Contains a description of the specific governing law and its jurisdiction, the precise legal question, and the most determinative facts giving rise to the question



Grading Rubric for Closed Memo – First Draft of Entire Memo

Student Name: _______________________
Points from Rubric (25 points total): ___________________


Section (Points)




(1 pt.)

- Identifies case name and basic topic
- Correctly identifies the To:, From:, Date:, and Re: lines in heading

Question Presented (2 pts.)

- Correctly identifies the question presented in a concise manner
- Contains a description of the specific governing law and its jurisdiction, the precise legal question, and the most determinative facts giving rise to the question
- Uses salient facts on both sides of the issue
- Uses placeholders instead of parties’ names

Brief Answer

(2 pts.)

- Provides a clear, accurate, and concise brief answer(s) to question(s) presented - Explains briefly reasons for answer: salient facts, pertinent legal elements

- Uses placeholders instead of parties’ names

Statement of Facts
(2 pts.)

- Uses good organization
- Includes material relevant facts (even if harmful to client)
- Excludes irrelevant facts
- Uses accurate and objective description - Directly quotes important document terms or parties’ statements

Discussion: General
(2 pts.)

- Follows order of Question(s) Presented with proper point headings for each individual legal argument
- Uses thesis sentences, signposts, argument transitions, and topic sentences - Includes a roadmap paragraph

- Follows CREAC format

Discussion: Rules & Rule Explanation (RE) (5 pts.)

- Clearly identifies elements at issue and the weight given to them
- Identifies and resolves any tension in authorities or case law

- Omits irrelevant legal elements (except in umbrella rule)
- Uses cases given to explain how courts have applied elements

- Relationship between rules/subrules is clear from organization and wording
- Uses good judgment on choosing breadth of RE and ordering rules from general to specific

- Rules/REs are written in generally applicable terms
- For case illustrations in the RE, includes the hook, trigger facts, court’s holding, and court’s reasoning
- Rules written in present tense and RE case discussions are in past tense
- Paraphrases the rules rather than simply quoting but properly attributes any quotes with quotation marks
- Avoids “case brief” paragraphs; starts with a rule, subrule, or non-case-specific RE
- Uses correct Bluebook citation (per assignment instructions)
- Includes a cite after every R/RE sentence

Discussion: Application (5 pts.)

- Organization mirrors logic and structure of rules
- Rules and authority are logically applied to facts and legal issues

- Uses analogies to and distinctions from relevant facts in other cases to analyze the impact of certain facts in instant case - Case analogies include point sentence, fact comparison, and legal significance

- Makes reasonable inferences with explanation of how they apply to the legal elements at issue
- Develops both pro and con arguments
- Reasons through gaps in facts, doesn’t make unexplained assumptions



(2 pts.)

- Flows from organization, reasoning, and subconclusions in Discussion
- Does not introduce new facts/law/arguments

- Is clear and concise - Predicts outcome


(4 pts.)

- Cohesive point of view
- Uses good grammar and spelling, no typos
- Clear and concise language
- Uses consistent formatting and presentation
- Complies with course formatting rules (font size, margins, spacing, page numbers, etc.)

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