Writing sample for lateral interview

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Writing sample for lateral interview

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:56 pm

Know that some variation of this has been asked before but whatever. Have a lateral interview tommorow. While the firm has not asked yet, I'm sure a writing sample will be required at some point, but I can't really get one right now bc it would tip off my employer. I don't want to do anything unethical here. I have an msj that I 100% drafted that is filed in federal court. However, the partner signed it--not me (although my name is on it). It also has a typo I noticed earlier. Most importantly, I'm worried about using literally anything without the firm's permission. It seems like all I have to work with is an article I wrote 2L year and something from when I was a 2L summer. What do I do?

kykiske

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Re: Writing sample for lateral interview

Postby kykiske » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:38 pm

I am curious to hear folks' input on this topic as well. Of course, you want to be 120% ethical. But if you're the primary author of a MSJ, your name appears on it, and you redact the party names, case no., etc., what is unethical about using it as a writing sample?

To be candid, I don't know the laws surrounding ownership over work-product. Does the firm own the pleading? Or, does the client own the pleading? I don't know. But my gut tells me that the client owns the pleading, and the firm will have a policy in which you're not allowed to use the pleading without permission.

How have others navigated these issues? The other issue is that if you're a practicing attorney, using a sample from law school just reflects poorly.

lolwat

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Re: Writing sample for lateral interview

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:46 pm

I'm interested too honestly. I think this came up in a previous thread maybe within the last few months, which I'm too busy to really take the time to search for, where people debated whether it's ethical to use a public pleading as a writing sample. I mean, I guess if I needed to be safe, I could go on Westlaw and print out one of my appellate briefs that show up there. Shouldn't be any problem, right? I mean it'd just be like, "Hey look, my name is on this, and I got it from a totally public source that everybody who pays a couple dollars can access."

kykiske

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Re: Writing sample for lateral interview

Postby kykiske » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:54 pm

lolwat wrote:I'm interested too honestly. I think this came up in a previous thread maybe within the last few months, which I'm too busy to really take the time to search for, where people debated whether it's ethical to use a public pleading as a writing sample. I mean, I guess if I needed to be safe, I could go on Westlaw and print out one of my appellate briefs that show up there. Shouldn't be any problem, right? I mean it'd just be like, "Hey look, my name is on this, and I got it from a totally public source that everybody who pays a couple dollars can access."


I remember that one too. I recall there were two camps of thought: (1) believed that once something is publicly filed, it's fair game; (2) even if something is publicly filed, you need to redact any possibly identifying information concerning the parties.

But I do not recall any discussion concerning the ethics of using a writing sample while at firm A in trying to get a job at firm B.



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