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How to Brief a Case

This is an exercise designed to introduce first-semester law and graduate students to the basic elements of a typical case "brief" and to teach them general methodology for writing their own briefs. The exercise consists of three parts: (1) an introduction to the purposes and uses of a case brief; (2) a detailed examination of each of the ten components of a typical case brief (with examples); and (3) two actual cases that students are asked to read and then to brief, using the methodology described in this exercise. A sample brief for each of the two cases is also provided, thereby allowing students to correct and modify their briefs by way of comparison.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. List the elements of a case brief.
  2. Describe the purposes of a case brief.
  3. Practice writing a case brief.
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