How to Write a Memo
What Is a Legal Memorandum?
A legal memorandum is a formal document that presents the results of your legal research and is commonly accomplished following IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion) methodology. This document is highly formal and requires a high level of attention to detail. Writing a legal memorandum is both easy and difficult simultaneously.
According to a memorandum definition, it is an official document that includes important and detailed information covering one or several different aspects related to a company or organization. To write a good memo, one needs to clearly understand its purpose. Besides, you should not forget that a memo is an official document.
Thus, it should have a professional tone and appropriate word choice. Writing a memo is a rather exhausting task since it can be pretty difficult to squeeze a large amount of information into a short document. If you feel that you won`t be able to cope with this task successfully, you should leave your worries behind and place your order on our writing platform.
How to Write a Legal Memorandum
A legal memorandum is a document written preferably by attorneys to present the research results of a particular case. If you want to write a proper legal memorandum you have to follow its structure and answer the required questions. You must remember that this document is deprived of any personal judgments, emotional attitudes, and advice.
A credible legal memorandum is a document with solid arguments supported by the law. If this is your first attempt to write a legal memo and you have doubts about whether you will be able to properly complete this assignment, you may use this information as a guide.
Steps to Take Before Writing a Memo
Gather all the data about the case and the client
The first stage of writing a memorandum is collecting the information. You need to contact the client and all the related stakeholders directly and ask questions related to the case.
Check similar cases
The analysis of similar cases may help you gather the related laws and approaches used to resolve the issue. Moreover, other cases may help you justify your points and make relevant conclusions.
Select legal sources
Referring to the client’s information you may also need to justify the statements. You should reference your statements to the legal cases and laws. Thus, make sure to search for the relevant information. Make notes of the laws, quotes, and statements of judges and attorneys related to your case. Use these sources when writing your memo; however, make sure to list the sources you have used.
Writing a Legal Memorandum
Having collected all the necessary information you may get down to writing. However, do not hurry. It is better to create an outline and ensure that the memo corresponds to the accepted document structure. The structure of a legal memorandum is presented below for you to have a clear vision of how to write this task.
The Structure of a Legal Memorandum
Any memo has a standard structure of the heading written in lines, the person who the memo is written for, the person who sends the document, the date of the document submission, and the subject matter of the memo.
This section is usually one sentence long. It shows the issues under analysis with reference to the parties involved in the case, the cause of action, and the facts related to the situation. Parties, cause of action, and facts are the three obligatory elements required to be included in the memo. This section usually starts with the question words “whether,” “does,” or “is.” An example of a question presented may be as follows,
Under New York law, does an attorney who misses his client’s trial and does not warn and/or provide a reasonable justification of his absence commit a crime against the court?
This section should firmly respond to the question presented with either Yes or No and give a short explanation of the response. The response short answer should include the reasons why you have answered the way you did, the facts related to the issues, and the laws, which justify your response. No citations are required in a brief answer.
Facts: The attorney did not show up to the court hearing and did not send any notifications of his actions along with the reasonable confirmation of the validity of this absence.
Law: An attorney has to support his client and defend him. However, in case the one does not show up, it is not considered a crime against the court and does not impact the client.
Application of law to the facts into a short answer: The court hearing should be shifted to another date.
Statement of Facts
This section describes the legal facts mentioned in the case and the facts which may be related to the case as a part of the law. The facts should clearly indicate key parties, dates, and events related to the case. Moreover, any background context devoted to the current situation should also be discussed. It is important to present the facts in a logical manner, but do not analyze the law, which can be applied to the facts. These facts will further be expanded in the discussion section.
The discussion section is the largest and most detailed part of the memo. It focuses on the answer to the question with reference to the facts and the replayed law, which may be applied to resolve the issue. In general, this past focuses on the legal principles applicable to the cases and how the case under analysis can be resolved. There are several standard methods used for the case discussion, IRAC, CRAC, CREAC, or TREAT. It is essential to resort to one structure only and do not blend the methodologies.
You should summarize your legal analysis and conclusion to the Question Presented. The conclusion should not include any citations.
How to Write a Discussion Section of a Legal Memorandum
Depending on the chosen methodology you are going to apply in your discussion, you should choose a particular structure of the section. Writing the discussion section you should assume that the audience is familiar with the law; thus, no need to explain the basic terms and legal principles.
However, you need to explain in detail the rules you refer to and the laws with reference to how they are going to be applied in the case, as this is how you see the issue resolved. In other words, you need to support your solution with the law and explain why you think so, and how it is going to be applied. The structures of some basic methodologies are presented below.
IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion) methodology sets the issue in the first place and ends with the conclusion. Such organization of the memo sounds logical.
The Issue sub-section answers the question under analysis. What is the issue in focus and why it requires analysis? This section clearly indicates the issues and gives an understanding of why you need to discuss them. However, it is important to remain objective and neutral.
The Rule sub-section requires from you the reference to the legal rule a court should resort to in order to resolve the issue. You have to present a broad rule and the most important one and further go to the less important but more specific rules. You may also devote a paragraph to a relevant precedent, which will help you to show how the application of the rule you have mentioned works in practice.
There is a specific order of authorities you should follow, the constitution, statutes, regulations, Supreme Court cases, appellate court cases, trial court cases, and secondary sources.
The Rule section goes from general to specific, from baseline rules to the exceptions. Even though this section requires the reference to the law cases and some quoting, you have to avoid block quotes. At the same time, you need to explain the whole rule and do not just limit yourself by one line only.
