Grading Rubric for Closed Memo – First Draft of Entire Memo

Student Name: _______________________
Points from Rubric (25 points total): ___________________

Section (Points) Considerations Notes

(1 pt.)

– Identifies case name and basic topic
– Correctly identifies the To:, From:, Date:, and Re: lines in heading
Question Presented (2 pts.) – Correctly identifies the question presented in a concise manner
– Contains a description of the specific governing law and its jurisdiction, the precise legal question, and the most determinative facts giving rise to the question
– Uses salient facts on both sides of the issue
– Uses placeholders instead of parties’ names
Brief Answer

(2 pts.)

– Provides a clear, accurate, and concise brief answer(s) to question(s) presented – Explains briefly reasons for answer: salient facts, pertinent legal elements

– Uses placeholders instead of parties’ names

Statement of Facts
(2 pts.)
– Uses good organization
– Includes material relevant facts (even if harmful to client)
– Excludes irrelevant facts
– Uses accurate and objective description – Directly quotes important document terms or parties’ statements
Discussion: General
(2 pts.)
– Follows order of Question(s) Presented with proper point headings for each individual legal argument
– Uses thesis sentences, signposts, argument transitions, and topic sentences – Includes a roadmap paragraph

– Follows CREAC format

Discussion: Rules & Rule Explanation (RE) (5 pts.) – Clearly identifies elements at issue and the weight given to them
– Identifies and resolves any tension in authorities or case law

– Omits irrelevant legal elements (except in umbrella rule)
– Uses cases given to explain how courts have applied elements

– Relationship between rules/subrules is clear from organization and wording
– Uses good judgment on choosing breadth of RE and ordering rules from general to specific

– Rules/REs are written in generally applicable terms
– For case illustrations in the RE, includes the hook, trigger facts, court’s holding, and court’s reasoning
– Rules written in present tense and RE case discussions are in past tense
– Paraphrases the rules rather than simply quoting but properly attributes any quotes with quotation marks
– Avoids “case brief” paragraphs; starts with a rule, subrule, or non-case-specific RE
– Uses correct Bluebook citation (per assignment instructions)
– Includes a cite after every R/RE sentence

Discussion: Application (5 pts.) – Organization mirrors logic and structure of rules
– Rules and authority are logically applied to facts and legal issues

– Uses analogies to and distinctions from relevant facts in other cases to analyze the impact of certain facts in instant case – Case analogies include point sentence, fact comparison, and legal significance

– Makes reasonable inferences with explanation of how they apply to the legal elements at issue
– Develops both pro and con arguments
– Reasons through gaps in facts, doesn’t make unexplained assumptions


(2 pts.)

– Flows from organization, reasoning, and subconclusions in Discussion
– Does not introduce new facts/law/arguments

– Is clear and concise – Predicts outcome


(4 pts.)

– Cohesive point of view
– Uses good grammar and spelling, no typos
– Clear and concise language
– Uses consistent formatting and presentation
– Complies with course formatting rules (font size, margins, spacing, page numbers, etc.)