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Master the Legal Memo Format

September 20, 2022

[Bloomberg Law’s Essential Career Toolkit can help you excel in class and jump-start your legal career to successfully transition from law student to lawyer.]

What is the legal memo assignment?

The legal memo is an objective memorandum that provides you the opportunity to review and research relevant case law, investigate relevant facts using available resources, analyze those facts under that law, and impartially assess the potential outcome of a matter. The legal memo is an assignment that law firm associates are frequently asked to provide to senior attorneys.

Far too often, however, the assigning attorney takes one look at the result and replies, “I knew this already.” To prevent this outcome, it’s important to write a legal memo with sufficient understanding of audience, scope, purpose, and format. With proper planning, law firm associates can maximize the odds of favorable reception at the outset.

Bloomberg Law can help you understand and apply legal issues to your legal memo assignment, so your final product addresses all relevant points right out of the gate.

What’s the difference between a closed legal memo and an open legal memo?

A closed legal memo is an assignment where you are given the case law or other primary law to be used in your writing. Far more challenging is an open legal memo, where you will need to research and identify the relevant law, investigate and analyze the most legally significant facts involving a particular client, and provide a critical assessment of how the court may apply the law to the matter.

By extension, unlike a court brief, the legal memo is not the place to wager a legal opinion or argue facts. The legal memorandum serves as an objective standalone document and identifies the risks and any unknown facts that need investigation. It should maintain an impartial tone, with no implied preference for one side or the other.

What’s the standard legal memo format?

Generally, a legal memorandum comprises six sections, with the following information:

1. Heading or caption

A section, titled, “Memorandum,” identifies the recipient (To: _______), the author (From: ____), the assignment submission date (typically in MMMM DD YYYY format), and subject of the memo (Re: __________).

2. Question presented

A brief one-sentence statement that defines how the law applies to the legal question at hand, and the jurisdiction where the matter will be decided. The question presented is specific and impartial and doesn’t assume a legal conclusion.

3. Brief answer

A quick-hit legal prediction to the question presented, based on a short (four to five sentences) explanation that references relevant law and facts.

4. Statement of facts

A concise, impartial statement of the facts that captures the heart of the legal matter, as well as current and past legal proceedings related to the issue. The facts can be chronological or grouped thematically, whichever format presents the facts in the clearest manner.

5. Discussion

Restates the main facts and delineates the overarching legal rule. Several paragraphs outline the various legal topics to be addressed in the case and provide an analysis of the legal issues, usually ordered in subsections.

6. Conclusion

The assigning attorney will likely read this section first. It predicts how the court will apply the law, and how confident you are in your prediction based on the data. With an impartial advisory tone, you identify next steps and propose a legal strategy to proceed.

How to write a legal memo

Legal research memos can come in many forms—from broad 50-state surveys to more nuanced research on a particular point of law—but whatever the format, it’s important that you fully understand the task entrusted to you before you start typing.

If you tackle your assignment by following the recommended approaches in the legal memo example below, you’ll be more likely to find an appreciative supervising attorney, deliver better work product, cut down on the number of drafts required to arrive at a final product, and, most importantly, please the client.

Learn the essentials of litigation writing, research, and document review with our Core Litigation Skills Practical Guidance Toolkit , available to Bloomberg Law subscribers.

Legal memorandum sample assignment

Assignment:  Prepare an open legal memo on whether, under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, there is personal jurisdiction over a foreign car manufacturer involving a products liability case.

Step 1: Understand the legal issues

Review legal memo assignment materials.

In an open legal memo, you will be tasked with researching relevant primary and secondary resources, such as from national, single, or multiple state entities, as well as appeals circuits, to include in your analysis.

Locate secondary sources

Secondary sources, such as books, treatises, law reviews, legal analysis publications, and Practical Guidance are a great starting point to assist with your legal memo research. Although secondary sources are not binding on courts, meaning courts are not required to follow these sources, they are still helpful tools to use when you know little about a topic.

However, remember that while you may know little about a topic, the same may not hold true for your audience. Readers like law partners and assigning attorneys will already know general law. Identify your audience’s presumed level of knowledge, then the most mission-critical questions to address. These identified gaps will inform your fact-finding and research.

Use secondary resources to better fill in the main legal topics and issues as they relate to the facts in the legal memo assignment. Your legal research should help frame the issue and lead to other relevant materials, including cases and statutes.

Throughout, utilize legal memo space wisely. Remember, legal memo length varies by subject. Some topics require only a short summary, while others compel long-form treatment. For guidance, search your firm’s office document management system for previous legal memos.

Sample assignment – Step 1

Understand the legal issues:  Legal research depends on the right search terms. In the case, for example, you can use the keywords: (“personal jurisdiction” and manufacture!)) to locate relevant resources on the Bloomberg Law platform.

More broadly, while your search into secondary sources may span books and treatises, law review articles, and other legal analysis publications, make sure to vet all legal authorities for relevance.

[Research tip: It can be challenging to know all relevant keywords. Bloomberg Law provides a convenient search results page, where relevant article blurbs showcase additional keywords to explore. Based on targeted keywords, you can better gather the most relevant background information to assist with your analysis.]

Step 2: Develop a research plan

Identify primary law.

Primary sources can often be identified with research tools, such as court opinions searches for relevant case law. However, primary sources are not always apparent. In such cases, work your way backward. Reviewing secondary sources can help you identify a list of relevant primary law resources, like case law and related statutes. Keep your research organized and create a research plan to identify key resources. The research plan will list the relevant primary law and how the case or statute relates to your comprehensive legal analysis.

Stay organized

Save the relevant cases and statutes to a designated workspace. Bloomberg Law provides a streamlined and secure digital working area where you can add your notes as well as upload and store your drafts to keep organized.

Sample assignment – Step 2

Develop a research plan:  In the  assignment, some legal research may mention cases on what contacts a foreign defendant must have for the court to have personal jurisdiction over it, such as Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court .  Read through these articles to reveal additional relevant cases and statutes to support your analysis.

