How To Write a Legal Memorandum

In the legal world, one of the most basic documents that you should know how to make is a legal memorandum. The legal memorandum is where a lawyer will determine whether a particular case has merits, and what the issues in the case are. The legal memorandum is also where the facts are presented. Here’s how you can create a legal memorandum.

  • Issue. First of all, you will need to write down the issue of the case. The issue is the basic question upon which the entire legal memorandum revolves. Make sure that the legal memorandum is clear and concise, and that it is as short as possible. The reason why the legal issue should be short is because you want a very specific angle on the case that you are working on. It is usually better for you to make multiple memoranda on the same case, instead of creating a very long one.
  • Short answer. On the next paragraph, you will need to write down the brief answer to the question that you have written on the first lines. The short answer should only include the answer itself, whether you are affirmative or not on the issue at hand, as well as the law upon which your answer lies. Usually, the short answer will not be more than three sentences long. From the short answer alone, the reader should already know what the basic point of the legal memorandum is all about.
  • Statement of facts. Next, you will need to write down the facts pertaining to the case. When writing down the facts, you need to remember that you are looking at it from a legal perspective. This means that you do not need to be too emphatic with the facts, and that you do not need to be descriptive, and that you should stick to the bare facts. Narrate the story based solely from the concrete facts and statements that were taken directly from the testimony of the person who was involved in the case. Direct testimony is best, and you should have a draft of the transcript of the testimony, so that you will be able to stick only to the facts. Facts here refer to the things that were said directly by the party involved in the legal issue, and not necessarily facts that you can prove or not.
  • Analysis. On the fourth section, you will need to show the analysis for the case. The analysis is usually the longest section of the legal memorandum, and can span several paragraphs long. The reason why the analysis is longest is because it is in this section where you will explain exactly why the particular laws you have chosen are applicable on the case at hand, and what your thought processes where when you were linking the particular case to the laws.
  • Recommendations. On the last part of the legal memorandum, you will need to add the recommendations for the case. Because the legal memorandum is usually used to determine whether a particular case or issue is viable in court, your recommendation will usually be whether the case should be pursued and not, and what course of action should be taken in case you want to pursue the case.

With these in mind, creating a legal memorandum should be easy. Be sure to make all your citations throughout the legal memorandum and that you only use primary sources.


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