What is a Legal Memo?
A legal memo or legal memorandum is a written document written by a paralegal or a lawyer given to a client to address some legal issues. It identifies the advice of a lawyer for the case of the client. It is an assessment of the legal matter. It is in the form of a structured letter, having headings that discuss the topics on the legal issue. Sometimes, it can also be given to a colleague in the law firm. To comply with the specific requirements of a legal memo, you must check your assessment instructions.
One type of legal memo is the legal policy memo. It is given to stakeholders who are responsible for changing a policy. The memo is given because the policies are subjected to some laws. In writing a legal memo, you should focus on your audience. If you are writing to a colleague, your writing tone must be impersonal and objective. You should write in a concise and precise manner. Use citing styles and references that have something to do with legislation. If the letter will be to the client, it should be more informative. Clients do not know the things about the law so you have to make them understand the important things about the legal issue. You should emphasize possible actions and likely outcomes. You should also give recommendations.
A legal memorandum is a well-researched essay. The method of how to relay information in a legal memo may differ. More often, one can start with the statement of facts. This part starts with a meaningful paragraph that includes relevant facts about the legal matter. It may state all the evidence that you have at hand. The statement of legal issues can follow the statement of facts. At the end of the legal memo, a conclusion should be given. You should give a direct discussion about the case. The format of the legal memo depends on the firm. Relevant examples of law and rulings are discussed in the memo.
The legal memo shows how a lawyer justifies his or her position in the case. All the things that the lawyer will say will be according to the preference of the law firm. To be sure that a legal memo to a client will be effective, an attorney should discuss the relevant laws that they have to deal with in the case. They should not use jargon in explaining but have to make everything clear. This is the best way how lawyers can address the legal issue. They should make the clients understand every matter about the legal case that they are having. This is the purpose of a legal memo. It has to inform clients.
Advantages of a Legal Memo
There are certain types of legal memorandum. All of them have advantages. If you want to know what you can get from legal memos, you can read the following advantages that they can give:
Good Means of Communication: A legal memo is a convenient way of communication. If you have something to say to your colleague, you can use the memorandum to relay what you have to say. You and your colleague are surely busy and you barely have time to talk to each other. You can use the legal memo to discuss the things about the case. It is a convenient way how you can reach out to each other. It is also a good means of communication with your clients. If ever you want them to understand something and you do not have enough time to do it, you can say it to a legal memo. It can be a bridge to any gap of communication that is happening in a case. You just have to write a letter and you can relay all the relevant laws and evidence that you want to explain. It will be always good for lawyers who are always busy.Legal Memo is Quick: If you want the fastest way how you can discuss a legal matter, it is through a legal memo. Just with the letter, you can relay whatever you want to say about the legal issues of a case. You just have to write your assessment and give an explanation for all the evidence. You do not have to set a meeting with your client. This way is faster because you just have to send an email and you can pass your message to the client. Having a meeting can make you take half of your day. But through a legal memo, all you need is a few minutes. This is the quickest way how you can exchange information with your clients. You can have the quickest discussion. You do not have to exert a lot of effort. You can even save your time and money.It is Inexpensive: One of the great benefits of a legal memo is it is inexpensive. You just have to send an email which can cost you nothing. Or you can use a low-quality paper if you will have to send it through the mail. If you are a client, you can save a lot. The fee that you have to pay for a lawyer is extremely high. Every time you have a meeting with your lawyer, you can pay a high price. But if you will just be given a letter, you can save some money. The lawyers can have money benefits, too because they do not have to exert too much time. Because of it, they can tend to other cases that can give them more income. If you will have to talk to your colleague, you can spend some money. You should instead write your colleague a letter and not have a meeting with him or her. Having meetings can cost you some money. So you can save something by using a legal memo instead.Keeping Written Records: If you want to have a written record of everything, you must use legal memos. Even if you have multiple questions presented, you can monitor them all through the legal memo. Even a brief answer can be recorded. If everything is confidential, you can have a record of everything. It can be good for your law firm. If ever you will need something in the future, you have everything on file. It will be easy for you to get the information that you need. This is important because we may never know the things that we may need in the future. Especially, regarding legal matters. We need files that we can refer to someday. So, writing a legal memo is truly beneficial. You can keep a record of every legal matter that you have handled. In the case of clients, if ever they will need the legal memo someday because of something, they can have a written record that can help them.Good Way to Inform: Lawyers do not have a perfect time for everything. If they need to say something to their clients or colleagues, the legal memo is the best way how they can do it. It is the best way how they can inform their clients that they have evidence of their case. Or if ever there is an issue about their legal case. It is a good way how they can talk with their colleagues. They can pass the message that they have to give regarding work. Legal memos are truly informative. You just have to relay your message in the letter and you can give relevant laws and rules about the legal matter.Promotion of Goodwill: You can show goodness by using a legal memo. You can have good communication with your clients and colleagues. It is a good way of building a good relationship with them. Using a legal memo is showing some effort to win the case that you have. Clients can appreciate it because you are informing them of the legal issues in their case. Your colleagues can see goodwill from you because you are being a responsible lawyer by using a legal memo. You ensure that everything about the case will be handled well. You do not miss a thing on communication. You make sure that important matters will be relayed. By using a memo, you can promote goodwill.
