Writing Sample Question

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Writing Sample Question

Postby sabrina8740 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:10 pm

Hi all--

I'm preparing to submit some clerkship applications this week and have a question about the writing sample. I'm using an excerpt from a brief I wrote for an external moot court competition. It is highly fact-specific, and I am having trouble cutting down the 2.5 page summary of the facts that is currently included. Unfortunately, the bare bones facts will take up at least 1-1.5 pages. I feel like at that point, might as well include the full thing...

Would it be okay to exclude the summary of the facts altogether since the relevant facts are explained in sufficient detail within the analysis itself? Or should I just include it all?

Including all the facts requires cutting down the analysis section, so I'm leaning towards excluding all the facts. Any tips are appreciated.

Also, is it general practice to include the summary of the argument? Or is a short intro page explaining the assignment sufficient?


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Re: Writing Sample Question

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:13 pm

Other people might have a different view, but I would cut the facts. When I reviewed these things as a clerk, I wanted to see as much substantive legal analysis as possible. We can figure out the facts from the context. Maybe just say at the top that you omitted a discussion of the facts for brevity or something like that.

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Re: Writing Sample Question

Postby EzraFitz » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:28 pm

Obviously take this with a grain of salt, because it's OCS, but we were VERY explicitly told to never sacrifice the facts, for the sake of context.

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Re: Writing Sample Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:32 pm

Pretty sure every time I got advice about this, I also got told to cut the facts.

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Re: Writing Sample Question

Postby BVest » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:57 pm

I limited my sample to the argument section only. I didn't even include any facts on the cover sheet, just a two sentence description of the issues at hand.

The relevant facts were, of course, woven into the argument; I felt that was sufficient as I wanted the judge to get a sense of my writing, not decide the case on the merits.
Last edited by BVest on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Writing Sample Question

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:40 pm

Having this issue but realizing if I cut facts (which are dry), I don't meet page ranges. Is it totally improper to combine two different memos/analysis to make one 15 page sample?

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