Case study is a method of studying law. A researcher is probably assigned the task of briefing. A case brief should atleast include the facts of the case, the legal issue, the legal principle applied in the case, the holding and reasoning of the majority, and a summary of any concurrences and dissents. The most important part of briefing is the court’s reasoning. If you’re a law student or thinking about going into law school, chances are you should know a little bit about the work load and studying and a lots of reading habit. One part of studying and class preparation you may have heard of is “briefing” cases. As a law student, briefing cases is something that you will grow to be very familiar with and most likely do every day. Along with that reading and understanding with patience is all what it takes.
So what is briefing cases?
Essentially, briefing cases is organizing the information of a case into notes in order to assist you with classes, writing assignments, or general understanding. Some students only do briefs for important cases, for certain classes, or only when required. Others, do them for every single case. You might think that sounds like it takes a lot of time and truthfully, it does. But for a systematic study and understanding this is of utmost importance. Not just in law but also in our day to day life. It has rightly been said “If you hear you forget, if you listen you understand and if you write you remember”
So why should one brief cases?
Well, the first reason I can give you is that it will ensure you have read and understood a case, or at least made an attempt. Secondly, it is so helpful when a professor cold calls you and asks for the facts of the case, and you can just look down to you brief and have a perfect little notes section already written up for you. Your work will be appreciated in that law. For being a law student one really needs to be systematic.
That is a typical case brief that should be done for each case, every single class. Now, you have to remember that you might not have every section for every case. Most cases don’t have a concurrence or dissent, and some you don’t need to write about procedure. Many cases, each section will only be a sentence or two. And most of the time, the only person that will read your briefs is you, so you only need to write them in such a way that whenever you read it you get it.
I definitely recommend writing or typing out briefs for every case. It helps us understand what each case is about and fully understand it before we get to class and potentially get cold called. Obviously there are other ways to brief cases and you might find your own style. For those of you looking for a starting point, I hope this helped.
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