Elements of a Legal Memo
Have you seen a legal memo sample? Have you noticed that aside from the legal memo format and legal memo structure, it has essential components? Maybe you are wondering how you can make these elements. Consider the following and know some information about the elements of a legal memo:
Heading: The heading should include the identity of the author, the name of the recipient of the memo, the date of the memo, the name of the client, and the subject of the memo. There should be a numbering sequence for the heading. Make a brief statement. Make a concise explanation for your answer. Be sure to include facts that can support your statement.Table of Contents: You have to include a table of contents in your legal memo. This will be helpful for the readers to know the contents of your memo. Provide a breakdown of your approach and structure for the memo. Provide analysis to make the readers understand the parts of your memo.Statement of Facts: This part is where you present the client’s information. You have to be objective in the statement of facts. This section has the relevant facts that you have used to research for your memorandum. As you list the facts, the readers will have the same information. You can use a diagram or a table to summarize the facts. Outline the important facts that you need to relay. Write in chronological order. This will be better. Though different orders may work in some situations. Be clear and logical about all the information that you are about to say. If some facts can cause a disagreement, you must explain your side.Answer: You should answer all questions perfectly. Be direct with your answers. Do not make inconclusive or indecisive answers. Be sure that your answers are supported with reasons. Everything must have legal support. Do not use equivocal language. Avoid using “it seems” or “it appears”.Assumptions: If there is a question presented that you cannot answer, you must make an assumption. State the right label for the facts and assumptions. You should have a separate section for this one.Legal Issue: The legal issue is a one-sentence statement. This should identify the legal question. Be concise but descriptive in this. If you have multiple issues, you must list them in order. The lead-in is the most important issue. Write it in a simple but articulate manner. If there are sub-issues, write them in a numbered order.Discussion: You should discuss the legal issues. Describe every law and its application to the case. Make a strategy to explain the pros and cons.
How to Write a Legal Memo
Do you need a legal memorandum template? Are you about to create a legal memo? We know that you may be needing some steps that you can use. We have provided them for you. They are the following:
1. Give Proper Time
The first thing that you have to do is to plan for your legal memo. Planning can make you state the important things about it. You should allot proper time for it. Research all the laws that will apply to the case. Be sure that there will be relevant facts that will support your memo.
2. Make a Clear Intention
Make sure that you are factual in your memo. All your readers should trust that your information is based on legal facts. So, you have to give a clear intention that you are going to settle a legal issue. Your information must not be questionable.
3. Consider the Deadline
Be sure that you are making a timely memo. Consider the deadline that you have. The legal memo must be presented to your client or colleague on time. You may not get your purpose if you will miss the deadline.
4. Add Relevant Details Only
Be sure that you will only include relevant details on your legal memo. State only relevant laws and rules that are related to the case. Be sure that you will not make any errors.
5. Check Errors
You should not commit any error in your legal memo. Check for possible errors. Ensure that it is according to all the applicable laws. Be sure that your research is accurate. If you have made some errors, be apt to correct them.
What are the types of memos?
The types of memos are internal memos, informational memos, problem-solving memos, and persuasive memos. Legal memos are informational memos.
Is a legal memo important?
Yes, it is important. It can give vital information about a case. It is the best way how you can communicate with your clients and colleagues.
Making a legal memo is a great way how paralegals and lawyers can do their work. They can speak to their clients and colleagues conveniently. A legal memo truly helps them. Well, do you need a template for a legal memo? This post has 7+ SAMPLE Legal Memo in PDF. They can help you create a great legal memo. Download now!