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Legal Writing

This Guide assists first-year law students with the CREAC format used in legal writing.

Overarching Conclusion Checklist

  The Overarching Conclusion precisely and concisely states the likelihood of the outcome.

 

  The Overarching Conclusion precisely and concisely answers the legal question and acknowledges the governing law.

 

  The Overarching Conclusion includes a because statement that precisely and concisely explains the reasons for the outcome.

 

  The Overarching Conclusion uses the because statement to show how the key, determinative facts trigger the rule.

 

  The Overarching Conclusion appears under the DISCUSSION as a point heading: single-spaced, ALL-CAPS, bold, left-indented.

 

  The Overarching Conclusion, when stated in a heading-format, is no more than five lines.

 

  Alternative Formatting: the Overarching Conclusion appears under the DISCUSSION as a conclusion preceding the Overarching Rule.

 

  Alternative Formatting: the Overarching Conclusion appears as a point heading, followed by a second conclusion sentence in the main text that precedes the Overarching Rule and functions as a very brief transition (i.e., around two lines) between the Overarching Conclusion and the Overarching Rule.

 

  If applicable: each subsection within the memo (i.e., when analyzing different factors, elements, or statutory/regulatory sections) observes its own nested-CREAC format (e.g., subsection A-nested-CREAC; subsection B-nested-CREAC), so the Mini-Conclusion mirrors the construction of the Overaching Conclusion, except the Mini-Conclusion only predicts as to that specific factor, element, or section (and not as to the entire issue).  The Mini-Conclusion is then followed by the Mini-Rule; case explanations relevant only to the specific factor, element, or statutory/regulatory section; an application analyzing only the specific factor, element, or statutory/regulatory section; and another mini-conclusion.