Too old to use as writing sample?

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Too old to use as writing sample?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:35 pm

I'm a 2014 grad looking to apply for a one year clerkship. It's a federal district court clerkship with very, very specific requirements. While I meet the requirements, I don't have a long enough writing sample to submit from my job. In fact, the only writing sample I have in mind might have so much confidential information in it I'm not sure I could use it. Does anyone have any information on confidential firm memos and clerkships? Can these be used without redaction? What concerns me is that there's so much identifying info in the memo that I can't simply redact the client's name without leaving behind many other identifying details.

My other idea was to use a law school memo. As a 3L, I wrote a memo for a seminar taught by a federal judge and got a 3.9 on it. The subject matter is irrelevant to the clerkship. Is the memo too old to use as a writing sample?

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Re: Too old to use as writing sample?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:04 pm

My firm let me turn a confidential memo on a procedural issue into a brief, but I had to completely invent new facts. So an ADA suit involving a hotel changed into a EEOC suit involving a hospital (for example) but most of my legal work was preserved.

Totally depends on the specifics, but the new facts route was enough for my firm.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Too old to use as writing sample?

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:07 pm

I don't think you should use anything from law school. It's been too long for that to accurately reflect your writing/lawyering skills. Hopefully you've improved both since then. Maybe someone else has personal experience with this and can tell you otherwise. But I think it would just be weird to use a law school memo when you graduated almost four years ago and have had a job since then.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Too old to use as writing sample?

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:49 am

I always find it strange when applicants with work experience don't use something from their practice. You're in a tough situation, but it's not a good look to be out working and still submit a law school memo.

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Re: Too old to use as writing sample?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:42 am

Should definitely use something from your work. I am in a similar situation, but only a 2017 grad. Will be asking my judge if I can use a memo I recently wrote, which turned into an order with essentially zero modifications. I do feel that it was too recent and is still technically in the works (time for appeal has not passed and I am expecting it to be appealed). Have an interview for a fed district clerkship coming up and would really prefer to use something more relevant.



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