After you have found an appropriate article, the first thing you need to do is briefly summarize the facts in the article. Next, identify the legal issue raised by the article. Remember, there are two sides to every story or there wouldn’t be a dispute. For example, in an article about a breach of contract suit, one party will be claiming a breach occurred, and the other party will be arguing there was no breach. Be sure to accurately summarize the legal arguments of both parties.
After you have clearly identified the issue, the next step is to state the rule or rules of law that apply to this issue. Then, apply the law to the facts in the article and decide how this issue should be resolved. In other words, apply the legal principles you learned in class to determine which party has the better legal argument. Be sure to fully discuss the reasons for your decision.
Your paper should be 3 – 5 pages in length, typed, and double-spaced and include a title page and bibliography. You should use footnotes for citations.
FIRAC is an acronym for the basic steps in legal reasoning. As explained below, FIRAC stands for Facts, Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion. Here are the steps you should follow when writing your paper:
Facts – briefly summarize the facts of the case as stated in the article
Issue – identify the legal issue involved (i.e., what is the nature of the dispute?; copyright infringement, breach of contract, libel, etc.)
Rule – state the rule or rules of law relevant to the legal issue (i.e., if the issue is breach of contract, the rules of contract law are relevant and should be stated in your paper )
Application – apply the relevant rule(s) of law to the facts of the case ( i.e., discuss how the rule(s) of law apply to the particular circumstances of this case)
Conclusion – decide how the legal issue should be resolved and why (i.e., which party has the better legal argument? Why?)