What is a Case Brief?

What is a Case Brief

Many law school students arrive at law school without understanding what is a case brief?  Law professors and law school training courses and law school prep classes take this into account by teaching what is a case brief, what is the case brief structure, and how to write a case brief.  In essence, to answer the question of what is a case brief, the case brief is short analysis of the appellate court’s written opinion.  The overall purpose of writing a case brief is to succinctly summarize and condense the main arguments and findings of the specific case.  The key to remember is that less is more.

What is a Case Briefs Format?

It is important to understand that there are numerous types and formats of case briefs that are used in the legal field.  There 5 distinct types of briefs that are commonly used within the law school classroom: (1) Standard Classroom Case Brief Format, (2) Bullet Point Case Briefs, (3) Book Case Briefs, (4) Professional Case Briefs, and (5) “Jockey” Case Briefs.

How to Brief a Case: Bullet Point Format

Case Brief: Bullet Point Format

Once law school students become comfortable with the standard case brief, the bullet proof format is used to more efficiently and effective notate and write a case brief.  The written aspects are exactly the same when you compare the standard case brief and the bullet point case brief formats. However, the structure is slightly different. This form of case briefing strays from standard briefs in that you do not write full sentences for each element of the brief.  Instead, the emphasis is placed upon each bullet point which contains only the most important aspects of the case.


Case Brief Sample: Bullet Point Format
Download Case Brief Sample: Bullet Point Format WORD Template

(Insert Party 1) v. (Insert Party 2)

(Insert Court Name)

(Year)

Procedural Basis:

  • (Insert text)

Facts:

  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)

Issue:

  • (Insert text)

Decision:

  • (Insert Decision)
  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)

Concurrences/Dissents:

  • (Insert text if applicable)
  • (Insert text if applicable)

Analysis:

  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)
  • (Insert text)