Writing Samples for New Lawyers and Law Students

Writing Samples for New Lawyers and Law Students

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Proving Your Research, Analysis, and Advocacy Skills by Shauna C. Bryce, Esq.

About the Author

Shauna C. Bryce is a graduate of Harvard Law School with 20 years in law and legal careers. She works with lawyers at all levels—from law students to executive-level attorneys in Global 100 law firms and multibillion-dollar businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Her advice column, Ask the Hiring Attorney®, was originally published by Bloomberg Law and is now reprinted by the American Bar Association. She’s the author of several books and Bryce Legal® Career Advice for Lawyers blog, www.BryceLegal.com 

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Failure to produce a high quality writing sample can immediately end your candidacy for a job.


Each step of the hiring process is designed to make sure you’re worthy of a law firm or other employer’s significant investment. When it comes to hiring you—an attorney or law school student—those employers want to know you can:

  • Use deductive logic

  • Organize your thoughts

  • Write cleanly and clearly

  • Explain legal issues concisely

  • Understand the law and apply to a specific set of facts

  • Argue your position with efficacy and credibility

In your resume, cover letter, and interview, you’ll have claimed to be able to do all these things. However, your writing sample is designed to prove it.

Legalese Doesn’t Impress. Plain English Does.

Writing Samples is a thorough, yet concise book that explains how to:

  • Choose a top-notch writing sample: Understand why lawyers ask for writing samples, how thoroughly those hiring attorneys read those samples, and what they’re are looking for.

  • Prepare your writing sample: Protect your ethical obligations, get permission, creating an excerpt from a larger work, and other considerations.

  • Create a contextual covers for your writing sample: Design and write a cover that will give impact to your writing sample.


Writing Samples also contains sample contextual covers illustrating critical principles.

The perfect balance between comprehensive and readable. Another must-have from Ms. Bryce. ~ Former BigLaw Partner

As with all the books in this series, Bryce has thought through everything you need to know and conveys it in a very easy to read manner. ~ Former BigLaw Partner