The Application sub-section requires from you the application of the rules discussed in the previous sub-section to the case in focus. It is important to clearly indicate the rules and how it may be referred to the case. Being logical and specific is a priority in this section.
You may repeat some facts and key points to ensure that your ideas are logically incorporated and your case follows precedent. The length of this part may be up to several pages, and this is the norm.
The Conclusion sub-section requires a one or two sentences summary of the issue outcome basing on everything you have presented above. Next, you need to present your vision of how to deal with the case further.
The reference to IRAC methodology seems logical; however, CIRAC structure is more effective in the analysis of the law cases.
CIRAC (Conclusion, Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion) methodology is similar to IRAC structure with the major difference that the analysis, in this case, starts with the concluding statement, not an issue itself. Thus, reading the issue, rule, and analysis sections, the reader already knows how the case ends and what resolutions are offered.
Even though the conclusion is started twice, it is important to reword the information and do not write the same phrases. Using different words for the same conclusion, you help a reader to better understand what you mean and critically assess your memorandum in general and the solution you offer in particular.
CRAC (Conclusion, Rule, Application, Conclusion) is a particular methodology, which should be applied several times in the law memorandum depending on the amount of the issues presented. One of the major mistakes students make when using this method of discussion is writing one major CRAC for the whole case.
However, each case usually has several issues. In the situation with IRAC, CIRAC, and other methodologies, the issue is discussed as a part of a method, CRAC does not require issue analysis as it presupposes the reference to the issue before the methodology is implemented.
CREAC (Conclusion, Rule, Explanation, Application, Conclusion) methodology is similar to CRAC with the difference that the explanation of the rule is present as a separate sub-section.
TREAT (Thesis, Rule, Explanation, Analysis, Thesis) methodology is basically CIRAC, but different terminology is used, and the professors teaching this structure of the discussion use Thesis instead of Conclusion. However, the use of different terms does not change the meaning of the method in the discussion.
Writing Format of a Legal Memorandum
There is no standard format you must use, and there are variations. However, we recommend you resort to the following format:
use an Arial font with bold headings;
start page numbering on the second page at the bottom of the page;
use single spacing in Question Presented and Brief Answer sections and double spacing throughout the whole document;
use left justification;
include diagrams, charts, or tables in the Fact section, if applicable;
use a separate page for sources;
include an index of contents for lengthy documents.
On the one hand, the process is easy because you have just to follow the particular structure, which is clear and concise. On the other hand, the process is complicated because it requires attention to detail and proper knowledge of the terminology and case law.
How to Write a Memo Essay?
So, how to write a memo essay? If you are a student in the business program, you definitely need to know the essential peculiarities of this assignment. Below, you will find a step-by-step guide that will help you create a perfect memo paper without spending much time and effort.
Understand your task properly. First and foremost, you should understand that the success of your memo paper depends on how well you can follow the instructions provided by your teacher. Your writing prompt contains several important points that should be considered if you want to get a good grade for your paper. In case you find it difficult to understand some aspects of your task, do not hesitate to ask your tutor for guidance.
Next, you need to study well-written memo samples. If you have never worked with such a document before, you probably want to know how your memorandum should be written. By studying the memo examples, you will understand how to convey your messages, how to organize your paper, how to format it, and many other important points.
When you are done with the previous stages, you need to brainstorm your ideas. An experienced writer knows that brainstorming is an integral stage of any writing process because it allows figuring out the most important points that should be included in the memo.
Then, you need to start writing your memo. First, you should begin with the greeting. If you know who your recipient is, you may write his or her name. If you don`t know who will be reading your memo, you may write “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam,” Next, you need to write the date of writing the memo. It is particularly important to include the date in order to help your recipient understand if your document is still relevant. Then, you need to write down the subject of your memo. Your subject should be as clear and detailed as possible.
For instance, if you are planning to announce a meeting, you need to write “A Weekly Meeting on Changing the Pricing Policies” instead of “The Meeting.” Knowing the subject of your memo, the recipient should decide if he or she is interested in further reading. Then, you should write the main body of your document. At the beginning of your memo, you need to provide the most important information.
According to studies, people are the most attentive when reading the first lines of the paper. Then, you need to provide your reader with more details. Finally, your memo should state a call to action. It means that if you want the particular employee to attend the meeting, you should clearly state that.
When your memo is ready, you need to take some time to proofread it. Only when your memo is well-written and free from any mistakes, you can start writing it.
How to Write a Business Memo?
If you are planning to develop a career as an entrepreneur, you definitely need to know how to write a business memo. A business memo is different from other memorandum types. Such a paper should include an organization logo and color scheme. Besides, this document should be pretty short but detailed. In the business establishment, people do not have much time for reading memos.
As such, you should include the most accurate and valid information in your document. Finally, how you write your business memo greatly depends on your recipient. Knowing who will be reading your memo, you will find it easier to figure out how to write it.
Business Memo in APA Format
If you are an entrepreneur, who needs to get a business memo in APA format, you can turn to our memo writing service and we will provide you with the necessary assistance. Our company can provide professional writing help to not only students, who need to write memos as part of their academic curriculum but also professional entrepreneurs, who don`t have enough time to work on memos. By buying your memorandum at our writing platform, you can be sure that it will be created in accordance with your guidelines and instructions.
How to Write a Memo for a Research Paper?
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