Step 3: Confirm your legal memo research

Once you have your research plan, you want to verify all your research to make sure you’re relying on the most current case law available. Bloomberg Law’s litigation tools like the BCite citator tool help you work smarter and faster to validate your case law research—specifically, to determine whether a citation still represents good law and can be relied upon—and helps you to conduct additional research to find more cases and resources that support your legal memo’s findings and conclusions.

Robust verification should ensure you know the following information:

  • Composite analysis – the overall treatment of the cited case by other courts.
  • Direct history – How a cited case has moved through the court system.
  • Case analysis – Cases that have subsequently cited to the case.
  • Authorities – Cases relied on by the court in the main case.
  • Citing documents – Legal materials, such as court opinions, administrative decisions, and secondary sources that reference your case by citation.

Sample assignment – Step 3

Confirm your research:  To see whether  Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court  is still good law, you will of course need to pull up and review the case status. As part of this verification, you should review how other courts have treated the case. Once you have verified case status, you can better find additional secondary cases and other sources that cite to your case.

[Research tip: Carefully review whether case law citation can be relied on in your legal memo. While a legal memo is written for internal stakeholders like the assigning attorney, and not for the court system, it may nonetheless serve as a primer for future material.]

Attorneys may later incorporate any case law citations within the legal memo into court filings in support of their arguments. Given this broad potential reach, it’s imperative to verify all case law within your legal memo. Any unverified case law that later makes its way into public documents will result in an admonition from the court.

It is also important not to cherry-pick case citations. Remember the legal memo’s purpose is to inform, not to argue the facts. The legal memo must therefore provide an objective summary of all relevant case law and how it applies to the facts at hand. The omission of negative case law only compromises future legal strategy and heightens client legal exposure.

Step 4: Write an objective analysis

The legal memo showcases your critical legal thinking skills. Use your research plan and research materials to help organize your analysis. Remember to clearly state the law and the facts, in the active voice, and present your analysis in a logical manner.

Even with the IRAC legal memo format (Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion), it can be a challenge to write with precision. For example, it may not be clear which details to include in the statement of facts. Skilled legal memo writers often begin with the discussion. With complementary considerations of legal authority and factual criteria, this section clarifies the most legally significant facts and informs other earlier sections like the question presented and brief answer.

Across all stages, Bloomberg Law provides a vast trove of articles and resources to assist you in preparing your legal memo. Whether this is your first or fiftieth legal memo assignment, you can showcase clear and impartial legal analysis in your legal memo and other writing assignments in ways that establish you as a strong legal mind.

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Conclusion of law refers to a decision made by a judge regarding a question of law . A conclusion of law determines what laws and how the laws apply to a particular case. These decisions often determine the outcome of a case, and they are usually the basis for review on appeal . A conclusion of law is to be contrasted with a conclusion of fact which can be made by a judge or jury. Sometimes the distinctions between a question of law and fact are not clear because an issue may involve elements or questions of both. 

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How to Write Conclusions for Law Essays

The conclusion of a law essay serves as a crucial component, providing a final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader. It is your chance to succinctly summarise the key points, reinforce your thesis, and leave your audience with a sense of closure. Here is a guide on how to write a compelling conclusion for your law essay:

Summarise key arguments: Begin your conclusion by summarising the main arguments presented in your essay. Remind your reader of the key points that support your thesis statement. Be concise but ensure that you cover the critical aspects of your analysis.

Restate the thesis: Reinforce the main thesis of your essay. However, avoid mere repetition. Instead, consider rephrasing your thesis to emphasise its significance in light of the evidence and arguments you've presented throughout the essay. This demonstrates a nuanced understanding of your topic.

Address counterarguments (if applicable): If your essay delves into counterarguments, the conclusion is an apt place to address them. Briefly acknowledge opposing viewpoints and reassert why your position is more compelling or supported by stronger evidence.

Highlight legal implications: Emphasise the legal implications of your arguments. Discuss how your analysis contributes to the broader legal context or its potential impact on existing laws, policies, or future legal developments. This adds depth to your conclusion and showcases a broader understanding of the subject matter.

Provide a resolution (if applicable): Some law essays involve presenting a problem or a legal question. If this is the case, your conclusion can offer a resolution or propose potential avenues for further research and analysis. This demonstrates a forward-thinking approach to the legal issues discussed.

Connect with the introduction: Establish a connection with the introduction. This can be done by revisiting a theme, quote, or anecdote introduced at the beginning. Creating a sense of circularity reinforces the coherence of your essay and provides a satisfying conclusion for the reader.

Avoid introducing new information: The conclusion is not the place to introduce new arguments, evidence, or information. Keep your focus on summarising and synthesising the existing content. Introducing new elements can confuse your reader and dilute the impact of your concluding remarks.

End with a strong closing statement: Conclude your essay with a powerful and memorable closing statement. This might involve reiterating the broader significance of your findings, issuing a call to action, or leaving the reader with a thought-provoking question related to the legal topic.

Revise and edit: Once you have drafted your conclusion, take the time to revise and edit. Ensure clarity, coherence, and conciseness. Check that your conclusion aligns with the overall tone and argumentative style of your essay.

Remember, an effective conclusion not only summarises your essay but also leaves a lasting impression. It should leave your reader with a sense of resolution and a clear understanding of the importance of your legal analysis.

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How to Write a First-Class Law Essay

Studying law at university entails lots of essay writing. This article takes you through the key steps to writing a top law essay.

Writing a law essay can be a challenging task. As a law student, you’ll be expected to analyse complex legal issues and apply legal principles to real-world scenarios. At the same time, you’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively. In this article, we’ll cover some top tips to guide you through the process of planning, researching, structuring and writing a first-class law essay with confidence. 

1. Start In Advance

Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and write your law essay. Always aim to start your law essay as soon as you have the question. Leaving it until the last minute does not only create unnecessary stress, but it also leaves you insufficient time to write, reference and perfect your work.

2. Understand The Question

Do not begin until you fully comprehend the question. Take the time to read the question carefully and make sure that you understand what it’s asking you to do. Highlight key terms and annotate the question with definitions of key concepts and any questions that you have have. Think about how the question links back to what you’ve learned during your lectures or through your readings.

