length of writing sample

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Anonymous User
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length of writing sample

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:09 am

My 1L appellate brief is well over the limit for an acceptable writing sample. Do I pick an interesting part that's 5-10 pages? Would I need to include an abbreviated fact section to orient the reader? Not quite sure how to go about this..

hiima3L
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby hiima3L » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:56 pm

The general rule of thumb I've gathered is 10 pages. Of all the "not to exceed X number of pages" and "writing sample must be at least X pages" requirements for writing samples, 10 pages seems to be the magic number.

As for your appellate brief, yes, you can just use a segment of it, but it should be a part where the reader can still make sense of what's going on factually and analytically.

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Perseus_I
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby Perseus_I » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:17 pm

hiima3L wrote:The general rule of thumb I've gathered is 10 pages. Of all the "not to exceed X number of pages" and "writing sample must be at least X pages" requirements for writing samples, 10 pages seems to be the magic number.

As for your appellate brief, yes, you can just use a segment of it, but it should be a part where the reader can still make sense of what's going on factually and analytically.


I used the fact section, questions, and 1 subheading of a memorandum - at 5 pages (the other section was 6 pages). Is this too short?

hiima3L
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby hiima3L » Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:05 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
hiima3L wrote:The general rule of thumb I've gathered is 10 pages. Of all the "not to exceed X number of pages" and "writing sample must be at least X pages" requirements for writing samples, 10 pages seems to be the magic number.

As for your appellate brief, yes, you can just use a segment of it, but it should be a part where the reader can still make sense of what's going on factually and analytically.


I used the fact section, questions, and 1 subheading of a memorandum - at 5 pages (the other section was 6 pages). Is this too short?


It really depends on who's looking at it and deciding whether it's a good sample. I'd say 5 pages is the absolute shortest a writing sample should be. Also, I would get rid of the fact section unless it's completely necessary and worthwhile to include.

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eandy
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby eandy » Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:10 pm

For the brief, I recommend having a cover letter explaining the most basic of facts (they are not trying to understand the issues--they are evaluating your writing), which party you wrote the brief on behalf of, what the trial court did (one sentence), and what parts of the brief you are including. I included the Summary of Argument portion and the first half (first issue) of the Argument portion.

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Perseus_I
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby Perseus_I » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:03 pm

eandy wrote:For the brief, I recommend having a cover letter explaining the most basic of facts (they are not trying to understand the issues--they are evaluating your writing), which party you wrote the brief on behalf of, what the trial court did (one sentence), and what parts of the brief you are including. I included the Summary of Argument portion and the first half (first issue) of the Argument portion.


Do they really read it THAT closely?

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Perseus_I
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby Perseus_I » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:05 pm

hiima3L wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
hiima3L wrote:The general rule of thumb I've gathered is 10 pages. Of all the "not to exceed X number of pages" and "writing sample must be at least X pages" requirements for writing samples, 10 pages seems to be the magic number.

As for your appellate brief, yes, you can just use a segment of it, but it should be a part where the reader can still make sense of what's going on factually and analytically.


I used the fact section, questions, and 1 subheading of a memorandum - at 5 pages (the other section was 6 pages). Is this too short?


It really depends on who's looking at it and deciding whether it's a good sample. I'd say 5 pages is the absolute shortest a writing sample should be. Also, I would get rid of the fact section unless it's completely necessary and worthwhile to include.


Are they seriously going to read 5 pages?

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eandy
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Re: length of writing sample

Postby eandy » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:06 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
eandy wrote:For the brief, I recommend having a cover letter explaining the most basic of facts (they are not trying to understand the issues--they are evaluating your writing), which party you wrote the brief on behalf of, what the trial court did (one sentence), and what parts of the brief you are including. I included the Summary of Argument portion and the first half (first issue) of the Argument portion.


Do they really read it THAT closely?

Yes. I have had more than one employer tell me that I got the interview because of my writing sample.
When it is job search related, it pays to assume that everything you submit is read THAT closely.

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Re: length of writing sample

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:18 pm

eandy wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
eandy wrote:For the brief, I recommend having a cover letter explaining the most basic of facts (they are not trying to understand the issues--they are evaluating your writing), which party you wrote the brief on behalf of, what the trial court did (one sentence), and what parts of the brief you are including. I included the Summary of Argument portion and the first half (first issue) of the Argument portion.


Do they really read it THAT closely?

Yes. I have had more than one employer tell me that I got the interview because of my writing sample.
When it is job search related, it pays to assume that everything you submit is read THAT closely.


As for the length, are we talking double-spaced or single-spaced? I have written tons of 4-5 page, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font bench memoranda for my 1L summer internship. My legal writing has actually improved quite a lot since 1L. The only recent thing I have ever written longer than 5, single-spaced pages is my 1L brief, which is not an example of my best work. Why does it have to be longer than 5 pages? Especially considering how busy most attorneys are? How do they even have time to read more than 5 pages?




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