Writing samples demonstrate your ability to organize and express your thoughts clearly. Analytical skills are also demonstrated. The demand for experienced attorneys varies depending on their field of practice. A writing sample is not something to be taken lightly. As a candidate or interviewer for a legal job, you may be asked to provide writing samples - so you should be prepared for that possibility.

You probably take pains with your resume. You may even take pains with your cover letters. But chances are you do not take pains with your writing sample. The vast majority of law students I know act as if samples do not matter. That is a common mistake.