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How to Organize and Write a Legal Memorandum, First Edition

  • Paul H. Falon
Series / Aspen Select Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

Legal memoranda are business documents, in which the writer communicates information to help the reader make a decision about one or more aspects of a legal matter they are addressing. This book explains how to organize and write legal memoranda that will communicate information to the reader clearly and effectively. It is written primarily for first-year law students, but upper-class law students and practicing attorneys can also use it, to produce more effective legal memoranda or written legal analyses generally.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • The book’s emphasis on the basic rule for organizing business documents effectively—to state the most important information first—which applies to the legal memorandum as a whole, to its parts and subparts, and even to most of its paragraphs and individual sentences.
  • The book’s reader-focused orientation, which anticipates information that a reader will find helpful in a memorandum and explains how, and where, the writer should include it.
  • The individual chapters on the different parts of a legal memorandum, which provide concise but specific instruction about the purpose, format, organization, and effective presentation of each one.
  • The separate chapter on informal and e-mail memoranda, which adapts the skills and strategies for organizing and writing formal legal memoranda to the shorter and less formal memoranda that attorneys frequently write.
  • The chapter on How to Write Clearly, which contains specific guidelines for writing clear sentences and paragraphs, presenting related information clearly, and using correct grammar, precise word choice, and a clear, professional style.
  • The extensive, annotated examples throughout the book, which illustrate how to organize and write the different parts of a memorandum—and how not to organize and write them.
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