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What Is a Legal Memo?

Cases are often summarized into essays written by paralegals, law students, lawyers, or legal researchers in order to provide insight into the legal issues raised in such cases. These essays are referred to as legal memorandums or legal memos and are commonly used by those who exercise the art of law.

Legal memos are not standardized essays but provide essential information regarding a past case. These essays are written for future reference in the event that a similar case or issue may be presented before a court of law. Information such as statement of facts, issues, conclusions, points of law, citations of previous cases, recommendations, and judge’s opinions are included in a legal memo.

A statement of facts contains the facts presented in the case followed by the legal issues that arise from such facts. For example, a statement of fact of a robbery case includes the articles stolen along with the video footage of the robbery. The legal issues arising from such facts could include trespassing of private property and theft. After introducing the statement of facts and legal issues, conclusions follow with regards to the main argument of each litigant. It is possible that after the conclusion, citations of law, rulings, or previous cases may be made in order to further support whatever conclusions were drawn.

The format of a legal memo does not necessarily follow the flow aforementioned. It is possible that the order of such information be different depending upon the standards and guidelines imposed by the law school, law firm, or legal entity.

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