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Legal Problem Solving Technique Cheat Sheet by


What is IRAC?
IRAC is a problem solving technique for legal issues.
Cool. I heard about CIRAC. What's that?
Basically the same thing. You just add a conclusion to the beginning of your analysis so your client knows what's up.
Seems legit. So how does it work?

How IRAC works

Issue: You basically say what the problem is. The best way to do that is to just ask the legal question that arises in your case.
Rule: You state the rule. Keep it simple. Say it like it is. Just copy the rule from your source and add that to your analysis. It will become clear in the next step.
Analysis: This is where shit gets real. You apply the rule to the facts. Make sure to break down your rule to conditions and legal conseq­uences. Then you explain if the conditions are met and if they lead to a conseq­uence.
Conclu­sion: Same story: Keep it simple. Give an answer to your issue. If you want to use CIRAC, make sure this conclusion has the same context as the one in the beginning. (Oh, and please don't introduce new inform­ation in your conclu­sion. That's confusing as fuck.)

An example

Annabelle committed a wrongful act which is absolutely attrib­utable to her. This wrongful act caused damage to Daniel's fence. Daniel doesn't give shit though, it's just a fence.
Issue: Does Annabelle have to compensate for the damage?
Rule: The following rule can be found in the Dutch Civil Code: He who commits a wrongful act as against another, which can be attributed to him, is obliged to compensate the damage suffered by that other as a conseq­uence thereof.
Analysis: The first condition is (1) a wrongful act (1.1) against another. Annabelle did commit one against Daniel, so it applies. The next condition is that (2) it can be attributed to her, which it can. So again, this condition applies. Also, there has to be (3) damage (3.1) as a conseq­uence of the wrongful act. Applies. BUT this damage has so be (4) suffered by the other. As Daniel doesn't give a shit, he doesn't suffer. This condition does not apply. All of the conditions have to apply for the legal conseq­uence to occur.
Conclu­sion: Annabelle does not have to compensate for the damage.
Easy, right?

Additional info

Of course, this is a very simplified case and in your legal essay you should do this more profes­sio­nally.
Yeah, lol, I get that. A question though. What if more than one legal issue arises?
Just do it step by step. Apply IRAC on the first issue, then on the second issue, third issue, and so on ...
So if the questions were "Did Annabelle commit a wrongful act?" and "Does she have to compen­sat­e?" I'd first solve the first one, then the second one, both according to IRAC.
Yeah. It's that easy.
Nice! Thanks!


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