3. Conduct Thorough Research

Conducting thorough research around your topic is one of the most fundamental parts of the essay writing process. You should aim to use a range of relevant sources, such as cases, academic articles, books and any other legal materials. Ensure that the information you collect is taken from relevant, reliable and up to date sources. Use primary over secondary material as much as possible.

Avoid using outdated laws and obscure blog posts as sources of information. Always aim to choose authoritative sources from experts within the field, such as academics, politicians, lawyers and judges. Using high-quality and authoritative sources and demonstrating profound and critical insight into your topic are what will earn you top marks.

4. Write A Detailed Plan

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to plan your essay. When writing your plan, you’ll need to create an outline that clearly identifies the main points that you wish to make throughout your article. Try to write down what you wish to achieve in each paragraph, what concepts you want to discuss and arguments you want to make.

Your outline should be organised in a clear, coherent and logical manner to ensure that the person grading your essay can follow your line of thought and arguments easily.  You may also wish to include headings and subheadings to structure your essay effectively This makes it easier when it comes to writing the essay as starting without a plan can get messy. The essay must answer the question and nothing but the question so ensure all of your points relate to it.

Start Writing Like A Lawyer

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5. Write A Compelling Introduction

A great introduction should, firstly, outline the research topic.  The introduction is one of the most crucial parts of the law essay as it sets the tone for the rest of the paper. It should capture the readers attention and provide the background context on the topic. Most importantly, it should state the thesis of your essay.

When writing your introduction, avoid simply repeating the given question. Secondly, create a road map for the reader, letting them know how the essay will approach the question. Your introduction must be concise. The main body of the essay is where you will go into detail.

6. Include A Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis should clearly set out the argument you are going to be making throughout your essay and should normally go in the introduction. Your thesis should adopt a clear stance rather than being overly general or wishy-washy. To obtain the best grades, you’ll need to show a unique perspective based upon a critical analysis of the topic rather than adopting the most obvious point of view.

Once you’ve conducted your research and had a chance to reflect on your topic, ask yourself whether you can prove your argument within the given word count or whether you would need to adopt a more modest position for your paper. Always have a clear idea of what your thesis statement is before you begin writing the content of your essay. 

7. Present the Counter-argument

To demonstrate your deeper understanding of the topic, it’s important to show your ability to consider the counter-arguments and address them in a careful and reasoned manner. When presenting your counterarguments, aim to depict them in the best possible light, aiming to be fair and reasonable before moving on to your rebuttal. To ensure that your essay is convincing, you will need to have a strong rebuttal that explains why your argument is stronger and more persuasive. This will demonstrate your capacity for critical analysis, showing the reader that you have carefully considered differing perspectives before coming to a well-supported conclusion.

8. End With A Strong Conclusion

Your conclusion is your opportunity to summarise the key points made throughout your essay and to restate the thesis statement in a clear and concise manner.  Avoid simply repeating what has already been mentioned in the body of the essay. For top grades, you should use the conclusion as an opportunity to provide critical reflection and analysis on the topic. You may also wish to share any further insights or recommendations into alternative avenues to consider or implications for further research that could add value to the topic. 

9. Review The Content Of Your Essay

Make sure you factor in time to edit the content of your essay.  Once you’ve finished your first draft, come back to it the next day. Re-read your essay with a critical perspective. Do your arguments make sense? Do your paragraphs flow in a logical manner? You may also consider asking someone to read your paper and give you critical feedback. They may be able to add another perspective you haven’t considered or suggest another research paper that could add value to your essay. 

10. Proofread For Grammatical Mistakes

Once you’re happy with the content of your essay, the last step is to thoroughly proofread your essay for any grammatical errors. Ensure that you take time to ensure that there are no grammar, spelling or punctuation errors as these can be one of the easiest ways to lose marks. You can ask anyone to proofread your paper, as they would not necessarily need to have a legal background – just strong grammar and spelling skills! 

11. Check Submission Guidelines

Before submitting, ensure that your paper conforms with the style, referencing and presentation guidelines set out by your university. This includes the correct font, font size and line spacing as well as elements such as page numbers, table of content etc. Referencing is also incredibly important as you’ll need to make sure that you are following the correct referencing system chosen by your university. Check your university’s guidelines about what the word count is and whether you need to include your student identification number in your essay as well. Be thorough and don’t lose marks for minor reasons!

12. Use Legal Terms Accurately

Always make sure that you are using legal terms accurately throughout your essay. Check an authoritative resource if you are unsure of any definitions. While being sophisticated is great, legal jargon if not used correctly or appropriately can weaken your essay. Aim to be concise and to stick to the point. Don’t use ten words when only two will do.

12. Create a Vocabulary Bank

One recurring piece of advice from seasoned law students is to take note of phrases from books and articles, key definitions or concepts and even quotes from your professors. When it comes to writing your law essay, you will have a whole range of ideas and vocabulary that will help you to develop your understanding and thoughts on a given topic. This will make writing your law essay even easier!

13. Finally, Take Care of Yourself

Last but certainly not least, looking after your health can improve your attitude towards writing your law essay your coursework in general. Sleep, eat, drink and exercise appropriately. Take regular breaks and try not to stress. Do not forget to enjoy writing the essay!

Words by Karen Fulton

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  • How to Prepare for Law School
  • How to brief a case
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How to write a case brief for law school: Excerpt reproduced from Introduction to the Study of Law: Cases and Materials ,

Third edition (lexisnexis 2009) by michael makdisi & john makdisi.


The previous section described the parts of a case in order to make it easier to read and identify the pertinent information that you will use to create your briefs. 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. Case briefs are a necessary study aid in law school that helps to encapsulate and analyze the mountainous mass of material that law students must digest. The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again. In addition to its function as a tool for self-instruction and referencing, the case brief also provides a valuable “cheat sheet” for class participation.

Who will read your brief? Most professors will espouse the value of briefing but will never ask to see that you have, in fact, briefed. As a practicing lawyer, your client doesn’t care if you brief, so long as you win the case. The judges certainly don’t care if you brief, so long as you competently practice the law. You are the person that the brief will serve! Keep this in mind when deciding what elements to include as part of your brief and when deciding what information to include under those elements.

