How to Write a Legal Memo
There are several sections to a legal memo. These include the Statement of facts, the body of the document, and the conclusion. If you’re unsure what to include, consider the following guidelines. All legal memos should begin with a statement of the facts. While the legal memo may focus on other issues, the facts are important to give the reader a frame of reference. One minute fact can have significant implications on the resolution of a legal issue.
Sections of a legal memo
In the introduction to a legal memo, you should state the legal question that will be addressed in the memo, including the relevant rule of law. Next, state the relevant facts and background information, which may clarify the situation and help the reader understand the legal issues at issue. You can also mention the applicable law and explore the counterarguments to the main analysis in the next section. Lastly, in the body of the memo, state the conclusion.
The first part of a legal memo is titled and captioned. The next part is called the “discussion,” and is the longest part of the memo. It explains the legal issue to the recipient and incorporates all the relevant facts and rules into the discussion. Finally, the conclusion section summarizes the arguments presented in the memo. An appeals brief, for example, is a legal memo that argues against a decision.
Depending on the nature of the legal issue, the memo will include a brief title and date. Then, the memo should also include the name of the recipient and author, and a brief indication of the purpose. It is best to include both these titles in the body of the memo. When drafting a memo, remember to always follow the case law. This will ensure that your memo is not misinterpreted. In addition, legal memos should be filed in the proper chronological order in the data bank of your firm.
Statement of facts
A legal memorandum must include a Statement of Facts. This section presents key facts related to the dispute in question. It should contain enough factual information for a reader to understand the issues raised. There should be no need for citations, elaborations, or editorialization. The next section is the Discussion. This section allows for legal analysis and conclusions to be drawn. In this section, you should briefly discuss the various facts.
The goal of the statement of facts is to give the court the best understanding of the case. Make sure to choose the facts that are relevant to the case. Examine the opposing argument to find any holes and use these as your supporting evidence. Moreover, write the facts in a way that helps you win the case. After all, you are writing this legal memo to persuade the court. The statement of facts should be succinct, clear, and free of immaterial data.
The next paragraph should present a brief answer to the question raised. It should also address the arguments and reasoning used to come to the conclusion. The conclusion does not require citations. It is meant to provide an overall overview of the legal analysis. However, it is a good idea to add a brief citation to the issue in question. The rest of the memo should not contain citations. After the Statement of Facts, there should be a Conclusion.
The conclusion of a legal memo is the final section of the memo. The author explains the current state of the law and the relevant case law to the recipient, as well as addressing counterarguments to the primary analysis. In some cases, the author may try to persuade the recipient by presenting alternative viewpoints. Either way, the conclusion of the legal memo must be a logical conclusion.
The conclusion should be written after the other sections. Avoid rushing this section. A well-written conclusion will enhance the rest of the memorandum, while an inadequately written one will leave the reader in a bad mood. The conclusion should also state the specific legal question that the client asked. This section should be concise. If the client requested an exemplified opinion or analysis, it is a good idea to include it in the conclusion section.
The discussion section of the legal memo should be structured like a law school exam. Assume that the reader does not know anything about the facts in question. Instead, educate the reader on the relevant legal principles and explain any counterarguments that might arise from the legal opinion. Finally, the conclusion section should summarize the key findings and conclusions of the memo. In this way, the reader will be able to follow the arguments presented by the author.