Industry Resources

What Should I Use For A Writing Sample?

There’s no perfect answer — but here are a few guidelines, from veteran recruiter Abby Gordon.

In addition to your resume, representative matters sheet, and J.D. transcript**, as a lateral litigation associate candidate, you will need to include a writing sample with your application materials. Candidates often ask me for guidance on what type of writing to use.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer, as each reader is different. But here are a few guidelines:

My best advice? Go with your gut. What do you feel (not think) is the best example of your best writing?

** Generally, when applying to a firm as a lateral associate, you will need to provide a resume, representative matters sheet (a “deal sheet” for corporate associates), a J.D. transcript, and a writing sample for litigation candidates. Very few positions will also require an undergrad transcript. For more senior positions, a business plan might be helpful. Of course, it’s also essential to convey to a firm your reasons for wanting to make the move, but when applying through a recruiter, it’s the recruiter who drafts the cover note; you do not need to draft a formal cover letter.

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts from Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. This post is by Abby Gordon, Senior Director at Lateral Link, who works with attorney candidates on law firm and in-house searches, primarily in Boston, New York, and Europe.