This lesson will cover the basic structure of written legal analysis: IRAC. IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, Conclusion. There are slightly different versions of IRAC which may be used for different legal documents. This lesson will focus on IRAC for essay exam writing. Some faculty may prefer CRAC, or CIRAC, where the conclusion is placed first. You may also learn CRREAC for writing legal memos and briefs, which stands for Conclusion, Rule, Rule Explanation, Application, Conclusion. Make sure you know your professor’s structural preferences regarding exams and other assignments. Whether you have the conclusion up front or not, all of legal analysis follows the same basic IRAC framework. It takes some getting used to, but once you understand how to properly work with the IRAC structure, you will be able to analyze any legal question.
- This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Legal Writing.
- The Legal Research and Writing Outline allows you to search for terms of art that correspond to topics you are studying to find suggestions for related CALI Lessons.
This lesson introduces a modern approach to writing issue statements for traditional memos and briefs. The lesson steers users away from single-sentence issue statements. It bases much of its approach on the syllogism.
The purpose of this exercise is to help students—especially first-year students—understand the process of legal analysis and improve their legal writing and legal analysis skills. Specifically, students will work on their ability to apply the law to the facts of a problem.
This lesson teaches Ohio citation as governed by the Supreme Court of Ohio's recently published guide, Writing Manual: A Guide to Citations, Style and Judicial Opinion Writing (the "Writing Manual"). This lesson covers only the material contained in part I of the Writing Manual, which the lesson will refer to as the Citation Manual.
Plagiarism in today's online social media world is both confusing and serious, especially for students of the law. This lesson will explain what constitutes plagiarism, distinguish between copyright and plagiarism, and offer opportunities for students to test their understanding of plagiarism.
This lesson covers punctuation and some key points of grammar every law student should know. Getting these key rules down will keep you from losing credibility with your legal-writing teacher, employers, clients, and judges.
Most students do all right with commas, periods, sentence fragments, and verb agreement. But what about colons, dashes, passive voice, and parallelism? This lesson covers several advanced topics in grammar and punctuation for the legal writer who is ready to move beyond the basics.
This lesson is designed to cover how to distinguish legally relevant facts, contextually relevant facts, and nonrelevant facts; plus, how to use each of those types of facts. It is also designed to cover beginning and organizing a statement of facts, writing facts briefly and readably, stating facts objectively, and stating facts persuasively.
This lesson introduces the student to the doctrine and processes involved in interpreting state and federal statutes. Statutes are a critical part of every substantive area of the law, so this is important background for every student, legal professional, lawyer and judge.
In this podcast, Prof. Jennifer Martin discusses the top ten mistakes law students make in law school examinations. These are poor issue spotting, poor knowledge and understanding of the law, poor application of the law to the facts, giving only conclusory answers, lack of organization, errors in the facts, failure to understand the role you are given in the examination, padding, fact inventing, and question begging.
This lesson is no longer available. There is no version of this lesson that works with Windows or Mac OS-X.
This lesson provides an overview of the branches of the U.S. government and how each branch makes law.