Big law memo writing

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Big law memo writing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:29 pm

Hey guys,

I have an incredibly random question about a big law memo. I was instructed to write a memo regarding the requirements for proving a certain defense (not pertaining to a specific case). I just finished typing 30 pages and am now struggling with formatting issues. Here's why:

In law school legal writing, we were taught to always include a conclusion in our memos (i.e. "The plaintiff is likely guilty"). However, because this is a general, broad legal question that required a lot of statutory and case law research, I am not sure whether to try to sum everything up into a simple conclusion statement. Do you guys normally include conclusion sections in your law firm memos that deal with broad legal questions?

Thanks!

Magnificent
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby Magnificent » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:42 pm

If you wrote a 30 page memo then you're in big trouble. Unless specifically told that it should be that long, you have probably done something wrong.

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby Danneskjöld » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:52 pm

30 pages shows a major lack of judgment, unless your instructions were to write an exhaustive summary of the law in every potential jurisdiction.

Question presented (1-2 sentences)
Brief Answer (2-3 paras, keep it tight -- yes, you answer the question presented!)
Analysis (TIGHT, 5-6 pages max)

No one wants to read your treatise, and no one will.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:59 pm

OP here-- yeah, I was told it would be around 30 pages because the assigning attorney wanted summaries of every damn case "on point."

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby Danneskjöld » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here-- yeah, I was told it would be around 30 pages because the assigning attorney wanted summaries of every damn case "on point."


Well sorry to hear that... In that case the format should be the same, brief answer should summarize majority/minority holdings or key facts that led to differing outcomes. Analysis should be well organized, since the only possible use for 30 pages of writing is reference.

FWIW: sucks they don't have client work and instead are giving you what sounds like bs make-work.

edit: make the brief answer punchy and tight -- it may be the only thing that gets read/evaluated (except for skimming through the rest).

2012JayDee
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 10:49 pm

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby 2012JayDee » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:29 pm

Danneskjöld wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here-- yeah, I was told it would be around 30 pages because the assigning attorney wanted summaries of every damn case "on point."


Well sorry to hear that... In that case the format should be the same, brief answer should summarize majority/minority holdings or key facts that led to differing outcomes. Analysis should be well organized, since the only possible use for 30 pages of writing is reference.

FWIW: sucks they don't have client work and instead are giving you what sounds like bs make-work.

edit: make the brief answer punchy and tight -- it may be the only thing that gets read/evaluated (except for skimming through the rest).



Whole lotta this!! WTF--a 30 page memo from a summer = they have no real use for you right now. The average court brief is 25 pages or less. So your 30 page memo is certainly not normal.

But--if you have some actual facts from your client's position then a conclusion on the outcome would be helpful. They don't have to pay any attention to it. But, if they told you what the problems was and asked you to look up all possible scenarios, then at least presenting them with a conclusion based on your analysis wouldn't be a bad idea.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Big law memo writing

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:49 pm

Not clear whether or not a conclusion is needed. Seems like the supervising attorney wants case briefs for all cases on a specific issue. Let the attorney make the conclusions.

Myself
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:55 am

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ben4847
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby ben4847 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:06 pm

My peeps don't wanna read nothin. It's just tell me the answer in an email, or at most 2-4 pages, and shut up.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Big law memo writing

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:08 pm

Shit so you're just summarizing every case under that westlaw key number or whatever?




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