Legal Writing

Master Your Closed Memo with Westlaw

A Student Guide for a Closed Universe


Understand Your Task

Before embarking on your initial memo assignment, you should examine an example of the finished product. Explore our interactive memo below, which outlines the standard sections you can incorporate. Don't forget, you should consult your professor and any assigned guidelines to verify the specific content that must be included in your memo.


Retrieve Your Sources

You've been provided with a substantial collection of documents from your professor. The volume of pages can be overwhelming. Use Westlaw to retrieve the primary law sources from your closed universe. View this brief video to learn how to start navigating your materials.


Bring Context to Your Universe

Interpret your universe with easy-to-understand summaries written by actual attorneys


Headnotes are one-sentence, fact specific summaries of each point of law from a case written by Westlaw Attorney Editors. These concise statements provide a simpler explanation of the law than what the court may use. Referring to headnotes will enhance your comprehension of the law necessary to apply in your closed memo.


Outline Your Memo

Keep List

Say goodbye to repetitive review of cases. Save potentially useful cases by adding them to your Keep List for review later in your research journey.

Outline Builder

Start your draft while you research with a drag and drop from primary and secondary authority into your outline within Westlaw.

Workflow Tools

Leverage tools like Annotations, Copy with Reference, and Research Report to streamline your research workflow and improve your final product.


Begin Your Draft

Bring it all together with your first draft


You've finished your research and outline, now it's time to craft your first memo. The task of creating a cohesive and objective written product may seem daunting. But, worry not! This helpful video guides you through the entire memo process, starting from understanding your facts to drafting an impactful conclusion.