What are the elements of a brief? Different people will tell you to include different things in your brief. Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors. While opinions may vary, four elements that are essential to any useful brief are the following:

(a) Facts (name of the case and its parties, what happened factually and procedurally, and the judgment)

(b) Issues (what is in dispute)

(c) Holding (the applied rule of law)

(d) Rationale (reasons for the holding)

If you include nothing but these four elements, you should have everything you need in order to recall effectively the information from the case during class or several months later when studying for exams.

Because briefs are made for yourself, you may want to include other elements that expand the four elements listed above. Depending on the case, the inclusion of additional elements may be useful. For example, a case that has a long and important section expounding dicta might call for a separate section in your brief labeled: Dicta. Whatever elements you decide to include, however, remember that the brief is a tool intended for personal use. To the extent that more elements will help with organization and use of the brief, include them. On the other hand, if you find that having more elements makes your brief cumbersome and hard to use, cut back on the number of elements. At a minimum, however, make sure you include the four elements listed above.

Elements that you may want to consider including in addition to the four basic elements are:

(e) Dicta (commentary about the decision that was not the basis for the decision)

(f) Dissent (if a valuable dissenting opinion exits, the dissent’s opinion)

(g) Party’s Arguments (each party’s opposing argument concerning the ultimate issue)

(h) Comments (personal commentary)

Personal comments can be useful if you have a thought that does not fit elsewhere. In the personal experience of one of the authors, this element was used to label cases as specific kinds (e.g., as a case of vicarious liability) or make mental notes about what he found peculiar or puzzling about cases. This element allowed him to release his thoughts (without losing them) so that he could move on to other cases.

In addition to these elements, it may help you to organize your thoughts, as some people do, by dividing Facts into separate elements:

(1) Facts of the case (what actually happened, the controversy)

(2) Procedural History (what events within the court system led to the present case)

(3) Judgment (what the court actually decided)

Procedural History is usually minimal and most of the time irrelevant to the ultimate importance of a case; however, this is not always true. One subject in which Procedure History is virtually always relevant is Civil Procedure.

When describing the Judgment of the case, distinguish it from the Holding. The Judgment is the factual determination by the court, in favor of one party, such as “affirmed,” “reversed,” or “remanded.” In contrast, the Holding is the applied rule of law that serves as the basis for the ultimate judgment.

Remember that the purpose of a brief is to remind you of the important details that make the case significant in terms of the law. It will be a reference tool when you are drilled by a professor and will be a study aid when you prepare for exams. A brief is also like a puzzle piece.

The elements of the brief create the unique shape and colors of the piece, and, when combined with other pieces, the picture of the common law takes form. A well-constructed brief will save you lots of time by removing the need to return to the case to remember the important details and also by making it easier to put together the pieces of the common law puzzle.


So now that you know the basic elements of a brief, what information is important to include under each element? The simple answer is: whatever is relevant. But what parts of a case are relevant? When you read your first few cases, you may think that everything that the judge said was relevant to his ultimate conclusion. Even if this were true, what is relevant for the judge to make his decision is not always relevant for you to include in your brief. Remember, the reason to make a brief is not to persuade the world that the ultimate decision in the case is a sound one, but rather to aid in refreshing your memory concerning the most important parts of the case.

What facts are relevant to include in a brief? You should include the facts that are necessary to remind you of the story. If you forget the story, you will not remember how the law in the case was applied. You should also include the facts that are dispositive to the decision in the case. For instance, if the fact that a car is white is a determining factor in the case, the brief should note that the case involves a white car and not simply a car. To the extent that the procedural history either helps you to remember the case or plays an important role in the ultimate outcome, you should include these facts as well.

What issues and conclusions are relevant to include in a brief? There is usually one main issue on which the court rests its decision. This may seem simple, but the court may talk about multiple issues, and may discuss multiple arguments from both sides of the case. Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. The relevant issue or issues, and corresponding conclusions, are the ones for which the court made a final decision and which are binding. The court may discuss intermediate conclusions or issues, but stay focused on the main issue and conclusion which binds future courts.

What rationale is important to include in a brief? This is probably the most difficult aspect of the case to determine. 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. The goal is to remind yourself of the basic reasoning that the court used to come to its decision and the key factors that made the decision favor one side or the other.

A brief should be brief! Overly long or cumbersome briefs are not very helpful because you will not be able to skim them easily when you review your notes or when the professor drills you. On the other hand, a brief that is too short will be equally unhelpful because it lacks sufficient information to refresh your memory. Try to keep your briefs to one page in length. This will make it easy for you to organize and reference them.

Do not get discouraged. Learning to brief and figuring out exactly what to include will take time and practice. The more you brief, the easier it will become to extract the relevant information.

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. The remainder of this section will discuss these different techniques and show how they complement and enhance the briefing process.

Annotating Cases

Many of you probably already read with a pencil or pen, but if you do not, now is the time to get in the habit. 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. An effective way to reduce this time is to annotate the margins of the casebook. Your pencil (or pen) will be one of your best friends while reading a case. It will allow you to mark off the different sections (such as facts, procedural history, or conclusions), thus allowing you to clear your mind of thoughts and providing an invaluable resource when briefing and reviewing.

You might be wondering why annotating is important if you make an adequate, well-constructed brief. By their very nature briefs cannot cover everything in a case. Even with a thorough, well-constructed brief you may want to reference the original case in order to reread dicta that might not have seemed important at the time, to review the complete procedural history or set of facts, or to scour the rationale for a better understanding of the case; annotating makes these tasks easier. Whether you return to a case after a few hours or a few months, annotations will swiftly guide you to the pertinent parts of the case by providing a roadmap of the important sections. 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.

Annotations will also remind you of forgotten thoughts and random ideas by providing a medium for personal comments.

In addition to making it easier to review an original case, annotating cases during the first review of a case makes the briefing process easier. With adequate annotations, the important details needed for your brief will be much easier to retrieve. Without annotations, you will likely have difficulty locating the information you seek even in the short cases. It might seem strange that it would be hard to reference a short case, but even a short case will likely take you at least fifteen to twenty-five minutes to read, while longer cases may take as much as thirty minutes to an hour to complete. 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 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.

