shorthands save time and words, and can be just as clear.

Specifically, the "E" section being a factually-intensive survey of the various landmark cases is a huge waste of time in most memos, and can be dispensed with. You could never produce a 2-page memo (a regular BL request) writing the way your LRW profs make you write.

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby notedgarfigaro » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:12 pm

so I wrote a fact based memo with little real analysis at work, and apparently people liked it b/c one of the senior attorneys said I should use it as a writing sample. However, it was simply a summary of a situation with no real legal arguments whatsoever. I don't think I'll have anything else substantial enough from my job before I have to have my writing sample up for OCI (deadline's next week). Can I use that memo, or should I just use my LRW open brief?

bigredforlaw
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby bigredforlaw » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:02 am

I am wondering this as well. My LWR memo is around 8 pages (single-spaced, unabridged) and concerns THE most boring tort issue ever. I haven't formatted my LWR brief yet but it was 30 pages double-spaced. The brief is way more interesting and related to my interest in IP...but definitely needs some polishing. Is it worth it to dive back into my brief? And which sections are most important to keep in? Alternatively, I have two fact-intensive ~3-page memos from my current internship. They are roughly in CREA format but my supervisor wanted only 2 sections..."Issue" and "Answer." I'd appreciate any advice! Sorry if my questions are dumb haha I come from a science background so any kind of writing sample requirement was new to me.

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LeDique
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby LeDique » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:19 am

I had a question more related to yours, with respect to appropriate length. I have some 3 page single spaced ones from this summer, and my longer brief and memo from LRW and am unsure what to use. Planning to ask next week if there's a general memo they'd like me to do that can be longer, but assuming that there isn't, I'm not sure what's best to use.

Anonymous User
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:48 am

Now, when using something from work, should you get permission first or can you just redact any information that needs to be taken off?

The other thing is, should you generally use motions that you wrote or can you use letters, mediation statements, etc.?

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Postby Myself » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:42 am

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sundance95
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby sundance95 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:05 am

flcath wrote:I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

I feel the same way. However, my chambers has us drafting actual opinions and orders rather than doing bench memos. Which is great and all, but also means that I can't use anything I've written as a writing sample because the judge hasn't issued the opinions in any of the cases I've worked on yet. So it looks like I'm stuck with my final 1L brief.

In my writing sample introductory cover letter, I'm thinking of including this line:
I would have preferred to submit a sample of my work product completed during my summer externship with Judge [Name] of the [Court], but unfortunately the orders and opinions I have drafted have not yet been issued and are still confidential.


Weird or not weird? Douchey?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:09 am

sundance95 wrote:
flcath wrote:I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

I feel the same way. However, my chambers has us drafting actual opinions and orders rather than doing bench memos. Which is great and all, but also means that I can't use anything I've written as a writing sample because the judge hasn't issued the opinions in any of the cases I've worked on yet. So it looks like I'm stuck with my final 1L brief.

In my writing sample introductory cover letter, I'm thinking of including this line:
I would have preferred to submit a sample of my work product completed during my summer externship with Judge [Name] of the [Court], but unfortunately the orders and opinions I have drafted have not yet been issued and are still confidential.


Weird or not weird? Douchey?

Weird. Sounds like you're blaming the judge for making you submit your LRW memo. Just use the memo, don't call attention to it by trying to explain why. Lots of other people will do the same thing.

Anonymous User
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:17 am

I really don't think it matters. Our OCS at UChicago said about 60% of people will use something from LRW. We also had a panel of attorneys of varying ages from one of the big Chicago firms and not one had looked at a writing sample, which isn't to say that no one ever will, but as long as you're submitting good, error-free writing, I can't imagine the source of it (LRW v. job) will ever be a big deal.

Just a 1L opinion though, so perhaps talk to 2Ls/3Ls you're friends with and see if any firms ever brought up their writing sample or where it came from.

sundance95 wrote:In my writing sample introductory cover letter, I'm thinking of including this line:
I would have preferred to submit a sample of my work product completed during my summer externship with Judge [Name] of the [Court], but unfortunately the orders and opinions I have drafted have not yet been issued and are still confidential.

Weird or not weird? Douchey?

Weird.

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sundance95
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby sundance95 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:21 am

Yeah, my gut told me it was weird, thx for confirming.

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acrossthelake
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Re: What to use as a OCI writing sample?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:09 pm

sundance95 wrote:
flcath wrote:I'd never submit a LRW paper to an employer.

I feel the same way. However, my chambers has us drafting actual opinions and orders rather than doing bench memos. Which is great and all, but also means that I can't use anything I've written as a writing sample because the judge hasn't issued the opinions in any of the cases I've worked on yet. So it looks like I'm stuck with my final 1L brief.



Yeah, I don't really want to submit my LRW memo either, but basically all the work I've done this summer has been confidential and can't really be redacted to work--I'd have to redact it to the point where sentences would read "[Redacted] can probably do [redacted] because [redacted]" or "[Redacted] specifies steps must be taken to do [redacted] for [redacted]." But echoing what others have said, every person I've talked to about it who has done recruiting says they never read it.




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