Caption, etc. on Writing Sample

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273382
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Caption, etc. on Writing Sample

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:29 pm

I'm using a draft of a judicial opinion I drafted during my internship as my writing sample. Should I leave the caption in? Eliminating it would sure save me some space (having trouble getting it down to 10 pages), but it don't look as judge-y, in my opinion. If I leave the full, formatted caption out, should I have a shorter one, like a heading, or just let the cover page sort things out?

I'm also thinking about changing all the underlines to italics. Thoughts? If I do that, should I change the headings to italics too?

Is [brackets] the best way to signify leaving whole sections out? Thanks!

User avatar
cardinals1989
Posts: 1191
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Caption, etc. on Writing Sample

Postby cardinals1989 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm using a draft of a judicial opinion I drafted during my internship as my writing sample. Should I leave the caption in? Eliminating it would sure save me some space (having trouble getting it down to 10 pages), but it don't look as judge-y, in my opinion. If I leave the full, formatted caption out, should I have a shorter one, like a heading, or just let the cover page sort things out?

I'm also thinking about changing all the underlines to italics. Thoughts? If I do that, should I change the headings to italics too?

Is [brackets] the best way to signify leaving whole sections out? Thanks!


Has your judge OK'ed this? The judges I worked for were very clear that I couldn't use anything I wrote for the internship for a writing sample. Also, generally opinions you wrote aren't "your opinion;" they are the judge's, despite the obvious reality of the situation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273382
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Caption, etc. on Writing Sample

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:10 pm

Yup, he was fine with it. He gave us the guidelines before we even started the internship. My judge was basically the best. The best.

Did I say it was "my opinion"? If so, I didn't mean to. I make it pretty clear (in my cover page) that it's just a draft of an opinion I wrote under the guidance of the judge and his clerk.

User avatar
cardinals1989
Posts: 1191
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Caption, etc. on Writing Sample

Postby cardinals1989 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yup, he was fine with it. He gave us the guidelines before we even started the internship. My judge was basically the best. The best.

Did I say it was "my opinion"? If so, I didn't mean to. I make it pretty clear (in my cover page) that it's just a draft of an opinion I wrote under the guidance of the judge and his clerk.


Cool, cool, I figured this had come up, but I just thought I would say something...better safe than sorry. And no, you didn't say it was your opinion—the quotes were mine. Apologies if it wasn't clear.

As far as your questions (and this is entirely my own opinion with no real firsthand knowledge): I would probably take the caption out...maybe add in a heading similar to memo format or just have a cover page with page of explanation of the writing sample and then just jump in.

I think the italics stuff is all personal preference. I personally prefer italics because it looks cleaner to me, but I don't see a way that an employer would penalize you for changing it. Similarly, I think headings should be underlined and not italicized, but again it is personal preference. As far as omissions, I would do something like with a heading: A. [Sentencing Analysis Omitted].

Anonymous User
Posts: 273382
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Caption, etc. on Writing Sample

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:12 am

Cool, thanks man.

I ended up going with italics for case names, etc. (BB be damned) and bold + underlines for titles. I can't imagine any employer would intend to penalize someone for underlining vs. italics, but subliminally if I was an employer, I would probably penalize a writing sample that hurt my eyes with underlines.

Left the caption in. It just looks too slick to leave out.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.