Clerkship Writing Sample

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. 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: 312852
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:33 pm

Can I use an article I am writing for a law review as my clerkship writing sample? It may be unpublished by the time I apply.

User avatar
WinterComing

Silver
Posts: 722
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:10 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby WinterComing » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:38 pm

Yes.

User avatar
nothingtosee

Silver
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:58 pm

Careful though, some judges do not want a sample that has been edited by others. So it'd be better if it was a draft before you worked it with the note editors imo

User avatar
mjb447

Silver
Posts: 1276
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby mjb447 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:13 pm

Sure. Some judges might prefer that you use something closer to a doc prepared for use in litigation, but you can use an article (may also want to use an excerpt if it's long).

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby rpupkin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:05 pm

Law review articles generally don't make great writing samples, particularly for district-court clerkships. If you're going to use a law review article, make sure that it contains a section with a relatively straightforward summary of the state of the law. An article that seems relatively unconcerned with the state of the law (but which seems eager to tell its readers what the law should be) is dangerous.

User avatar
KissMyAxe

Bronze
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:01 pm

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby KissMyAxe » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:02 am

WinterComing wrote:Yes.


I think it's right to say you can use that. However, I would advise against doing so. As the others have said, judges typically want someone who can write logically and concisely about concrete legal issues. Law review articles typically do not do that. Because of that, I really think memos and briefs are the way to go. Basically, I agree with pupkin that the one thing you need to avoid for 99% of judges is sounding like head in the clouds academic with no grasp of basic legal writing.

Of course, there are a handful of judges who care most about "norms" and theory, and may really like one of those pieces (a couple require academic writing). But a strong brief or memo is better for pretty much any district judge and 99% of Circuit judges.

User avatar
WinterComing

Silver
Posts: 722
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:10 am

Re: Clerkship Writing Sample

Postby WinterComing » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:00 pm

I interpreted the OP's question to be one of permissibility rather than advisability.

I concur with the posters above that a brief or memo might be a safer choice. But I think the No. 1 rule should be to use your best writing. If this article is far and away the best thing you have to show, I'd use it.



Return to “Judicial Clerkships�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.