Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

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PlanetExpress

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Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby PlanetExpress » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:13 am

Hey all, wondering if there is any consensus on whether it is better to submit a mock brief (or, more generally, just something more practice-oriented) or an article draft (before edited by others for publication). I'd imagine it of course comes down to which is more polished, but wondering if judges prefer the brief because it's closer to the actual work of a clerkship.

Thanks!

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coramnonjudice

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Re: Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby coramnonjudice » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:56 am

If it's a circuit judge, the article; if a district judge, the brief.

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Re: Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:58 pm

I clerk for a COA judge. I'd much rather see briefs, since (1) they give me a better feel for how you'd write an opinion; and (2) they tend to be significantly less boring than articles.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:43 pm

coramnonjudice wrote:If it's a circuit judge, the article; if a district judge, the brief.


This seems like a nice, easy rule of thumb. Only problem is it's wrong. There are few judges who want to see an academic piece of writing. Many of them say so. Of the few who do, a good number ask for both a practical writing sample and an article.

Default to a brief unless a judge asks for something different on OSCAR or asks for two writing samples.

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coramnonjudice

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Re: Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby coramnonjudice » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:58 am

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
coramnonjudice wrote:If it's a circuit judge, the article; if a district judge, the brief.


This seems like a nice, easy rule of thumb. Only problem is it's wrong. There are few judges who want to see an academic piece of writing. Many of them say so. Of the few who do, a good number ask for both a practical writing sample and an article.

Default to a brief unless a judge asks for something different on OSCAR or asks for two writing samples.


I'm the poster from above and on second thought I agree that you should default to a brief. That's what I used when applying to both my clerkships.

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PlanetExpress

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Re: Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby PlanetExpress » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:50 pm

Thanks for the help, everyone! Brief it is.

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Re: Writing sample: mock brief or academic article draft?

Postby Quichelorraine » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:45 pm

Remember that nothing prevents you from "polishing" your mock brief further. It isn't preserved in amber from when you handed it in. You can, and should, revise it with an eye towards improving it.



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