What To Know About the LSAT Writing Sample

Tucked away in the LSAT exam is a mandatory 35-minute writing assessment known as the LSAT writing sample.

While the writing sample is unscored, experts suggest test takers to take it seriously.

Gabriel Kuris, a contributor at US News and founder of Top Law Coach, recently discussed what test takers should know about the LSAT writing sample, why it’s important, and how to best approach it.

DIGITAL LSAT UPDATE

Traditionally, LSAT test takers were required to complete the writing sample after finishing the LSAT exam itself.

Since the LSAT went digital last year, test-takers now have a window of dates to complete the writing sample and aren’t required to complete it concurrently with the LSAT exam.

LSAC, the organization behind the LSAT exam, offers a sample prompt for the writing sample on their website.

HOW TO APPROACH IT

Digitally administered, the LSAT writing sample “typically asks the writer to argue on behalf of one of two competing policy options, like whether a town should host an agricultural fair or a monster truck rally,” according to Kuris.

Experts recommend that test takers approach the writing sample with clear, logically-organized writing.

“Write plainly with straightforward and succinct prose, rather than show off,” Kuris writes.

In the first paragraph, test takers should introduce the issue and offer a “clear, decisive thesis.”

The second paragraph will include your arguments to defend your thesis.

Save your third paragraph for going over counterarguments that further defend your thesis.

“Finally, restate your thesis and, to avoid redundancy, perhaps add a qualification or a few questions for consideration,” Kuris writes.

While the writing sample itself is ungraded, it is included in a report that admissions officers look over. Thus, Kuris says, it should be taken seriously.

“Admissions officers are likely to review it for a general sense of your ability to think and write under timed conditions,” Kuris writes. “If your personal statement seems like it could have been written by Tom Wolfe, but your LSAT writing sample seems more as if an actual wolf took over the keyboard, it may raise a red flag.”

Sources: US News, LSAC

Page 1 of 3