Office Memorandum: Instructions
Read the following instructions, the Rubric, the Rules Paragraph (which I will post later), the
Sample Office Memorandum, and the Sample CREAC and Office Memorandum Template carefully before beginning to work on your office memorandum. You
should also review the
Introduction to Office Memoranda handout.
1. You may use only these authorities (in addition to a legal dictionary, of course): Chavez v.
24 Hour Fitness; Grebing v. 24 Hour Fitness. Do not do any additional outside research.
You must use both of these cases, but do not use cases cited within these two cases.
2. For this assignment, use long form citation in the rules paragraph (as I will give it to you) and short form citation thereafter.
3. Concerning the writing itself, remember to consider purpose, tone, and audience in this assignment (as with all writing).
a) The purpose of this office memorandum is to let the assigning attorney know how you have analyzed the question presented so that they can make an
informed decision on behalf of the firm’s client. Your analysis should be thorough and logical. Your language should be simple, clear, and to-the-point.
b) The tone (and format) should follow that of a conventional office memorandum as exemplified in the samples. Keep in mind that you are analyzing a
question of law and fact—you are not advocating, arguing, or taking sides. Be objective. Be
c) Finally, remember that your audience is your assigning attorney and other attorneys in the firm. This memo will not be shown to the client, although you
should realize that the client might someday come across the memo in the file.
4. You should plan to read this assigning memo and the cases at least ten times in order to do an adequate job analyzing the question presented (issue) in
the assigning memo.
5. Your memo must follow the required structure in this order: Issue, Brief Answer, Facts, Discussion, Conclusion. Your Discussion section must INVISIBLY
WITHOUT LABELS follow this structure: CREAC
Conclusion [one sentence paragraph] Rules [one paragraph–PROVIDED] Explanation (information about the cases—one paragraph per case] Application [multiple paragraphs with topic sentences] Conclusion [one sentence paragraph] 6. When you draft the facts section for your memorandum, include all relevant facts (including those that help AND those that hurt your client’s case) so that
your legal analysis and conclusion will make sense to your reader. Use your own words where possible. If you quote from the law firm attorney’s assigning
memo itself, be sure to use quotation marks.
Assume your audience remembers nothing about the facts of the case.
7. In your final memo, do not exceed the maximum limit of 1300 words.
8. Double-space the pages, use a 12-point Times New Roman font, and make margins of one inch all around. Insert page numbers at the bottom of each
page and indent your paragraphs.
9. Do not alter the issue given you in any way. Do not alter the Rules paragraph. In law, changing even one word might change the meaning of a sentence.
10. Do not refer to yourself. Do not write in first person at all.
11. NOTE: The structure of an office memorandum requires you to think in a particular way, a way that is new to you. Specifically, you are doing rule-based
reasoning and reasoning by analogy and/or reasoning by distinction. I have provided sample office memoranda to help you see how memoranda look and to
help you get a feel for what they are, but know that there is no “fill-in-the-blank” method for legal analysis. A sample memo analyzing whether a home
invasion constitutes burglary under the relevant statute and case law will not show you how to analyze the question you have been presented in this
assignment. Thus, while the example may help by illustrating the general content and format of a document, it
will not tell you what to say or show you how you should analyze the issue in our case. Your analysis can only come from careful and repeated rereading of
the cases assigned and thinking about how they apply to our facts.
Go over this checklist before submitting final draft please.
Does the Office Memo 2 draft
– Follow CREAC in the Discussion section
– State the important facts and holding in each E paragraph of CREAC
– Do analysis, counter-analysis, and refutation in the Application section of CREAC