Solve the Open Memo Puzzle with Westlaw 

Issue. Rule. Analysis. Conclusion

Master the tools to help you with every step 

Step 1: Issue


Step 1: Understand Your Issue 

Secondary Sources on Westlaw: start stronger, finish faster

Your professors are right. A secondary source is a great place to find your pinnacle case that can easily launch your research. This quick video will teach you what secondary source you should start with to begin your research, then put your skills into action

Organize Your Research 


Before You Go Further: Create Folders for Your Research

Time Saving Tip: You can base your folders on your rule statement, using each key element as a subfolder. This will help you really stay organized! 

Step 2: Rule


Step 2: Find Your Rules in a Pinnacle Case

Launching Pad: You Only Need One Great Resource to Start 

Step 3: Analysis 

Step 3: Build Your Analysis Using Cases 

  • Expand Your Research 
  • Understand Your Legal Authority 
  • Perfect Your Analysis

Jury Instructions FTW 

You can quickly access jury instructions (or almost anything on Westlaw Edge) by typing the name of the content for which you are searching into the global search bar at the top of the screen and selecting the appropriate type of content.


Once you are on the Jury Instruction content page, you can:

  1. Run a search;
  2. Browse available titles; and/or
  3. Filter down by jurisdiction and topic, among other options

Perfect Your Analysis 

For a lot of 1L students, writing the analysis can be the trickiest part of the open memo. 

How do you effectively get your point acrossHow can you strategically fold in rules and facts to clearly articulate your argument?

Luckily, you have some of the best writing tools used by Am Law 50 firms at your fingertips! 



You'll need more than one source. Quickly expand your research!


Once you've located your pinnacle or launching pad case, you'll want to use that case to locate related authority. 

Identify relevant headnotes, then run a topic and key number search to retrieve relevant cases classified to the same issue.

Quick Tip: For cases, you can use Key Numbers to find additional headnotes from any jurisdiction on the same issue.  You can also take a peek at the Table of Authorities to see what cases your case cited to! 

The editorial enhancements placed on each case by our attorney editors make expanding research so easy!!

Quick Tip: After running a search, sort your results list by “most cited” to view the leading cases first.


Step 4: Conclusion

Step 4: Conclude Your Research

Wish someone could run a quality check on your final draft? Quick Check will analyze your memo and point out cases you may have missed, ensure your quotes are accurate, and will also point out any cases you used that have negative references!

Tip: See what's missing from your quoted cases with Quick Check.

Learn to Use Quick Check in Two Steps