The LSAT is comprised of four sections that you take on test day. However, the LSAT writing sample is a section that you take separate from the remainder of the test. In this article, we will help you know the best way of taking the LSAT writing sample.

What is the LSAT writing sample?

The LSAT writing sample is a section of the LSAT that lasts 35 minutes (just like the other LSAT sections). During this section, you will be expected to write a short essay based on a prompt. This prompt will give you two options to weigh, choose a position, and argue in behalf of that position. Because this section is based on opinion, the LSAT writing sample is not scored.

Why is taking the LSAT writing sample important?

Although the sample is not a scored part of the LSAT, it is crucial for law school admissions. Each school will have access to a copy of your sample and can use it to influence admission decisions. So, even though the sample is not scored, it is important to write well.

Taking the LSAT writing sample

In the weeks preceding the LSAT exam, the LSAC will send you an email giving you access to the writing sample software. In the past, the writing sample was taken solely on paper, written by hand. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the sample has been typed over a proctored software. From this software, you can take a few practice runs and prepare for the actual sample. I recommend running through the sample at least three times before taking the real thing.

There is no need for legal knowledge to complete this section of the LSAT. The purpose of the sample is to test your ability to think logically and write quickly and clearly based on that logic. Although I can’t share my prompt from my writing sample, below is an example of what a sample prompt may look like:


You are a magician preparing for a show. In the past, your shows have brought in a large crowd because of your daring stunts. You know your show well and what excites the crowd. However, there is another magician performing similar stunts and driving in a similar size crowd. You recently learned a new stunt that you know will please the crowd and bring in a larger audience. Despite this knowledge, your ability to perform the stunt varies. Sometimes you perform flawlessly while other times you make a mistake. You must perform the stunt perfectly to drive in this crowd.

You are considering adding this stunt to your show but have two rules. First, your show must be exciting to the audience. Second, you must bring in a large crowd. Should you add the stunt to your show or continue performing the current show?

Start your writing sample by choosing a side first and fully committing to it. Then quickly outline the pros and cons of each option.

The simplest way of writing the sample is in two paragraphs. In the first paragraph, list out the pros of your choice, counter with a con to your choice. In the second paragraph, share one strength of the adverse argument then list the several weaknesses.

Plan on using the first 10 minutes to read the prompt and outline your arguments. Spend the next 20 minutes writing your essay. Finally, spend the last 5 minutes proofreading and editing your essay.

It is important to note that your LSAT scores will not be released until your writing sample has been processed. Because it can take a couple weeks for the sample to process, this means that if you take the sample after the other LSAT sections, your score may be released after the set release date. Because I’m sure you want your LSAT scores sooner than later, I recommend taking the writing sample 1-2 weeks before the rest of the LSAT.


So far, we discussed what the LSAT writing sample is, why it is important, when to take it, and how to take the sample. Below, I want to outline the key points more clearly.

  • What is the writing sample?
    • The writing sample is a section of the LSAT that is not scored but designed to test you ability to write clearly and think logically.
  • Why is the writing sample important?
    • The sample is used by law schools to influence admission decisions.
  • When should you take the writing sample?
    • 1-2 weeks before the rest of the LSAT
  • Taking the writing sample
    • 10 minutes: Read the prompt, outline 2-3 pros and cons, then pick a side and stick with it.
    • 20 minutes: Write the sample
      • First paragraph lists strengths of your argument
      • Second paragraph lists weaknesses of the other argument.
    • 5 minutes: Proofread and edit your sample
Categories: LSAT

Will Laursen

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