A legal memo or law memo is a kind of essay that deals with a specific legal issue or topic. It is normally researched and drafted by a lawyer, paralegal, or law student. This memorandum consists of three elements: statement of issues, facts, related laws to the issue, and conclusions, citation of other applicable cases or issues, and your legal recommendations. Composing a good law memo is important for those in the legal field. This document primarily aims to effectively present the legal issue by using concise yet persuasive statements.
Adequate research is also a requirement in coming up with a good law memo. It takes a lot of practice in mastering the writing of this legal document. Consulting with the experienced legal professionals can also help you create a good legal memo.
Have with you your reference materials, and follow these steps in the crafting of legal memo:
- Do intensive research. There are thousands of legal topics and issues that you may be asked to write about. Some may be easy while some may be a bit challenging. Whatever the topic assigned to you, make sure that you conduct research first. This will ensure that you will write the right facts, and that you fully understand all related issues. Remember that you are writing a legal memo, and not just a simple essay.
- Indicate basic information. You should begin the memo with the header portion. This section should indicate the client's name, author's name, recipient's name, date, and also the subject.
- Enumerate the legal questions. Have a separate section for the main legal questions. List down all the relevant questions, and include also significant facts and issues related to the questions. Make sure that the sequencing of the questions would be the same with the order of discussion in the next parts of your memo.
- Provide answers to questions. Since you have researched on the topic at hand, you are capable of answering the questions you have listed in the previous section. Have an Answer Section, wherein you will include brief responses to all the questions.
- Construct Statement of Facts. In this section, you should put in the significant details of your answers to the legal questions. This should further clarify your response to each question and how certain issues arose.
- Elaborate discussion. You should also have the Discussion Section. In this part, you should provide an in-depth analysis of the legal issues presented. You can discuss previous issues resolved, recent developments on the issue, and even historical backgrounds of earlier cases. This should give a thorough discussion of the issue. This is also considered as the most important part of the law memo. This should encapsulate all facts and literature pertaining to and related to the issue.
- Summarize and conclude. Provide a summary of the facts that you cited in your discussion in the Conclusion Section. Highlight pertinent points tackled in the Discussion Section as well.
- You are almost done with your law memo. Close your memo with the Recommendation Section. This should include your suggested legal approaches that the client can follow. It can consist of one non-negotiable approach, or you can provide several options that the client can take on.