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17 May

Writing and Document Sample Advice For Attorney Candidates

by: Astor Professional Search

New lawyers who are looking for a position can improve their chances of landing one with a strong writing sample portfolio, yet some common mistakes often trip up these candidates. Legal portfolios can include motions, briefs, and excerpts from pleadings that are in line with the lawyer’s area of practice. Those who are working with a Chicago legal recruiter to find a position can strengthen their appeal as a candidate by checking their legal writing samples for these common errors. By eliminating them, they can improve their chances of finding a job quickly.

Poorly-Written Pieces

Strong writing skills are vital for lawyers. A portfolio that is filled with grammar and word choice errors is going to hurt a candidate’s chances of getting hired. New lawyers who do not feel that they are strong writers can partner with a professional proofreader or editor to double-check their written pieces before putting them in a portfolio and searching for new jobs.

Poor writing can also mean papers with many typos. Having a portfolio of error-free writing will make a candidate shine out from the competition when a Chicago legal recruiter approaches a firm with an option for their next hire.

Samples Not Relating to the Area of Expertise

Lawyers should have portfolios that relate well to their area of work. Someone applying for a role in a law firm that specializes in criminal defense should not add their paper from their senior history class to their portfolio. While it may show their writing style, it is not at all on the topic of the firm’s focus. A lawyer’s portfolio should have samples of legal writing and, if possible, samples that pertain to the particular area of practice the lawyer wishes to work in.

Private or Confidential Information

In the legal world, much of what gets written contains private or confidential information. The names of past clients, specific points of an agreement, or the name of a corporation or other entity can break the client-attorney privilege. Before putting a sample in a portfolio, lawyers can redact sensitive information by blacking it out with a black marker or replacing it with a generic moniker, such as “Corporation A” or “Individual A.” When applying for a new legal position, overlooking this step could quickly derail a candidate’s chances, because firms want to work with attorneys who know how to keep the information confidential.

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