Writing sample question. I drafted a really complex dispositive motion that was granted. It was obviously revised by the partners on the case but can I still use it as a sample?

Obviously I would redact or change client/identifying information. It was publicly filed and is available on the public docket. I am not one of the attorneys of record.

Curious what people have done in the past. I'm interested in lateral positions so can't exactly ask the partners I work with.

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FYI I did exactly what you mention when I lateraled as a third year. I used a publicly filed motion that I primarily drafted, and still redacted client identifying information out of an abundance of caution.

I also wrote a brief cover letter to the writing sample explaining any necessary background (like very high level, one or two sentences), and explaining the types of changes senior attorneys made (eg, made stylistic edits to intro, revised organization, added section C.2.i, or whatever).

Edit to add: I was also not an attorney on record, which the lateral firm understood because that’s common practice. It was no big deal.

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Thanks so much for sharing! I'll probably go this route just to be safe. Appreciate the guidance!

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If it’s publicly filed, you don’t need to redact anything. Everyone understands that most files documents are edited by more than one attorney, just be honest about your contribution and only use it if you legitimately did roughly 90% of the work on it. If you don’t have a filed sample that you did the majority of the work on (normal if your very junior) I suggest using a draft that you did and explain that you chose the sample to be entirely or almost entirely your own work.

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If you are using a draft you need to be really careful and might check with your firm’s general counsel. A lot of firms won’t let you use a draft except under rare circumstances.

Use the publicly filed document, I would not redact anything but if there is a section that still contains a majority of you work - I would use that as an excerpt rather than submitting the entire document. It’s just more plausible that you could have written the section than an entire msj. I would also consider using a document where your name appears on the caption/signature

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