The State Bar of Wisconsin compiled a list of helpful tips on how to write a legal brief how to write a legal brief simplified judges who have extensive experience reading them.
What are the elements of a brief?
Your textual markings and margin notes will refresh your memory and restore specific thoughts you might have had about either the case in general or an individual passage.
Because briefs are made for yourself, you may want to include other elements that expand the four elements listed above. The more you brief, the easier it will become to extract the relevant information.
Simpler legal writing uses fewer words, is clearer to the reader, and is significantly shorter in the number of total pages. Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. Another common mistake is a failure to back up good arguments with good citations.
One subject in which Procedure History is virtually always relevant is Civil Procedure. Writ of Certiorari — An order issued by a higher court demanding a lower court forward all records of a specific case for review.
This will make it easy for you to organize and reference them. While a brief is an extremely helpful and important study aid, annotating and highlighting are other tools for breaking down the mass of material in your casebook.
A brief is also like a puzzle piece. Without annotations, you will likely have difficulty locating the information you seek even in the short cases. Remember that everything that is discussed may have been relevant to the judge, but it is not necessarily relevant to the rationale of the decision.
This is not necessarily true. Supreme Court is concerned, legal briefs must be written in point type, in Century Schoolbook font. Learning to brief and figuring out exactly what to include will take time and practice.
Like annotating, highlighting may seem unimportant if you create thorough, well-constructed briefs, but highlighting directly helps you to brief. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it works for you, regardless of what others recommend. This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves.
No matter how long it takes, the dense material of all cases makes it difficult to remember all your thoughts, and trying to locate specific sections of the analysis may feel like you are trying to locate a needle in a haystack. An example of a legal brief that can be considered a memorandum of law is one that accompanies a motion for summary judgment.
It is important to read and understand the position of the opposition before sitting down to write a reply brief, since the intention of this brief is to show the judge the errors in reasoning. The more a judge can be drawn into reading a brief, the better chance that party has of prevailing at trial.
Cases are so dense and full of information that you will find yourself spending considerable amounts of time rereading cases to find what you need. For example, legal briefs are often filed by the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU on civil rights cases because they are experts on the subject, even if they are not directly involved with the parties to the case.
Those drafting legal briefs often get caught up in raising all the facts of a case within that brief. A light blue cover identifies a merits brief of Petitioner or Appellant, and a light green cover is attached to briefs of amicus curiae in support of Petitioner or Appellant.
Welcome all discussions Please indicate if you are a lawyer. Briefs Should Be Concise — Most cases can be boiled down to a single issue, so less is more when crafting a strong argument.
In addition to these elements, it may help you to organize your thoughts, as some people do, by dividing Facts into separate elements: If annotating and highlighting are so effective, why brief? Although blue is a beautiful color, it tends to darken and hide the text.
If you forget the story, you will not remember how the law in the case was applied. An annotation in the margin, however, will not only swiftly guide you to a pertinent section, but will also refresh the thoughts that you had while reading that section.
Highlighting is a personal tool, and therefore should be used to the extent that highlighting helps, but should be modified in a way that makes it personally time efficient and beneficial.Learn how to write a case brief for law school with a simple explanation from LexisNexis.
This is a great resource to help rising first year law students or prelaw students prepare for classes. Legal & Professional. Before writing a legal brief, the person writing the brief should first consult the rules of the court to which the brief will be submitted. Different courts have different rules insofar as how to write a legal brief, such as the format of the brief, the number of pages that are permitted, and the presentation of citations.
To write an effective legal brief, it is necessary to understand the function of these documents as well as the variations in procedural requirements.
Legal Briefs Are Arguments Legal briefs are written arguments that set out the relevant laws on an issue and describe how they should be applied to the facts of a particular case.
Aug 23, · To brief a law case, follow the steps below. Steps. Part 1. Prepping the Brief For example, in the case of a search of the Defendant’s trunk, which may or may not be legal, the applicable law would be the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
This article clarified and simplified my assignment as it was 91%(). Sep 02, · How to Write a Legal Brief Three Parts: Understanding the Facts and Legal Issues Researching the Legal Issues Writing Your Brief Community Q&A A brief is a written argument that a lawyer (or party to a case) submits to a court to persuade that court to rule in favor of his client’s position%().
How To Write a Legal Brief Despite that you should have learned all this in Legal Research & Writing back in law school, here is a brief introduction (or refresher) on brief writing.
Follow the below steps and you’ll draft better briefs.Download