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This lesson will cover the basic structure of written legal analysis: IRAC. IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, Conclusion. There are slightly different versions of IRAC which may be used for different legal documents. This lesson will focus on IRAC for essay exam writing. Some faculty may prefer CRAC, or CIRAC, where the conclusion is placed first. You may also learn CRREAC for writing legal memos and briefs, which stands for Conclusion, Rule, Rule Explanation, Application, Conclusion. Make sure you know your professor’s structural preferences regarding exams and other assignments. Whether you have the conclusion up front or not, all of legal analysis follows the same basic IRAC framework. It takes some getting used to, but once you understand how to properly work with the IRAC structure, you will be able to analyze any legal question.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the components of IRAC.
2. Classify what belongs in each section of IRAC.
3. Identify strong and weak examples of issue statements, rules, applications, and conclusions.
4. Compose basic legal analysis in written IRAC form.

Lesson Completion Time
45 minutes


  • Allie Robbins

    Professor Robbins teaches primarily in the areas of academic skills and bar exam support. Her scholarship focuses on the areas of workers’ rights in global supply chains, legal education, and the bar exam. She is also the editor and writer of Passing the Bar (, a blog about studying for the bar exam.

    Associate Professor of Law
    City University of New York Law School
Lesson ID

The Open Legal Education Project is a CALI initiative to bring resource to public legal education.