How to write a good legal brief

Arranging the details in a maximally effective way means giving the story of the case a narrative flow. It can also be quite helpful to have a colleague look the document over and make suggestions. Different people will tell you to include different things in your brief. Table of contents A good table of contents see above lays out the briefs logical structure.

In my experience, most lawyers give the facts section short shrift when drafting briefs.

case brief assignment

Facts that aren't relevant to your argument distract the court from the facts that are relevant. For instance, you might combine the use of annotations in the margins with the visual benefit of highlighting the relevant text.

sample case brief template

Judges are not above being selective about the facts they emphasize. At a minimum, however, make sure you include the four elements listed above.

How to write a legal brief example

Case briefs are a necessary study aid in law school that helps to encapsulate and analyze the mountainous mass of material that law students must digest. Whatever elements you decide to include, however, remember that the brief is a tool intended for personal use. What is the law that supports your conclusion. This should be outlined point by point in numbered sentences or paragraphs. Whether you return to a case after a few hours or a few months, annotations will swiftly guide you to the pertinent parts of the case by providing a roadmap of the important sections. Even with a thorough, well-constructed brief you may want to reference the original case in order to reread dicta that might not have seemed important at the time, to review the complete procedural history or set of facts, or to scour the rationale for a better understanding of the case; annotating makes these tasks easier. Y45 ]. In this section, it's important to use simple, clear, and persuasive language to lay out the facts and procedural elements of the case and avoid using conclusory statements. Personally, I feel that is an unfortunate practice, but I have heard that it does happen on occasion. The court may discuss intermediate conclusions or issues, but stay focused on the main issue and conclusion which binds future courts. Your goal is to tell the story so that the resolution will be almost self-evident. It is a sign that the writer was either in a hurry, distracted, working under a last minute deadline due to poor planning, or worse, that the attorney is just not very good.

Legal reasoning, writing, and persuasive argument. R39 ] Shapo, H.

how to write a legal brief pdf

Even if this were true, what is relevant for the judge to make his decision is not always relevant for you to include in your brief.

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How to write a legal brief