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How to Draft a Legal Brief?

Read our complete guide for lawyers, on how to draft flawless legal briefs.
Written by:
Shivi Gupta
Published on
24-Jul-18

Writing compelling and accurate legal briefs is one of the many essential skills required to be a lawyer. Some legal briefs are well-written to the extent that the lawyer is able to pursue that judge merely on the basis of his brief and does not need to argue for his case!

What is a Legal Brief?

A legal brief is a written document drafted by lawyers and presented to a court stating the facts and reasoning why the court must pass a decision in favour of one person. A legal brief must be written in the most precise and error-free manner to convince the court why a client’s case prevails over the other party.

 

A legal brief must have a clear objective, written logically and clearly so as to lay down the client’s reason for filing the case, the end remedy clients seeks and why the court must favour the client’s case. There are certain other things to be kept in mind while writing a legal brief. Here’s an exclusive guide for lawyers to write a legal brief for their cases:

1. Draft your arguments systematically: A legal brief should not be voluminous and must be written in the most concise manner. A legal brief must be organised and have strong arguments! There must be a theme to a legal brief that provides the entire timeline of events of the case. 

2. Add a constructive heading: The legal brief must be divided into different sections, each having an effective heading for the judge to easily have an idea of what the section contains. 

3. Table of Contents: The legal brief must have a well-designed table of contents that can be referred to for any particular section by the judge without any hassle.

4. Table of Authorities: The table of authorities catalogues all the legal material which is used to support an argument or statement. It is similar to a Bibliography and helps the other counsel and court to identify the source for any case law, report, judgment or any statute.

5. Statement of Issues: Statement of issues is written in a ‘yes or no’ format, giving a brief synopsis of the legal issues and legal attributes of the case.

6. Statement of Facts: Statement of facts written from the client’s perspective and includes the general statement that explains the client’s case

7. Arguments: Arguments are the points relating to the case that convince why the court should rule in your client’s favour. Arguments are supported by legal research and written in an active and positive manner.

8. Summary: A legal brief must have a summary that provides background to the issue and highlights important evidence and statements. 

9. Grammar: A legal brief must be written in short and must not include long-running sentences or written in passive voice. 

10. Formatting: Some judges are very particular about formatting in legal documents. A legal brief must be written by using proper formatting.

11. Avoid personal attacks: Do not use any words in the legal brief that is derogatory to the other party or personally attacks anyone. 

12. Stick to a Citation: It is important that the entire legal brief follows a single citation style. 

A legal brief is one of the most important tools used by lawyers in India to make their clients' cases stronger and challenge the opposing counsel’s arguments. Lawyers must dedicate themselves to improve their writing skills and draft flawless legal documents to retain clients. Lawyers with good writing and drafting skills are able to communicate better with the clients as well as the court and establish their legal practice on a stronger hold. Register with MyAdvo as a Prefer Lawyer in India. You can also email us at info@myadvo.in or call us at +919811782573 to register with MyAdvo.