Sunday, May 21, 2006

Legal analysis: synthesizing authorities

A commenter writes:
  • One thing I have noticed in youngsters' briefs that is rather odd is a failure to synthesize the law and the facts of a particular case. They will state the facts, state the law, and then draw a conclusion without explanation.
This is very true. I would say about 40% of my time in the basic first-year legal-writing course is spent trying to get students to synthesize. It has been so for the 14 years I have been at it.

This falls into the category I call "specify, specify, specify." Do not merely state a legal principle and then assert a conclusion. Specify how the conclusion derives from the principle in light of the facts of your case.

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