• School of Law

  • LRW Closed Memos

    Expectations and Information

    The best source of information about the closed memo assignment is always your Legal Writing instructor and the detailed instructions for the assignment that you received in class. Your instructor may have special requirements or expectations in addition to any identified below. However, these are the general expectations for a closed memo:

    Formatting and Structure

    Your instructor will provide the legal authorities you will rely on for the closed memo, and your legal writing class will probably work together to identify the issues raised and the rules suggested by the cases you will use. The focus of the closed memo will be on your ability to evaluate the issues in a CRAC or IRAC format.  

    Tone

    The closed memo should be written objectively. Instead of arguing in support of one party or the other, your memo should identify the strengths and weaknesses of both positions. You should conclude that one party is more likely to prevail, but the important part of the assignment is not choosing "the winner", but providing the reasoning and analysis that support your conclusions.  

    Citations

    The format of your citations may not be graded as part of the closed memo assignment. However, it is important to indicate the sources of any quotations or paraphrases of rules or policies that you use. Failure to do would be plagiarism.  

    Samples

    Your instructor may provide you with previous students' work as an example of how your letter should be structured. The Reserves desk in the library also has samples of past legal writing assignments that you may examine.   

    Please contact Mary Trevor (mtrevor@gw.hamline.edu) for more information about this project.