When students are asked to write business law answers, they get scared and consider it hard to crack. This happens because they do not know how to write it properly.
When you don’t know the structure of your writing task, it becomes a nightmare for you. In this situation, the IRAC method comes into the picture to rescue the students.
Have you heard about the IRAC method before?
I guess yes! Most of the students know about the IRAC method but don’t know how to use it. Consequently, many students misuse this method.
If you want to know the proper use of the IRAC method, here is the best guide to enhancing each step of the IRAC formula and increasing your grade in exams.
What Is IRAC Method?
Table of Contents
IRAC is a method applied in composing specific legal reports and documents. The IRAC method is planned to give a helpful way to organize your thoughts. It can also be used to summarize a legal opinion and make a case brief. It provides an effective way to outline the idea of a court.
IRAC Stands For:
I = Identify the issues
R = state the applicable rules
A = analysis of the rules to the facts of the case
C = the result of applying the law to the facts. Conclusion
How To Use The IRAC Method?
IRAC stands for issue, rule, analysis, and conclusion. It is the way to answer the question of the examination. The concept behind the IRAC method is that students should go through the pattern of the exam. It includes detecting several issues as they can, stating the rules of law, applying the law to the facts, and then reaching conclusions.
Step 1:- Identify the issue
First of all, you need to start identifying the legal issue or problem at hand. Be as specific as possible, and make sure you understand what the question is asking.
Example: Does the defendant have a valid defense of self-defense against the charge of assault?
Step 2:- State the rule
The next step is identifying the legal rule or principle that applies to the issue. This may come from statutes, case law, or other sources.
Example: Self-defense is a legal defense to a charge of assault if the defendant reasonably believed they were in imminent danger of bodily harm and used no more force than necessary to defend themselves.
Step 3:- Apply the rule
After this, you will apply the rule to the facts of the case. This involves analyzing how the rule applies to the specific situation at hand.
Example: In this case, the defendant claims they acted in self-defense after the victim threatened them with a knife. The defendant may have a valid defense if they reasonably believed they were in imminent danger of bodily harm and used no more force than necessary to defend themselves.
Step 4:- Analyze the issue
Then, you will analyze the issue in more detail, considering any counterarguments or alternative interpretations of the rule.
Example: However, the prosecution may argue that the defendant’s use of force was excessive and went beyond what was necessary to defend themselves. The prosecution may also argue that the defendant was the initial aggressor and therefore cannot claim self-defense.
Step 5:- Discuss relevant cases
If there are any relevant cases that support your analysis, discuss them and explain how they apply to the current situation.
Example: In the case of State v. Johnson, the court held that the defendant was not entitled to claim self-defense because they were the initial aggressor. However, in the case of State v. Smith, the court found that the defendant acted in self-defense when they used force to defend themselves against an attacker.
Step 6:- Address any exceptions or qualifications
If there are any exceptions or qualifications to the rule that apply to the current situation, make sure to address them.
Example: Although self-defense is generally a valid defense to a charge of assault, it may not apply if the defendant was the initial aggressor or used excessive force.
Step 7:- Consider policy implications
Then, you will consider any policy implications that may be relevant to the issue, such as public safety or the interests of justice.
Example: Allowing individuals to claim self-defense may encourage vigilantism and increase the risk of violence. On the other hand, denying the right to self-defense may violate an individual’s right to protect themselves.
Step 8:- Discuss any unresolved issues
If there are any issues that are unresolved or uncertain, discuss them and explain why they are open to interpretation.
Example: There is some uncertainty around the definition of “imminent danger” and whether it includes threats that may not be immediate but are still reasonably perceived as a threat.
Step 9:- Summarize your analysis
After this, summarize your analysis and the key points that support your conclusion.
Example: In this case, the defendant may have a valid defense of self-defense if they reasonably believed they were in imminent danger of bodily harm and used no more force than necessary to defend themselves. However, the prosecution may argue that the defendant’s use of force was excessive or that they were the initial aggressor.
Step 10:- State your conclusion
Lastly, you will state your conclusion and make sure it is supported by your analysis.
Example: Based on the facts and analysis presented, it is possible that the defendant may have a valid defense of self-defense, but this ultimately depends on the specific circumstances of the case and how the court interprets the relevant legal rules and principles.
Importance Of The IRAC Method
IRAC method is a systematic way to legal analysis is beneficial for various purposes. First, legal writing is confusing most of the time. IRAC method supports removing complicated terminology, fact patterns, and legal analysis into easier-to-know blocks of text. You can also remove or reorder a section to show an organized and clear summary of a specific legal scenario.
IRAC Method Components
The first thing your reader will go through is the answer you tried for the question. Your question should be the issue you are going to attempt and it should attempt all the important aspects of the question.
When you are going to be involved in legal analysis issue spotting, then the issue has become the most crucial skill to develop. The issue is the problem or question to be resolved by the use of a legal rule. Some issues that you can require to resolve, such as issues of liability, defense to liability, and so on.
Tip- Don’t use specific names, try to keep it general.
This is the short part of IRAC method, and there is no specific rule to follow due to the variety in the preferences of employers and schools. But still, you need to remember some tips.
- Keep the tone neutral and never use proper nouns such as the name of any party member.
- No need to dig out the law, consider your audience is familiar with it.
- Check a number of rules are equal to the number of issues you have written.
- Keep the tone definitive
If you are required to find the rule that uses an issue, then you will have to be involved in legal research. Legal rules come from 4 main sources, such as case law, regulations, statutes, and federal and state constitutions.
