FAQ: What Should I Use for My Writing Sample?

Often, employers seek writing samples from candidates as part of the recruiting process.  Although they may not be read until after an interview, a great writing sample may help you land a job.  Most employers (except judges) prefer samples gathered from your work experience versus the classroom, although it  is acceptable to use a sample from law school if you don’t have any from another legal experience.  Include a cover page that has your name and a brief description of the writing sample.  Limit your sample to 10 pages, and be sure to get permission from your employer to use it.  Darken any names and sensitive information, and have your employer review the final draft.  If you do not have a great writing sample, avoid using a bad one.  Instead, try to get another legal writing experience through a class or a pro bono initiative project.