When you read a case for the first time, read for the story and for a basic understanding of the dispute, the issues, the rationale, and the decision. As you hit these elements (or what you think are these elements) make a mark in the margins. Your markings can be as simple as “facts” (with a bracket that indicates the relevant part of the paragraph). When you spot an issue, you may simply mark “issue” or instead provide a synopsis in your own words. When a case sparks an idea — write that idea in the margin as well — you never know when a seemingly irrelevant idea might turn into something more.

Finally, when you spot a particularly important part of the text, underline it (or highlight it as described below).

With a basic understanding of the case, and with annotations in the margin, the second read-through of the case should be much easier. You can direct your reading to the most important sections and will have an easier time identifying what is and is not important. Continue rereading the case until you have identified all the relevant information that you need to make your brief, including the issue(s), the facts, the holding, and the relevant parts of the analysis.

Pencil or pen — which is better to use when annotating? Our recommendation is a mechanical pencil. Mechanical pencils make finer markings than regular pencils, and also than ballpoint pens. Although you might think a pencil might smear more than a pen, with its sharp point a mechanical pencil uses very little excess lead and will not smear as much as you might imagine. A mechanical pencil will also give you the freedom to make mistakes without consequences. When you first start annotating, you may think that some passages are more important than they really are, and therefore you may resist the urge to make a mark in order to preserve your book and prevent false guideposts. With a pencil, however, the ability to erase and rewrite removes this problem.


Why highlight? Like annotating, highlighting may seem unimportant if you create thorough, well-constructed briefs, but highlighting directly helps you to brief. It makes cases, especially the more complicated ones, easy to digest, review and use to extract information.

Highlighting takes advantage of colors to provide a uniquely effective method for reviewing and referencing a case. If you prefer a visual approach to learning, you may find highlighting to be a very effective tool.

If annotating and highlighting are so effective, why brief? Because the process of summarizing a case and putting it into your own words within a brief provides an understanding of the law and of the case that you cannot gain through the process of highlighting or annotating.

The process of putting the case into your own words forces you to digest the material, while annotating and highlighting can be accomplished in a much more passive manner.

What should you highlight? Similar to annotating, the best parts of the case to highlight are those that represent the needed information for your brief such as the facts, the issue, the holding and the rationale.

Unlike annotating, highlighting provides an effective way to color code, which makes referring to the case even easier. In addition, Highlighters are particularly useful in marking off entire sections by using brackets. These brackets will allow you to color-code the case without highlighting all the text, leaving the most important phrases untouched for a more detailed highlight marking or underlining.

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. For instance, you might combine the use of annotations in the margins with the visual benefit of highlighting the relevant text. You may prefer to underline the relevant text with a pencil, but to use a highlighter to bracket off the different sections of a case. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it works for you, regardless of what others recommend. The techniques in the remainder of this section will describe ways to make full use of your highlighters.

First, buy yourself a set of multi-colored highlighters, with at least four, or perhaps five or six different colors. Yellow, pink, and orange are usually the brightest. Depending on the brand, purple and green can be dark, but still work well. Although blue is a beautiful color, it tends to darken and hide the text.

Therefore we recommend that you save blue for the elements that you rarely highlight.

For each different section of the case, choose a color, and use that color only when highlighting the section of the case designated for that color. Consider using yellow for the text that you tend to highlight most frequently. Because yellow is the brightest, you may be inclined to use yellow for the Conclusions in order to make them stand out the most. If you do this, however, you will exhaust your other colors much faster than yellow and this will require that you purchase an entire set of new highlighters when a single color runs out because colors such as green are not sold separately. If instead you choose to use yellow on a more frequently highlighted section such as the Analysis, when it comes time to replace your yellow marker, you will need only to replace your yellow highlighter individually. In the personal experience on one of the authors, the sections of cases that seemed to demand the most highlighter attention were the

Facts and the Analysis, while the Issues and Holdings demanded the least. Other Considerations and

Procedural History required lots of highlighting in particular cases although not in every case.

Experiment if you must, but try to choose a color scheme early on in the semester and stick with it. That way, when you come back to the first cases of the semester, you will not be confused with multiple color schemes. The basic sections of a case for which you should consider giving a different color are:

• Procedural History

• Issue (and questions presented)

• Holding (and conclusions)

• Analysis (rationale)

• Other Considerations (such as dicta)

Not all of these sections demand a separate color. You may find that combining Facts and Procedural History or Issues and Holdings works best. Furthermore, as mentioned above, some sections may not warrant highlighting in every case (e.g., dicta probably do not need to be highlighted unless they are particularly important). If you decide that a single color is all that you need, then stick to one, but if you find yourself highlighting lots of text from many different sections, reconsider the use of at least a few different colors. Highlighters make text stand out, but only when used appropriately. The use of many colors enables you to highlight more text without reducing the highlighter’s effectiveness. Three to four colors provides decent color variation without the cumbersomeness of handling too many markers.

Once you are comfortable with your color scheme, determining exactly what to highlight still may be difficult. Similar to knowing what to annotate, experience will perfect your highlighting skills. Be careful not to highlight everything, thus ruining your highlighters’ effectiveness; at the same time, do not be afraid to make mistakes.

Now that we have covered the basics of reading, annotating, highlighting, and briefing a case, you are ready to start practicing. Keep the tips and techniques mentioned in this chapter in mind when you tackle the four topics in the remainder of this book. If you have difficultly, refer back to this chapter to help guide you as you master the case method of study and the art of using the common law.

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Profile image of Asherry B P Magalla

2014, Academia.Edu

There have been problems with many law students on how to start and conclude a work when writing a legal assignment. This work entails and gives a law student some things to be considered when writing a legal introduction, and the same giving ability to the said student on how such work is suppose to be concluded.

