Q. How do I create a Legal Memo? What are the parts? What does one look like?

Answer

Paralegals are often required to draft legal memos.  The sections of a legal memorandum are:

  • Heading or Caption
  • Facts
  • Issue(s) Presented
  • Answer to Issue
  • Reasoning or Discussion
  • Conclusion

The Caption appears at the top of the page and contains this information:

example of a memo caption, which contains to, from, date, re: fields

The Facts section of the memo provides a formal and objective description of the legally significant facts in your research question.

The Issue(s) Presented is the subject of the memo presented as a question; How does the relevant law apply to the key facts of the research question?

Beginning with a conclusion (yes, no, probably yes, etc.), the Answer to Issue provides an explanation of the reasons for your conclusion.  This section is no more than four to five sentences.

The Reasoning or Discussion section educates the reader about the applicable legal principles, illustrates how those principles apply to the relevant facts, and explore any likely counter arguments.  This section is the heart of the memo.

This is followed a restatement of the Conclusion.

Example:

example of a legal memo with arrows indicating the placement of the caption, question presented, brief answer, and discussion

 

 

 

  • Last Updated Nov 15, 2019
  • Views 4789
  • Answered By Dennis Johnson, CJ, LE, & Paralegal Librarian

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