Using the IRAC method to develop your legal analysis skills in paralegal school
You might be interested in paralegal school because you love to debate. Some people find the law fascinating and want to explore it further. But law school can be expensive and time consuming. Law school can take three to four years and cost more than 100,000.00. While paralegal school may take a fraction of that time, along with a much affordable cost. A paralegal performs many of the same tasks as an attorney so paralegal school may be the perfect fit for you.
As a paralegal you may be called upon to perform substantive legal analysis and writing tasks. Legal analysis refers to the process of indentifying the issue(s) presented by a client’s facts and determining what law and how it applies. The most common approach to legal analysis is IRAC. IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion.
Step one of the IRAC method is to identify the issue raised by the facts of the client’s case. The issue is the legal question raised by the facts of the case. A single set of facts may contain multiple issues so it is helpful to separate the issues and analyze them individually. Step 2 is to identify the rule of law that governs the issue. You will need to research the law to determine what governs the issue. For example, it could be case law or a statute that applies to the issue. In step 3, you have to determine how the rule of law applies to the issue. This involves a three part analysis. First, you have to identify the elements of the rule of law, next you have to apply the elements to the facts, and finally you should consider any possible counter arguments by your opponent. The final step of the IRAC method is the conclusion. This is where you answer the question that you originally asked in your issue. If your issue, rule and analysis are well developed, then your conclusion will be logically supported.
You can learn more about the IRAC method in the Legal Writing course at the American Institute for Paralegal Studies paralegal school.