Paralegals are increasingly called upon to perform substantive legal analysis and legal writing tasks.These tasks range from drafting interoffice legal memoranda that summarize the research and analysis of issues involved in a client’s case to preparing drafts of appellate court briefs. The goal of this text is to provide the student with in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of legal analysis and legal writing. The hope is that the student will be better prepared to meet the challenges presented by substantive legal analysis and writing assignments.
The impetus for this book came from student requests for comprehensive information regarding many of the difficult areas of legal analysis and writing, such as the following:
- How to identify the issue
- How to state the issue
- How to determine if a case is on point
- How to identify the key facts in a case
- How to conduct counteranalysis
- How to prepare an interoffice memorandum and court brief
The text is designed to cover the topics of legal analysis and writing in general. It is organized in a manner to provide students with comprehensive information regarding the difficult areas of analysis and writing.The text is divided into the following three parts.
Part I: Introduction to Analytical Principles and the Legal Process. Part I is composed of two introductory chapters. The first chapter presents an overview of the legal system and the legal process, and a summary of the basic legal principles involved in the process, such as authority, precedent, stare decisis, and so on. The second chapter introduces legal analysis and the IRAC analytical process.
Part II: The Specifics of Legal Analysis. Part II consists of seven chapters that provide thorough coverage of the elements and tools used in the analysis and writing process. These chapters cover the difficult areas of legal analysis and writing that are not covered extensively in most texts.
- Statutory analysis
- Case law and case law briefing
- Key facts
- Issue identification
- Stating the issue
- Case law application (whether a case is “on point”)
Part III: Legal Writing. The focus of Part III is on the application of the principles presented in the previous chapters to the drafting of legal research memoranda, court briefs, and legal correspondence. This part consists of chapters on the following topics:
- The legal writing process in general
- Fundamentals of writing
- Office legal memoranda (two chapters)
- Court briefs