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Asherry B P Magalla

Justice is neither to be denied nor delayed’ means that, order for a person to achieve justice in any country, proper laws and procedures are very important in achieving fair and proper justice to a person. Fair and proper justice (substantive justice) it is not only to the person who claimed to be offended but also to the offender himself/herself, by means of giving proper and fair decision, and fair procedure during the trial sessions. Criminal Justice System in Tanzania has a lot of challenges that in end led to injustice and unfair decisions or sometimes no decision at all, which resulted to infringement some of human rights such as torture to the offender who is waiting for a long time for the trial or decision to be made. This paper intends to explain on the nature of the Criminal Justice in Tanzania, before and after the colonialism so as to trace a number of challenges in providing fair and proper justice to both the offender and the victim. In the end the author provides for the possible solutions to overcome such challenges as explained earlier.

conclusion for law assignment

"Abstract. The history of something, gives the reader a wide knowledge of what happened in the past, what is currently happening and manage to anticipate the future from the past and present incidents. Tracing back the history of copyright worldwide is not an easy task. This is simply because one has to find conclusive and supportive documents to develop the basis of originality. Once Balzac said that; “Writing is easy…… all you have to do is to think, till the drops of blood appear on your forehead”. This is true because in this work it has been just the religious concept of copyright protection which laid down the background of copyright. Looking at the basis of God’s Commandments as stipulated but holy Books such as the Bible and Quran. Then the history of copyright was traced back from European Countries, such as Britain, Rome, Greek and France through looking at various statutes composing copyright protection. America history of copyright protection followed by the African history of copyright protection. Since the author is a Tanzanian, the origin of the legal basis of copyright protection is important. The last parts are international copyright protection and the first recorded copyright case. "


Copyright protection in artistic works gives the creators incentives in the form of recognition of their efforts and providing them with fair economic rewards. Through copyright protection, creators of artistic works are assured that their works can be disseminated without fear of unauthorized copying or piracy. This in turn increases access to and enhances the enjoyment of, among other things, knowledge and entertainment all over the world. Efforts made by authors and creators of artistic works will be worthless if their productive works of mind are never to be protected. Their works are worth of millions hence efficient legal framework for protecting their works is very important in order to deal with all types of infringements as technological developments have made the copyrighted material easier to access and reproduce and even more difficult to protect . This paper aims to give an analysis on the infringement of artistic works in Tanzania, legal protection of artistic works in Tanzania, lessons for Tanzania from the protection of artistic works in India and the United Kingdom and things that Tanzania may do so as to have efficient legal framework on the protection of artistic works. Time, creativity, investment needed for the creating artistic works is often huge, and their protection against unauthorized use is of crucial importance. Efficient legal framework for legal protection is needed against their misuse, misappropriation and infringement of artistic works that are done online or offline. The authors opted to analyze the legal framework on the legal protection of computer programs in India and the United Kingdom because of the significant development of Information and Communication Technology and Copyright Law in both countries. Furthermore, the United Kingdom is among of the first countries that adopted Intellectual Property Legal framework that protect artistic works from unauthorized use, since 15th Century. Tanzania copied many of her laws from India; this is explained only by tracing how British Colonialists introduced copyright laws in Tanzania exclusively in 1920s. Hence Tanzania has to learn from the legal protection of artistic works in India and the United Kingdom. The extent of protection of artistic works in India, the United Kingdom and Tanzania is going to be analyzed, lessons that Tanzania can learn from the legal protection of artistic works in India and the United Kingdom and other things that Tanzania may towards efficient way of protecting artistic works are discussed in this paper. This paper consists of Four (IV) parts.

To conceive crimeless society is totally impossible. For those who believe in the Holy Bible even in the Heaven, a devil who was an angel acted against GOD and was punished. There is no society without crime/criminals. Professor Hart argued that, human beings are vulnerable; hence need a rule of law to maintain the society. In fact, everyone owes a certain duties to his fellow men and the same to the society. This respect is what regulates the acts of people in the society. But there are some people who deviate from these duties; it is from this concept that states had to regulate the people. One can take many different stances when asked to determine the causes of criminal activity. One area of research that has been gaining popularity views crime as a product of the culture or subculture to which one belongs, rather than strictly blaming it on individual differences. In other words, enculturation plays an important role in the development of criminal behavior. Among of the people, who are highly affected with this mixture or interconnection between crime and culture, are the young generation. Biologically children adapt the environment which they grow. This means that if a child grow up in a society which practice female genital mutilation, automatically such child become accustomed with such customs and traditions of the said society, whether such customs or traditions are not acceptable by the law or not , hence continues to develop such criminal activity if not controlled earlier. This paper tries to show the connection between these two concepts, crime and culture, and how the young generations are affected, either being involved on the criminal subculture activity or being hurt and humiliated by such activity.


Labour law gives specification of rights, obligations and it regulates and tells the subjects on how they can conduct themselves on contractual terms and how they can enforce their rights. In other words, labour law sets a forum or an institution to enable the effective enforceability of both the employers’ and employees’ rights. Labour law has Substantive Labour Law and Procedural Law. Substantive law is that branch of labour law that prescribes the standards to be observed by both employers and employees. Specifically, substantive law deals with things like contracts of service and for services, termination of contract/employment, benefits e.t.c. These are provided for by the Employment and Labour Relations Act No. 6 of 2004, while Procedural Law is that branch of Labour Law that prescribes procedures to be followed in all labour matters. This is done by providing for institutions for implementation of the substantive standards, and enforcement of rights. This is provided for by the Labour Institutions Act No.7 of 2004 and the specific rules issued in 2007 GN Nos. 42, 64, 65, 66 and 67 of 2007. The main objective of labour law is to balancing conflicts of interests as between employers and employees by defining their rights and duties and regulating their conducts. And it is from this paper whereby such equilibrium is shown within the Act or how does the Act has successfully manage to create such equilibrium.

In most of my time when I pass through our Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, No.7 of 1999 [CAP.218, R.E. 2002], I always think about the reflection of the punishments with the amount, cost or extent of loss in which the original author(s) have incurred upon such infringements. This is simply because it has been a question to many people that I have come across them, on the ineffectual of CAP.218, R.E. 2002 in preventing piracy particularly on the punishment and compensation the accused required to pay. So the first question I asked myself is, whether the punishments and compensations provided by the Act are reflecting the actual cost that the original author gained upon such infringement. In order to know such reflection, case decisions and law provisions on infringement of copyright are crucial. In this paper, we are going to see some few cases in Tanzanian Courts that have been made in relation to copyright infringement, so as to see whether the punishments and compensations provided by the Act really reflection the actual loss incurred by the original author of the literary and artistic works.

