Saturday, August 27, 2016

Advice for law students on how to IRAC Supreme Court opinions

This is a new article by Professors Lawrence J. Trautman (Western Carolina), Cathy L. Taylor (Georgia) and Janet Ford (Western Carolina) entitled Irac! Irac! Irac!: How to Brief a Supreme Court Opinion which is intended to be a relatively short (18 pages) primer for busy law students. The article is available here on SSRN and here's the abstract:

The purpose of this short essay is to provide introductory guidance to busy students of constitutional law about how to go about briefing a Supreme Court opinion. Others have stated that the most difficult thing about the study of law “is learning how to read cases and statutes and finding a way to organize the materials into a workable format.” Our goal is to convey these basic analytical and briefing concepts in a format readable within 20 minutes of diligent effort. Ample additional resources are presented in our footnotes for those desiring a more robust discussion.


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This is a very superficial article. The analysis it advocates contains very little detail. In particular, I don't see any reasoning in the analytical model. I also don't see any rule explanation. Supreme Court cases require detailed analysis, not mold filling.

Posted by: Scott Fruehwald | Aug 27, 2016 2:44:16 PM

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