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.
On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the components of IRAC.
2. Classify what belongs in each section of IRAC.
3. Identify strong and weak examples of issue statements, rules, applications, and conclusions.
4. Compose basic legal analysis in written IRAC form.