In recent years, court system in Tanzania has been challenged by the increasing of juvenile witnesses within court system of which this made it not only a very serious problem on our society but also has put the court system under spotlight as to the way on how its handling these juvenile witnesses. The question is whether section 127(1) of the law of evidence act provided that, “Every person shall be competent to testify unless the court considers that he is incapable of understanding the questions put to him or of giving rational answers to those questions by reason of tender age, extreme old age, disease (whether of body or mind) or any other similar cause” is observed. Under this section it provides the competent of a person to testify before the court of law which is our key of our discussion basing on juvenile witnesses and this is the aim and purposes of the discussion. This discussion examines the nature and scope of administration of juvenile witnesses, competency and compellability in justice in Tanzania by identifying the gap between the law and practice. In so doing, this paper will be confined the admissibility of it surveying appropriate local and international legal standards in the administration of juvenile justice and how they are implemented in Tanzania.

Introduction There are many ways and methods on how to cite legal works. This is nothing and they will not and they cannot bring problems or confusion to me or any other academician. On which way or method to be use is just the matter of a particular academic institution or organization to decide upon. This work entails and gives a law student some concepts to be considered when writing a legal citation, Footnotes and Bibliography. As for the University of Iringa (Formerly Constituents Tumaini University Iringa University College), for undergraduate students and some postgraduate candidates Chicago Manual of Style is the proper citation methods to them.However, this style can be to other students worldwide who desire to use it or it is part and parcel of their academic institutions in term of requirements for any legal writings

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conclusion for law assignment

Guide On Completing Law Essays for Students in the UK

conclusion for law assignment

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conclusion for law assignment

Writing a legal assignment is a daunting task, especially for students who do not possess the skills needed to create a good piece. To report a good law essay, you need to have a legal background that will enable you to conduct your analysis with ease or you can paper  i need someone to write my essay for me

A student has to demonstrate his or her ability to analyze a legal topic and describe it in a simple, logical, and clear way. Like other essays, your opinion will rely on facts. Writing and completing a law essay is simple especially for students in law university. All you have to do is follow the tips that we are going to discuss today.

Defining a law essay

Laws are rules that are enforced by government authorities to maintain order. Law essays are papers written by students to analyze different aspects of the law and provide different views and opinions on the subject. These views also describe the strength and weaknesses of a particular legal topic.

1.    Starting a law essay

How do you start writing a law assignment? You start by identifying a great topic that will act as the foundation of your essay. After identifying a good topic, you explore the question in your subject area. The subject area will help you in understanding the issues that you need to address. Your professor expects you to provide good answers in the body section.

Another important part of a law essay is the title. You need to create a captivating and compelling title that will get readers interested in reading the piece. Start by coming up with a captivating intro that creates the desired impression. Your opening remarks should indicate what the reader should expect to find in your paper.

2.    Finding a good topic

Since most legal papers focus on legal analysis, you’ll need to do your research in your area of study. You’ll be in a comfortable position to write your essay after you’ve familiarized yourself with the topic. Don’t forget to list your information sources since they’ll be required at the end of your essay. For your insights or arguments to be effective, you’ll need to present them in a structured approach.

3.    Create an outline

Without a good outline, you don’t have the assurance that you’ll get your desired results. To create an outline, you’ll need to come up with a draft that includes all the main arguments and ideas that you’ll include in your copy. A structured blueprint gives you a reference point that helps you formulate and turn ideas into words. With an outline, you’ll easily focus on the topic at hand and the main topics.

4.    Include all the sections

Just like any other essay, a law essay is made up of three sections namely the intro, body, and conclusion. The intro consists of one paragraph that finalizes with a thesis statement. The body includes around three or four paragraphs that elaborate on the theme and arguments. The conclusion summarizes the essay.

1.     The Introduction

The introduction part introduces the reader to the subject at hand by summarizing the arguments of the essay. It is an opportunity to get the attention of the audience by focusing on the value of the topic. The introduction ends with a thesis statement that justifies the objectives of the essay.

2.     The body

The body is a key element of the essay. It allows you to state your main arguments that support your thesis statement. Do not be afraid of giving counter-arguments on the issues that you are supporting. However, your claims have to be supported by reliable sources of information.

The opinions that you include in your essay should indicate a clear understanding of the subject matter. The body part needs to challenge and persuade readers to adopt your thoughts. If you’ll be tackling different elements, it’s important to divide your body into sub-headings.

3.     The conclusion

The conclusion summarizes your point of view by restating your thesis statement. Your body needs to address all the critical questions for you to be in a position to conclude with a comprehensive answer. Never introduce a new idea in the conclusion. You also need to be objective in your final remarks especially when describing your personal view.

To conclude

Before we conclude this article, we’ve decided to share a few critical tips on certain aspects of your essay that deserve your attention. You need to:

  • Present your paper in a neat and organized way
  • Use coherent and effective structures when labeling your subheadings
  • Demonstrate your ability to apply the law using your arguments
  • Develop systematic and logical arguments

Writing a law essay shouldn’t be difficult with the tips that we’ve discussed here. The most important thing when writing such essays is creativity. You need to prepared to think outside the box. After writing your essay, remember to proofread at least three times before submitting it.

Camilla Uppal

Camilla Uppal

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  1. Structure Of A Legal Memorandum

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  2. Business Law Sample Assignment

    conclusion for law assignment

  3. Writing an Effective Conclusion for Assignments: Step-by-Step

    conclusion for law assignment

  4. Learn How to Conclude an Assignment to Make It Perfect

    conclusion for law assignment

  5. How to Write an Effective Conclusion for the Research Paper

    conclusion for law assignment

  6. Law Assignment 1

    conclusion for law assignment


  1. Tort Law Assignment

  2. gender law assignment

  3. Final Law Assignment Video

  4. Tort law assignment

  5. Constitutional Law Assignment- Ika Rahmah Madaniyah_113_Class II-A

  6. Asynchronous Tort Law assignment, location: work


  1. How to Write a Law Essay Conclusion (Law Lecturer Reveals)

    Your essay probably has around 3-5 headings. Depending on the length of your essay, you should write in this part of your conclusion between 1 and 3 sentences summarising each of the headings. So, if your essay is pretty short - let's say up to 1,500 words - and has three headings, you should include in your conclusion one sentence restating ...

