How to write a case brief for law school: Excerpt reproduced from Introduction to the Study of Law: Cases and Materials ,. 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. Who will read your brief?
The purpose of reading cases is to learn what the law is so that knowledge can be used to resolve conflicts which arise in analogous but usually somewhat different fact situations. Lawyers approach analyzing a fact situation differently than most nonlawyers, including students at the beginning of this course. Here is a simple approach which will help you approach legal analysis of fact situations the way lawyers do. If you master this simple, five part technique through in-class practice and apply it to legal analysis of fact situations on the midterm and final exams you will be well on the way to good legal analysis. Later, once you master this technique you can become more subtle, creative, and individualistic.
A system of instruction or study of law focused upon the analysis of court opinions rather than lectures and textbooks; the predominant method of teaching in U. Christopher Columbus Langdell , a law professor, often receives credit for inventing the case method although historians have found evidence that others were teaching by this method before him. Regardless, Langdell by all accounts popularized the case method. Langdell viewed the law as a science and believed that it should be studied as a science.
Writing a case study is usually a heck of a problem for most law students. Despite having a grasp of this subject, the process is often challenging, as it requires lots of thinking. The problem worsens when you have to write a case study in a law exam. Unfortunately, this is part and parcel of law exams. There is no way you can evade it.