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Legal Research and Writing

Case Briefing Materials

These materials relate to the Tuesday orientation session led by Professor Rowe. Please talk to your professors for specific information on how to best brief cases for their classes. 

Memo re Orientation Session

How to Read a Legal Opinion

Reading for Orientation Session (Shapo excerpt)

Schoeller Case

Sample briefs for the Schoeller case are provided below in three different styles: handwritten briefs, classic briefs, and book briefs. Each brief was written by a different person. Each person took a very different approach. There is no "model brief" because the best brief is the one that prepares you to engage in class, study for the exam, or solve a client's problem.

Handwritten Briefs: These are messy, but they met the goals of (1) keeping the reader engaged and (2) helping the reader remember the key ideas.

Classic Briefs: These are typed and use traditional headings. Note that POC means "Point of the Case" and PH means "Procedural History." 

Book Briefs: Remember that this student did much more than highlight cases. Immediately after class, he combined his class notes with the book briefs. Then every two weeks, he synthesized the material covered in that course to create an outline for the exam. Color coding: pink – facts; green – holding/procedure; yellow – procedure/history in lower courts; orange – rules/reasoning; purple – parties' arguments.

Brief Template: An LRW tutor compiled information on case briefing and created a brief template. Those are linked here.