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John Espinosa

A legal memo must have, in this order:

1. A HEADING, which identifies the case, date, main legal issue, writer, intended reader.

2. A FACTS section, which sets forth the facts which the legal analysis will use, plus enough background facts for context. The Facts section should contain the facts important to the legal analysis.

3. An ISSUE section that states the legal question(s) which the memo answers. Usually one sentence that also mentions the key facts that underlie the legal problem. An "issue" is a question about how law applies to a set of facts. In the legal memo, the Issue section presents the legal question using the key facts.

4. A DISCUSSION section that organizes, explains and analyzes ALL the facts (BOTH sides of the case) in light of the relevant law (statutes, case law, etc.) that leads to the Conclusion. This is the "heart" of the memo and will be your longest section, analyzing the relevant facts in the context of the applicable laws you have researched.

5. Finally, a CONCLUSION section that gives the brief answer to the question stated in the Issue. This will be 1-4 sentences that note the key facts and legal points that support the answer. Use the key facts and law from previous sections to draw the conclusions.

Remember that your memo must:
Answer the question you pose in the Issue section.
Discuss both sides of points in dispute.
Cite law for every legal point made.

Hope that helps!

Answered 5 years ago

John Espinosa