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Author Topic: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?  (Read 1059 times)

RockyMtnHighMama

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Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« on: July 29, 2004, 01:39:05 PM »
Does anyone know? Did anyone get told - we liked your sample, it made a difference to us?

I know the conventional wisdom is to blow off the WS, but in close decisions (the vast majority of people on the median lines), does it get counted? If so, by how much?

Miltra

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2004, 02:01:01 PM »
this is just my common sense talking, but it seems to me that if a school wanted to judge your writing or if it were a close decision, then that school would use your personal statement, not the writing sample. 

You are a fabulous web site!  Thank you for the macaroni and cheese recipie AND the law school advice! 

Bman

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2004, 02:02:00 PM »
I'll repost what I wrote in another thread:

I'm wondering if I'm the only one who believes this- does anyone else think that the writing sample might actually be a better test of a person's aptitude for law school than the personal statement. It's under time pressure (like law school finals), it's a strictly analytical, argumentative essay that forces you to assess both sides of an argument carefully and explain persuasively why one side is superior. This seems to me to be far more relevant to law school and future legal success than a personal, emotional, generally non-analytical essay that you can spend months on, have dozens of people edit, hire consulting services for, etc. Anyone else agree?

Miltra

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2004, 02:28:55 PM »
I'll repost what I wrote in another thread:

I'm wondering if I'm the only one who believes this- does anyone else think that the writing sample might actually be a better test of a person's aptitude for law school than the personal statement. It's under time pressure (like law school finals), it's a strictly analytical, argumentative essay that forces you to assess both sides of an argument carefully and explain persuasively why one side is superior. This seems to me to be far more relevant to law school and future legal success than a personal, emotional, generally non-analytical essay that you can spend months on, have dozens of people edit, hire consulting services for, etc. Anyone else agree?

I agree with you most of the way.  There is something to be said for grading an essay that hasn't been edited 3000 times.  However, in most situations (all except law school exams, I think), you have more than a half an hour to read, think and write.  That having been said, if the choice is PS or writing sample, I would choose the PS if I was actually trying to get a feel for the person.  Quick check of the writing sample to see if they were at all similar. 

LongTallVal

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2004, 02:32:06 PM »
what I have been told about the writing sample when i took the Kaplan course is that the writing sample is the first page in your file received by the law school adcoms.  whether it is seriously looked at i don't know.  but the kaplan people were serious about not blwoing off the writing sample during the exam for the reason that adcoms supposedly look at it as if you were in the situation of working hard all day (ie the lsat itself) and someone hands you a brief or an assignment for you to analyze etc. i think it is also reasonable to think adcoms use the WS to guage borderline applicants as well.

this is just my thought.

louieleftwing

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2004, 03:32:39 PM »
Personally, if I were an admissions officer, I would read the writing sample first. The idea of a student quickly understanding a few facts and then being able to write a concise and persuasive argument for one of the sides seems important.

The time constraint adds effect because the student does not have any time to reflect on diction, grammar and spelling. Thus, if a student is strong in all those areas anyway, you know it is ingrained in them as a skilled habit and not the result of multiple edits.

Sounding great after the mental marathon that is the LSAT could also say something about one's poise and focus.

I would use the personal statement to get to know an applicant's experiences, thought-process, imagination and those other soft skills. But I would actually weigh the writing sample more heavily.

I don't think any schools do that, though. Most I understand to just disregard it unless it is used to decide borderliners or it shows extremely effective or poor writing ability.

The Name's Dali

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2004, 03:38:15 PM »
wouldn't that be interesting if the adcomms made us believe that they didn't read them, but actually do to see what kind of character and dedication a student might have?

what about you big ballers out there that got into top schools, did you guys take the sample seriously?

swifty

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2004, 04:30:41 AM »
I'd like to add that when you see your writing sample online from LSAC, and you have bad handwriting like me, what you see is distorted by the scanning and your screen, worse if not on a LCD.  This is really not what it looks like when they see the original.  I learned this when my bank started to allow me to view my checks online, it looked like I was drunk or something when I wrote, and I wasn't.  I grabbed a real returned check and compared it to the screen, and the comparison wasn't even close.  Granted, my handwriting is not something I am proud of, but for those of you who were shocked at what you saw online, trust me, it's not as bad as it looks. 
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply" So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do.  So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..

lexylit

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2004, 04:42:01 PM »
you guys are fooling yourself. you CAN'T get into law school without cute handwriting. the director of admissions at stanford told me so.

also it helps if you dot your i's with hearts and use smiley faces to emphasize certain points

NeverForever

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Re: Which Schools consider the Writing Sample?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2004, 04:46:30 PM »
I took the WS seriously. I don't see why you wouldn't. Everyone here seems to devote their lives to the LSAT and applications so why blow it on one element like the WS? It doesn't seem logical...

People do blow it off though though. The guy sitting next to me during the LSAT put down his pencil after about 10 minutes.