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   'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD?
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   Author  Topic: 'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD?  (Read 3202 times)
JoshBiophysPhD
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'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD?
« on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 9:19am »
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Dear All,  
 
First, thank you for your time.  
 
I will soon be graduating with a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Cornell U. I am excited to begin a career in IP law, and feel that my knowledge of computational drug development (my thesis topic) makes me a strong candidate.  Several of the law firms I have researched are asking for a 'Legal Writing Sample'.  You can probably intuit my problem, but to be plain, I don't have anything that could be even remotely thought of as a 'Legal' writing sample.  
 
Are there standard items that someone like myself should submit in lieu of a legal writing sample?  
 
Also, while I have your attention, are there any recommended resources online that have compiled the fields of practice of law firms? Especially in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area? e.g. I see no sense in applying for a position at a firm that specializes in semiconductors etc. I find using google to identify each law firm, and then browsing their web site a bit arduous.  I am hoping that one of you might be able to direct me to a 'smarter' way to do it.  
 
Thank you in advance,  
 
Josh
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JoshBiophysPhD
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Re: 'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD
« Reply #1 on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 9:45am »
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Hello Again,  
 
I found the answer to my second question in someone else's thread.  The IPmenu website seems to have exactly the kind of information I was looking for; Law firms with IP practice areas organized by state.  
 
I would provide a link, but as a new user, that is not permitted.  
 
www dot ipmenu dot com should get you started.  
 
Any comments on my first question are still greatly appreciated.  
 
Regards,  
 
Josh
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Sample-Schmample
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Re: 'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD
« Reply #2 on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 5:10pm »
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You don't have a legal writing sample. They know that.  But you gotta give them something. Give them something you wrote. I gave 'em a sample from my PhD thesis. You could do that. Got published papers you wrote? ... give 'em those. Don't worry, they know your situation upon review of your resume.
 
Many people in this field had no legal writing sample when they got started. That's how it is.
 
Am I stating the obvious? Yeah, but maybe people in your situation will feel better to hear it from someone who has worked in the field for years. I'm a patent agent. I got my first job without a legal writing sample and I've met other people who did the same.
 
I hope that helps.
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floatinglife
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Re: 'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD
« Reply #3 on: Feb 24th, 2007, 11:24pm »
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I am pretty much in your situation. Fresh Ph.D., no legal experiences at all. I wrote a description of a device related to my Ph.D.  dissertation as the wirting sample. Now I got an offer.
 
Bottom line: technical writing should be ok, but don't make it too academic.
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Bill Richards
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Re: 'Legal Writing Sample' from a newly minted PhD
« Reply #4 on: Feb 25th, 2007, 6:43am »
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The purpose of a writing sample is to assess one's ability to write in a cogent, consise, well-organized, easily-understood manner.  The fact that the sample does not have legal jargon or case citations with perfect "Blue Book" format is not really relevant.  Don't know if the LSAT still requires it, but it used to have a short writing exercise.  All they wanted was some way to see if you could express yourself in writing.  (It didn't even matter which side of the decision one took.)  When I applied to law schools, I included a personal statement.
As long as what you submit meets the criteria noted above, it will be fine.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
614/939-1488
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