LSAT Writing Sample Section

LSAT Writing Sample Basics

LSAC does not score the LSAT Writing Sample but does send it along with your test scores to all law schools you apply to. In a survey conducted by LSAC, a majority of law schools in the US and Canada indicated that they use the writing sample as part of the admissions process. Omitting or neglecting this section might lead to a rejection of your application.

The prompt in the LSAT Writing Sample is written by legal education professionals and will always present two choices. Test takers must select one of the choices and defend it. There is no right or wrong choice; your assertion and the persuasive manner of how you thoroughly defend your position (and refute the other) will be reviewed. The topics of the writing sample are usually not legal, but the process of supporting a position is demonstrative of legal practice.

The time limit on the LSAT Writing Sample is 35 minutes. No prior knowledge of subject matter is in any way required for a strong and persuasive essay. The questions are presented in such a manner that it makes it difficult to decide which option is better, as both have pros and cons. With there being no right or wrong choice, focus is placed on the justification of how you support your argument.

The writing sample should fill up the front and back of the response sheet, which is a piece of lined paper that is given to you by a test administrator. No extra sheets will be provided so there is no need for superfluity.

Tips for a Strong LSAT Writing Sample

Because the LSAT Writing Sample requires writers to choose a side and defend it, it might actually be easier to structure the essay than it is for essays on other standardized tests.

To start, test takers should be sure to use the scratch paper to sketch out what they would like to write. Be aware of the length of the Writing Sample response form. The length is limited, so observations should be thorough, but concise.

Because the essay requires writers to choose one option over the other, the writer must both support the position chosen, and refute the one that was not selected. Doing this concisely will take up most of the space allocated.

Begin with an introductory paragraph that explains in broad terms the dilemma and the position taken. Follow with a paragraph in support of the choice. Another paragraph should then refute the other option and explains why that choice was not selected. Remember to stay on the given topic and not ramble. Finish with a conclusion. This will thoroughly use the space provided and ensure that the decision is explained from both angles. Writers should try to think of three reasons of support for the decision chosen and three points of opposition to the decision not selected to use in the two main body paragraphs.

Writers should maintain awareness of the time limit and pace themselves accordingly. Finally, there's the part that many might forget is a challenge and that's keeping your handwriting legible while writing quickly.