Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

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verklempt
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby verklempt » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:14 am

Having worked as an adcomm at a #1 (not law) school for almost 5 years...why be stupid and take chances? I can't tell you how many times I looked at an application and saw that the prospective student had invested a lot of effort in what s/he perceived as the "important" areas and then mailed in the rest. Typos, bad grammar, sloppy, stupid stuff. Anyone with decent fine motor skills can write that kind of essay in 15 minutes. Since you have 35 minutes, you have time to polish it so that it looks worthy of someone applying to a topnotch school.

If your parents have just donated $20 million to the school, then you're in, no worries, but if you're in the gray area like so many applicants at top schools? Don't get lazy. What you think "doesn't count" may actually prove to be a litmus test for the poor sucker that gets assigned your file.

And yes, adcomms will google you and might look at your Facebook page too.

Kurst
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby Kurst » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:21 am

acrossthelake wrote:Dean Asha has stated explicitly in her Yale admissions blog that some professors have told her that they look at it when making their decision on whether to admit it. Admissions at the very top schools isn't just clear-cut numbers and they're looking for reasons to reject you to winnow down the ones they like---an indication that you blew off because it "didn't count" isn't likely to help you out.

Dean Asha's remarks, read in context, betray the true weight of the writing sample. Can you read the following paragraph without smirking at the boldfaced text?

http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... ageIndex=2
Dean Asha wrote:Numbers do not become irrelevant just because you get passed onto the full faculty review. It really depends on the faculty members reading your file. Some faculty are sticklers for the LSAT or your undergrad GPA. Some are more into your story. Some care only about what your recommenders say, because they feel that every other part of your application has been doctored. Some read every LSAT writing sample, and swear by it. It really depends on the combo of faculty reviewing your application which factors matter most. That's why our system produces such an interesting class...because the people who get the required scores have some core elements that three very different faculty members agreed on without even having to discuss them. Unfortunately, neither you nor I will ever know what those elements are.

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briviere
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby briviere » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:51 pm

Pride.

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kkklick
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby kkklick » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:53 pm

Not this thread again...

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androstan
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby androstan » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:28 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:Is this a thread where people pretty blatantly brag about how fast they can finish the writing sample?

I wrote my entire essay by carving it onto a stamp I fashioned out of the desk next to me. Then, using my own blood as ink, I stamped the entire writing sample onto the provided paper. Entire thing only took me eleven seconds, and that's counting the time it took to fashion a carving tool out of a bone from the pigeon I lured to my desk.


That's pretty awesome! The main reason it took me 15-20 minutes was because I decided to encode the entire New Testament into my essay with strategic word choice, misspellings, grammatical errors, and Satanic symbols.

Still, I think you've got me beat with the 11 seconds thing.

krad
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby krad » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:30 pm

kkklick wrote:Not this thread again...

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isaiahnielsen
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby isaiahnielsen » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:17 pm

bartleby wrote:Haha, and what are you going to do for the next 20 minutes anyway? Sit there and put your head down? I'm not saying you have to get written up for going over the time limit on the writing sample but to put a 15 min ceiling on it is kinda ridiculous.



that's exactly what i did...wrote for ten minutes, said everything i wanted to say, and then put my head down for twenty minutes...i was tired

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T6Hopeful
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby T6Hopeful » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:08 am

androstan wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:Is this a thread where people pretty blatantly brag about how fast they can finish the writing sample?

I wrote my entire essay by carving it onto a stamp I fashioned out of the desk next to me. Then, using my own blood as ink, I stamped the entire writing sample onto the provided paper. Entire thing only took me eleven seconds, and that's counting the time it took to fashion a carving tool out of a bone from the pigeon I lured to my desk.


That's pretty awesome! The main reason it took me 15-20 minutes was because I decided to encode the entire New Testament into my essay with strategic word choice, misspellings, grammatical errors, and Satanic symbols.

Still, I think you've got me beat with the 11 seconds thing.

Hope you didn't "make any erasures." :lol:

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Cupidity
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby Cupidity » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:14 am

When I took it, an amateur astrological association was debating two locations to build an observatory.

I wrote an essay questioning, "How is it that an amateur association has the money to build the multi-million dollar facilities described in options A&B. Perhaps this is simply a clever front for a drug running ring." I went on like that the full length. I had a normal cycle.

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BrownBears09
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby BrownBears09 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:28 am

Cupidity wrote:When I took it, an amateur astrological association was debating two locations to build an observatory.

I wrote an essay questioning, "How is it that an amateur association has the money to build the multi-million dollar facilities described in options A&B. Perhaps this is simply a clever front for a drug running ring." I went on like that the full length. I had a normal cycle.

:roll:

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Helmholtz
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:30 am

When I met with the dean of admissions after being accepted to the school I'm at now, she specifically mentioned to me how well she thought my writing sample was.

genrader
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby genrader » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:45 pm

It's a stupid writing sample topic. You'd have to be 10 years old not to form a coherent argument in under 15 minutes. I often bullshit essays if I feel I need to write more, but on this I find it easy to write exactly what needs to be said on the front page of the essay sheet.

I think a lot of people feel pressured to write at least the full front page and at least half or more of the back page. There is no need. Good writing includes being brief and to the point. Say what you need to say in as few words as possible.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby well-hello-there » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:21 am

Cupidity wrote:When I took it, an amateur astrological association was debating two locations to build an observatory.

I wrote an essay questioning, "How is it that an amateur association has the money to build the multi-million dollar facilities described in options A&B. Perhaps this is simply a clever front for a drug running ring." I went on like that the full length. I had a normal cycle.

Laugh. That was September 2009. I bet any school that actually read it gave you points for creativity.

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kwais
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby kwais » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:43 am

genrader wrote:It's a stupid writing sample topic. You'd have to be 10 years old not to form a coherent argument in under 15 minutes. I often bullshit essays if I feel I need to write more, but on this I find it easy to write exactly what needs to be said on the front page of the essay sheet.

I think a lot of people feel pressured to write at least the full front page and at least half or more of the back page. There is no need. Good writing includes being brief and to the point. Say what you need to say in as few words as possible.


I think its hilarious that people keep talking about how they wrote their essay in 10-15 minutes and that it was perfect. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe someone else made better points than you. Maybe what you think is brevity is really superficial writing. Maybe. Maybe you shouldn't be grading your own work.

HowdyYall
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby HowdyYall » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:44 am

Helmholtz wrote:When I met with the dean of admissions after being accepted to the school I'm at now, she specifically mentioned to me how well she thought my writing sample was.


god, if the dean said that to me i'd be like "I spent over four months laboring over my personal statement and you comment on my 35 minute writing sample.....F YOU!"

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kwais
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Re: Why do people spend 15+ mins on the writing sample?

Postby kwais » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:46 am

HowdyYall wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:When I met with the dean of admissions after being accepted to the school I'm at now, she specifically mentioned to me how well she thought my writing sample was.


god, if the dean said that to me i'd be like "I spent over four months laboring over my personal statement and you comment on my 35 minute writing sample.....F YOU!"


that might be the point. Who cares what you can come up with in four months, with 10 editers, 25 drafts and a topic of "how awesome am I". The writing sample might not be important, but it is certainly more realistic than the PS




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