The memo: what is it?
What is a memo?
The legal memo is a written document produced mostly by less-experienced lawyers for more-experienced ones. It is the written presentation of the work done on a legal problem or assignment. It can be many things, but most often it is either--
- a report of information acquired through legal research (a research report), or
- an analysis, based on legal research, that supports the answer to or prediction for a legal problem (predictive legal analysis).
A traditional memo can have many purposes, but its primary purpose is to inform a decision arising from a legal problem. It is thus a decision-making tool, and many of its traits arise from this function. Careful lawyers keep that function in mind and regularly ask themselves, If I were handling this legal problem and making this decision, what would help me? What would I want to know?