How to write an internal legal memo

Laws change frequently in the UK due to the use of prior case law as precedent, as well as new laws and codes that are enacted. This situation makes it easy for a barrister to lose track of the status of the law. When a barrister is trying a case, if she needs information regarding how the existing law treats a specific issue, she will ask an associate to write an internal legal memo. A legal memo updates her on the status of the law, and may offer a prediction as to how the court will decide the issue.

  • Laws change frequently in the UK due to the use of prior case law as precedent, as well as new laws and codes that are enacted.
  • A legal memo updates her on the status of the law, and may offer a prediction as to how the court will decide the issue.

Write the header of the legal memo. The header is comprised of four lines indicating the purpose of the memo, the parties to the memo and the date. The four lines of the header are “To:”, “From:”, “Date:” and “Re:”.

State the question, or questions, that the internal legal memo will address in the “Questions Presented” section. Each legal issue that the internal legal memo will discuss is a separate question. You may state the question in the “whether” form or an “under-does-when” form. For example, a legal issue statement can written as “whether a person commits trespass when he steps on his neighbour’s garden to avoid being hit by a car,” or “Under the common law, does a person commit trespass when he steps on his neighbour’s garden to avoid being hit by a car?”

  • State the question, or questions, that the internal legal memo will address in the
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