  2. Master the Legal Memo Format

    The legal memo is an assignment that law firm associates are frequently asked to provide to senior attorneys. Far too often, however, the assigning attorney takes one look at the result and replies, "I knew this already." ... The question presented is specific and impartial and doesn't assume a legal conclusion. 3. Brief answer. A quick ...

  3. How to Write a Law Assignment

    Analytical Thinking: Law assignments require the ability to critically analyze legal issues, identify relevant facts, and apply legal principles to reach well-reasoned conclusions. Research Capabilities: Effective research capabilities involve using legal databases, understanding citation formats, and evaluating the credibility and authority of ...

  4. How to Tackle Law Assignments

    How to Tackle Law Assignments. 2074 words (8 pages) Law Essay Help Guide. 5th May 2020 Law Essay Help Guide Reference this In-house law team ... (where the judge applies the legal principles to the facts of the present case and reaches a conclusion). In some published law reports, the headnote will point you to key parts of the judgments. ...

  5. conclusion of law

    conclusion of law. Conclusion of law refers to a decision made by a judge regarding a question of law. A conclusion of law determines what laws and how the laws apply to a particular case. These decisions often determine the outcome of a case, and they are usually the basis for review on appeal. A conclusion of law is to be contrasted with a ...

  6. Law: Legal essay

    This resource will focus on theoretical based law essays. There are a number of strategies that may help you in starting, structuring and presenting a law essay. 1. Starting your answer. The first step to a successful law essay is understanding the question. One of the most effective ways of breaking down the question is to identify the ...

  7. How to Write Conclusions for Law Essays

    Here is a guide on how to write a compelling conclusion for your law essay: Summarise key arguments: Begin your conclusion by summarising the main arguments presented in your essay. Remind your reader of the key points that support your thesis statement. Be concise but ensure that you cover the critical aspects of your analysis.

  8. Structure Of Law Essays and Reports

    A good structure for a law report would be as follows: Title Page: showing the title of the report, the author, the person for whom the report is prepared, and the date of completion. Summary/Synopsis/Executive Summary: (approx 10% of word count) - this will identify: The purpose of the report, The scope of the report - issues covered/not ...

  9. How to Write a First-Class Law Essay

    In this article, we'll cover some top tips to guide you through the process of planning, researching, structuring and writing a first-class law essay with confidence. 1. Start In Advance. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and write your law essay. Always aim to start your law essay as soon as you have the question.

  10. Writing A Law Dissertation Conclusion

    The conclusion section of your law dissertation, more than any other, will be enhanced by concise writing together with the use of sub-headings, numbering and bullet points. These will help you maintain your focus. You should be ruthless with what you include.

  11. How to Write a Case Brief for Law School

    Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. The relevant issue or issues, and corresponding conclusions, are the ones for which the court made a final decision and which are binding. The court may discuss intermediate conclusions or issues, but stay focused on the main issue and conclusion which binds future courts.

  12. (Pdf) Learn How to Introduce and Conclude Your Legal Work, in Legal

    There have been problems with many law students on how to start and conclude a work when writing a legal assignment. This work entails and gives a law student some things to be considered when writing a legal introduction, and the same giving ability ... CONCLUSION OF QUESTION 1 It difficult to distinguish the criminal procedure of primary ...


    This is to demonstrate that you understand the relevant principles being assessed. 2. So firstly, you need to divide the start of the essay into parts: Examining rights of common, customary rights, and aboriginal rights. It would be a good idea to split these into three sections. 3.

  14. Conclusion of Law

    CONCLUSION OF LAW. The rule by which the rights of parties in a lawsuit are determined by a judge's application of relevant statutes or legal principles to the facts of the case that have been found to be true by the jury. The final judgment or decree rendered by a court based upon the verdict reached by the jury. Legal principles that provide ...

  15. How to Write a Good Law Essay?

    There are different types of academic assignments, and each needs a proper understanding of the requirements. Wondering what is law essay, start with defining legal theories, legal reforms, or legal history. Theories expect the writer to say why the law takes such a form and make an argument of the merits and demerits.

  16. Example Law Essays

    The example law essays below were written by students to help you with your own studies. If you are looking for help with your law essay then we offer a comprehensive writing service provided by fully qualified academics in your field of study. Law Essay Writing Service.

  17. Guide On Completing Law Essays for Students in the UK

    Laws are rules that are enforced by government authorities to maintain order. Law essays are papers written by students to analyze different aspects of the law and provide different views and opinions on the subject. These views also describe the strength and weaknesses of a particular legal topic. 1. Starting a law essay.

  18. Learn How to Conclude an Assignment to Make It Perfect

    To write an assignment conclusion, follow the 7 simple steps below! Start a conclusion paragraph by indenting the first line or leaving a blank line in between the last main body paragraph and the conclusion. Use a suitable starting word or phrase to indicate the assignment is drawing to a close, such as, 'In summary' or 'With all this in ...

  19. Referencing & Citations Guide For Law Essays

    Referencing & Citations Guide For Law Essays. 2484 words (10 pages) Law Essay Help Guide. 5th May 2020 Law Essay Help Guide Reference this In-house law ... This should appear at the end of your assignment, starting on a new sheet. Items in the Bibliography should be ordered alphabetically by author and, when there is more than one entry by an ...

  20. Conclusion of law Definition

    Examples of Conclusion of law in a sentence. Conclusion of law 6 states that Wright's counterclaims are without merit and should be dismissed with prejudice.. Conclusion of law 4 states that Wright should return the policies and any related materials to Johnson and that Wright should execute all documents necessary to transfer ownership of the policies to Johnson.

  21. Sample Undergraduate 1st Law Assignment

    An Undergraduate 1st Criminal Law Assignment on the subject of criminal responsibility, the lowest age at which a person may be criminally liable. ... The Philosophy of Criminal Law: Selected Essays (Oxford University Press 2010) 179. Ibid 327. William Wilson, Criminal Law: Doctrine and Theory (Pearson Education 2008) 188.