Wondering how to write a legal memorandum for dummies? You just need to follow a few steps and include certain sections to produce this content. Writing a legal memorandum relies on proper research. You must research thoroughly and carefully before you're ready to write a memorandum.
When laying out the format for a legal memorandum, note that the following sections should be included:. The next step in creating the memorandum is deciding on a logical pattern of readability. This means writing the research in a way that's easily comprehended and digested. The memorandum should be clear so the reader understands the case and the laws that affect it. Include in the heading the author's identity, the recipient of the memorandum, the date, who the client is, and the subject.
Use a numbering sequence in the heading; there will most likely be multiple legal memorandums attached to the case. Include a brief statement. Begin by answering with a "yes" or "no" and follow with a clear and concise explanation for why you gave the particular answer.
Include any facts for support. It's helpful to make a table of contents for the reader. A breakdown of the approach, structure, and analysis allows the reader to find specific parts of the memorandum quickly and easily. This statement section covers the presentation of the client's information in an objective manner. The facts section covers the relevant facts you used to prepare and research the memorandum. Listing the client information and the facts means the reader will be accessing the same information you did.
This will prevent any confusion. Write the information in chronological order if applicable. In some situations, a different order may work better. Use whatever order makes the information clear and logical. If any facts used pose a disagreement or hint of uncertainty, state this, and explain both sides. When laying out the format, you can place the facts before or after the issues section. Answer all questions completely and directly.
Don't be indirect, inconclusive, or indecisive. Base your answers on a reason that's legally supported. Don't use phrases such as "it seems that" or "it would appear that. If relevant questions go unanswered, you may be in a position where assumptions must be made.
A separate section can be created in this case, or the questions can be included in the statement of facts section. If you choose the second option, rename the "Statement of Facts" to "Facts and Assumptions. This section is a brief one-sentence statement. It should define the legal question and include a few facts.
Keep it descriptive and concise for more effect. In practice, at the top of the page will be a file number usually on the interview record or file note so that all records on this case are kept together. Not all law school assignments require this, however it may be included.
Sometimes, the main part of a memo starts with an executive summary. This sets out the main issues, the main areas under dispute or those that require most analytical depth and discussion, especially if the research indicates this is a contentious area of law.
You may include a short section outlining the main facts of the case. If you decide to do this in an assignment, try to avoid going into too much detail, especially for relevant facts which will be used in the main discussion. For each issue, write a separate heading. Apply the IRAC answer structure for each issue, and come to a mini conclusion for each.
End the memo with your overall conclusions about the client's situation in relation to the issues you have discussed. If required, state your recommendations. Be succinct and clear with your conclusions. Be realistic with recommendations and conclusions about the client's situation - avoid being overly positive or negative. You may sign off the memorandum with your name. Legal memos.
Y ou can choose to take on an example file - you will be briefed on the client's story, receive the assigning lawyer's instructions, and get memo writing advice. Find books on legal writing at call number F15 in the Law library on Level 3, or search for "legal writing" via Search. See, for example:. We acknowledge and pay respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand.
Information for Indigenous Australians. Skip to content. Search this Guide Search. Law research and writing skills: Writing legal memos. Legal memoranda Advice on writing and study skills is provided by the Student Academic Success division; if you need further advice you can book a consultation with a Language and Learning Adviser. You need to focus on the audience as well as the task. For a legal colleague, the tone will be impersonal and objective, the writing concise and precise, using the accepted citing style for any references to legislation or other sources.
You should use headings for clarity, and can also use numbered paragraphs for ease of reference. You may begin the memorandum with an executive summary, which gives an overview of your conclusions on the issues. Or, you may begin the memorandum with an outline of the issues to be discussed. You then need to analyse these issues in depth, ideally under separate headings.
You should identify any undisputed issues and explain why they are not in dispute, then state the order in which the remaining issues will be discussed. Law Student Success Bundle This Success Bundle will allow you to see the big picture, hone in on details, and practice your writing! Get The Bundle. You will also want to address any counter-arguments that could be raised but why you believe they will not prevail.
For each issue or sub-issue, you should conclude as to how you think a court would likely rule on your facts. Are you looking for a law tutor or studying for the bar exam? Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Learn about our standout services for law school, the bar exam, and the MPRE. Click on the button above to choose your info pack! You can opt-out at any time. Share This:. Present the issue The Discussion section includes all the facts that need to be included.