3. Application or analysis
Here you need to be specific as it is the most complicated portion of IRAC method. You need to follow the inconsistent style of your writing. Moreover, you are required to follow the style and grammatical rules made by your professor.
- Be geographically accurate.
- Minimum two sources are needed for both civil and criminal cases.
- Use relevant citations
- Where you want to address more than one issue use subheadings.
- Highlight similarities.
The law is used to the facts to resolve the issue. If you are reading a court case, the court will invest time describing how it used the law to the facts to reach its decision. You can also select to use legislation when applicable.
4. Conclusion- Last but not least
The conclusion is the area where you summarize all the issues you have mentioned above. If you have written on more than one issue then restate each issue in your conclusion. It is the favorite part of a lawyer because here, they have almost done their writing. Don’t make your conclusion lengthy than paragraphs.
The conclusion is the outcome of the use of the law to the facts applied to resolve the issue of law. In the opinion of the court, the conclusion is the decision or holding of the court. Most of the time, the conclusion can be quite short.
When To Use IRAC Method?
The IRAC (Issue-Rule-Analysis-Conclusion) method is commonly used in legal writing and analysis to analyze a legal issue and provide a well-reasoned and supported conclusion. It can also be used in other forms of analytical writing.
The IRAC method is particularly useful when you need to analyze a complex legal problem, as it breaks down the analysis into four separate steps:
- Issue: Identify the legal issue or problem that needs to be analyzed.
- Rule: Research and explain the relevant law or legal rules that apply to the issue.
- Analysis: Apply the law or legal rules to the facts of the case, and provide a detailed analysis of how the law applies to the issue.
- Conclusion: Summarize the key points of your analysis and provide a well-supported conclusion to the legal issue.
10 Tips For Good Legal Writing With Example
Following are the top 10 best tips to write a good legal writing paper with examples.
Tip 1:- Be Clear and Concise: If you want to write good legal writing, then at first, you have to use plain language to make your point clear and concise. For example, instead of saying, “The plaintiff is guilty of negligence,” say, “The plaintiff was negligent.”
Tip 2:- Use Active Voice: Another tip to writing good legal writing, you have to write in an active voice to make your writing more dynamic and engaging. For example, instead of saying, “The contract was breached by the defendant,” say, “The defendant breached the contract.”
Tip 3:- Be Specific: You can use specific facts and details to support your legal arguments. For example, instead of saying, “The defendant was speeding,” say, “The defendant was driving 80 miles per hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone.”
Tip 4:- Use Short Sentences: You must use short, simple sentences to make your writing more readable. For example, instead of saying, “The plaintiff, who was injured in the accident, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, who was driving the other car,” say, “The injured plaintiff sued the defendant driver.”
Tip 5:- Use Headings and Subheadings: Also, use headings and subheadings to organize your writing and make it easier to read. For example, use headings like “Background,” “Issue,” “Analysis,” and “Conclusion.”
Tip 6:- Avoid Legalese: You must avoid using complicated legal terms and jargon that may confuse your reader. For example, instead of “prima facie,” say “at first glance.”
Tip 7:- Provide Context: Moreover, you must provide context for your arguments by explaining the relevant law and legal principles. For example, explain the elements of the cause of action that you are addressing.
Tip 8:- Use Citations Correctly: To write good legal writing with the IRAC method, you can use proper citation format when citing legal authority. For example, use the Bluebook citation format when citing cases, statutes, and other legal authorities.
Tip 9:- Proofread Your Writing: Another tip is that you have to proofread your writing carefully to catch errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For example, use grammar and spelling checkers to help you catch errors.
Tip 10:- Use Proper Formatting: Lastly, you have to use formatting to make your writing more readable and visually appealing. For example, use bold, italics, and underline to highlight important points, and use bullet points and numbered lists to organize information.
The IRAC Method Is Not Applicable For All Types Of Questions
You can solve the problem-based questions with the IRAC method. You have got a “explain the benefits and limitations of indefeasibility in property law” type of question, and then you will be required to find another method to answer this question. I wouldn’t like to recommend the IRAC method for these types of questions.
Some of the common places where you may employ this method include:
- Review of case law
- Practically every aspect of legal writing contains, but is not limited to, legal memoranda, case briefing, and legal briefs.
- Assessment of the merits of a potential client matter
- An aid to help define what evidence is essential to defend or prosecute a case
How To Brief A Case Using The IRAC Method
- Your objective is to decrease the information from the case into a format that will give you a useful reference in class and for review.
- It is essential to hold the issue the court faced.
- The applicable law the court applied to solve it.
- How the court used the rule to the facts and the result.
- You will then be ready to not only discuss the case but to relate and contrast it to different cases containing the same problem.
In this blog, we discussed all legal aspects of IRAC method and told you where we have to use this method.An IRAC method gives such as self-evident conclusion by leading the reader by the logical analysis of an argument. focusing on the legal issues at hand, presenting the relevant rules of law, applying those rules to the related facts at hand, and lastly, yielding the logical conclusion of the dispute in question. If you follow these guidelines, you will write a concise and clear IRAC method answer- one that will be best for most of the answers that various students of law are familiar with writing. Get the best assignment help from the experts.
Why is IRAC important in law?
The IRAC method helps break down complex terminology, fact patterns, and legal analysis into easier-to-understand blocks of text.
Do law schools still use IRAC?
Though a large majority of law firms and schools use the IRAC, some methods will call the format either CREAC or CRAC. The “C” generally refers to the conclusion, and the “E” refers to the explanation.
Why do lawyers use IRAC?
IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion. It is the format used by lawyers in preparing legal memos and memoranda. On the other hand, the judges use it in drafting judicial opinions.