Ray's J.D. (Juris Doctor)
Case Brief Books:
A Note From My 4L Year:
In 1L and 2L, I did use Case Brief Books to help guide me, and make sure my case briefs had been good... solid. In 3L, however,
I decided to not use them at all going forward, and I am glad I did.
Case Brief Books are a good tool to use to check yourself on the application and technique of briefing a case, but I found that
in order to truly get the best information out of a case, I could find better information in using Wikipedia, Google Scholar,
Google, and the Internet in general.
I wish I had done it in 2L as well, because this technique helped me learn the material much better, and more completely. I also
found that I was reading about related cases that we also worked with, and that also helped my understanding.
With that said, my suggestion would be to research the cases on Wikipedia FIRST. If you are good with Lexis Nexis, fine, use that.
But the most important cases are going to be found in Wikipedia... but sometimes the school will rotate out which cases we are to
brief, so the cases I briefed may not be the same cases they have the next year brief.
You want to get good at the process, and the very best thing you can do is to create a template on which to brief your cases with.
I will probably upload mine - and it would work for NWCULaw, but you might need to tweak it to meet your needs at another school.
It is simplistic, and very easy to use... this template is what allows me to fly through the case briefs... but they ALWAYS start
off very slowly, until I hit that groove - pretty much in each subject... but then... they fly!
Again, use Wikipedia, Google Scholar, Google, and the Internet in general, and it should be extremely helpful, and save you some
serious cash over buying Case Brief Books!
Ray's Case Brief Template:
I need to explain how to work this thing.
This is designed to work for NWCULaw, but very minor tweaks ought to make it work for any school - HOWEVER, if YOUR school
publishes a template, it would be very wise to use theirs, and not mine... but through 4L, this one is working for my Case Briefs.
It is just one page, you add the pages to the document to expand it out to cover all of the cases you are going to brief, and, if you
do all that formatting up front, it will help speed you along through the process - I was blown away in 3L at just haw fast I was able
to blast through the case briefs!
They ALWAYS drag at the beginning - expect that, embrace it, and move on - because they will soon begin to move along at a good rate,
and by the end of them, you will be zipping on through... try to learn what you wrote about - through 3L, I just wanted to get them done.
That is a mistake, try to get the feel for what the cases are about, and how they apply to what your program is teaching you, and it
will assist you in other areas of your work.
If you have ANY QUESTIONS about this template, feel free to contact me and ask about it. I will be more than happy to assist you in
being able to get you up to speed, so you can move as fast as I can through the Case Briefs!
I actually uploaded one, but I decided that if I made an HTML version of it, someone could just copy and paste, so, below this note,
you find a template you can use... it worked for me all the way through 4L!
The Course Name through Your Email Address at the top is in the HEADING - so that it shows up on ALL of the pages!
The bottom centered stuff is in the FOOTER of your page - again, so that it shows up on every single page... and on the Page 1
of 1 thing... that is a tool that you use in YOUR software, so that it AUTOMATICALLY calculates the correct page of pages for
If you have any questions - feel free to contact me and ask!
Ray's Case Brief Template:
COURSE NAME Case Brief Assignment - Month Year
YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, CITY, STATE ZIP CODE
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
Case v. Case,
Case Number, and it is often long.
TOPIC: Subject of most importance to the case, EXAMPLE: Personal Jurisdiction
CASE: Case v. Case, Case number again. Yes, this is the same deal as above!
FACTS: Main facts of the case that support the issue below History.
HISTORY: What court(s) the case went through to get here.
ISSUE: Different from the Topic, the actual issue.
RULING: The courts ruling... and if any Dissents or Concurrences - list those below
DISSENT: (only if listed)
CONCURRENCE: (only if listed)
MY OPINION: This is where you write if you agreed with the court, or not, and why, or why not.
Case Brief - Course Name - Month, Year - Page 1 of 1