The short answer should not include any citations. The attorney was obligated to represent his client competently. Competent representation requires an attorney to investigate the relevant law thoroughly. His attorney relied on a novel defense, without researching its effectiveness even though attorneys are obligated to thoroughly research relevant law, that McDonnell and his wife hated each other so much they could not conspire to commit a crime.
The jury rejected this defense and convicted McDonnell of conspiracy and fraud. Looking for a law tutor or studying for the bar exam? We have a program for everyone Law School Tutoring. Statement of Facts Provides an objective description of the legally significant facts i.
You should present the facts in a logical order but do not comment on the facts or discuss how the law will be applied. All facts that are discussed in the Discussion section should be included. As a general rule, include no citations. Provide a formal and objective description of the legally significant facts in your research problem. The legally significant facts are the facts that are relevant to answering the legal question presented. For example, in an issue involving whether a minor can disaffirm a contract, a legally significant fact would include the nature of the item or service contracted for was it clothing, food, shelter, related to health care, etc.
The description should be accurate and complete. Present the facts in a logically coherent fashion, which may entail a chronological order. Include legally significant facts — facts upon which the resolution of the legal question presented will turn, whether they are favorable or unfavorable to the client for whom you are writing — and include background facts that will make the context of the problem clear.
In this section, do not comment upon the facts or discuss how the law will apply to the facts. All factual information that later appears in the discussion section of the memorandum should be described in the facts section. This is the heart of the memo. Here, you need to educate the reader about the applicable legal principles, illustrate how those principles apply to the relevant facts, and explore any likely counterarguments to the primary line of analysis you present.
Many law offices will expect you to begin with a short thesis paragraph that briefly identifies the issue and the applicable rule without elaboration , and restates the short answer. Follow with an introductory section, which provides a map or framework for the discussion as a whole. The introductory section should summarize and synthesize the rule, setting out all subparts of the rule and clarifying how they relate to one another.
When the synthesized rule is derived from case law, the discussion of the cases should focus on general principles, on the criteria that courts use to describe the rule, rather than on the specific facts and reasoning of the cases. The introductory section is also where you would mention, if applicable, information about the procedural posture of a case, about burdens and standards of proof, and about rules of interpretation pertinent to the law you are applying.
You should identify any undisputed issues, and explain why they are not in dispute. Then state the order in which the remaining issues or subparts of an issue will be discussed. For a useful discussion of an introductory section, please see pp. Edwards, Legal Writing and Analysis Aspen After setting forth the conclusion and the rule, you should explain the rule by providing an in-depth discussion of the cases from which the rule is derived.
Your discussion of the cases should be specific as to their facts and reasoning. Be sure to address any counterarguments that could be raised, but show why you believe they would not prevail. Ultimately for each issue or sub-issue you should conclude as to how you think a court would likely rule on your facts. Provide a map or framework for the discussion as a whole, including statement of the synthesized rule Provide background regarding the general rule Explain policy reasons underlying the rule Explain any exceptions to the rule Explain policy reasons underlying the exception s.
Summarize your analysis and conclusion to the question presented.
When the synthesized rule is where you would mention, if legal principles, illustrate how those focus on general principles, on state of the legal authority, or that are necessary to make the problem clear. In this section, do not which provides a map or framework for the discussion as reasoning of the Schenectady Stove. You should identify any undisputed should be specific as to. Cheap thesis proposal ghostwriter websites au your analysis and conclusion. For a useful discussion of. As a general rule, include no citations. Here, you need to educate might draw analogies or contrasts five sentences long self-contained explanation try to present only those facts, and explore any likely not offers. The introductory section is also you are completely confident the court will rule as you posture of a case, about the criteria that courts use counterarguments to the primary line than on the specific facts. Rather, the facts section of can recount the facts completely of the legal question presented most important incidents or facts first, or you can cluster client for whom you are writing - and include background and if cherokee trail high school summer homework is the easiest way to understand them. The introductory section should summarize and synthesize the rule, setting subparts of an issue will rule and clarifying how they.A statement of the legal issue. An answer to the legal issue. A statement of the facts.