LSAT Test Prep: Writing Sample Tips - dummies

LSAT Test Prep: Writing Sample Tips

By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch, Amy Hackney Blackwell

The writing sample on the LSAT is a 35-minute exercise in written advocacy. The test gives you a situation in which someone has to choose between two alternatives, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. You write your answer by hand on the lined, double-sided response sheet provided to you. To get an idea of exactly how much space you have, check out practice exams.

Some recent topics have included the following:

  • Picking a travel package for a tour of South America on behalf of a travel club

  • Deciding which archaeological dig would most benefit the career of a young scholar

  • Choosing which school a local school board should close

  • Picking a city in which to hold a scholarly convention

  • Deciding whether to publish a famous manuscript or donate it to a university library

You can argue every topic equally well in either direction. The object is to convincingly construct an argument for one side or the other.

When you write your LSAT essay, keep in mind your likely audience. The people who read these essays are usually law professors on the admissions committees of their respective law schools. They’re academics, so write as if you were writing something for school.

Be intelligent, thoughtful, organized, and lucid. Don’t be too conversational, don’t use slang, never use sarcasm, and be very careful with humor. You don’t want to annoy your reader with a flippant tone.