Advanced Example of an IRAC

The following example of an IRAC is deemed "advanced" only because it is probably the most complex analysis that you would want to squeeze into a single IRAC without modifying the structure of that traditional IRAC, or writing an additional IRAC.


The issue section of an IRAC is where you announce to your reader what questions of law and what questions of fact you will be discussing.

This IRAC involves two question of law: whether the defendant can be convicted of battery; and if so, whether he has a justifiable defense for that battery. Some elements of these questions of law also involve questions of fact.

You could get away with using just the first sentence of my example issue section as your issue statement, but I have always preferred to use the issue section as an umbrella section. This umbrella provides a roadmap for the reader which prepares them for your logical analysis.

Example Issue Section:

The issues at hand revolve around whether the Defendant (D) can be convicted of battery, and if so, whether he had a justifiable defense for his actions.

D was involved in a fight with the Plaintiff ( P) and knocked P unconscious with a blow to the head. Prior to this fight, P had made several threatening comments and violent gestures, which D claims resulted in his apprehension of immediate harm; but P refutes the claim that he made any gestures. 

Although it is likely that D could be found guilty of battery under State Law X, it is likely that he will have a justifiable defense per State Law Y and the precedence of Case Z.


This IRAC is a typical example of a rule section. It is usually comprised of multiple statutory elements along with several relevant court holdings that help define those elements.

Whether you are a law student, a lawyer, or any other professional writer; it is your job to reduce your logical argument into a step-by-step guide so that the reader can put those steps together for themselves. The rule section is the foundation for that guide:

Example Rule Section:

In order for D to be convicted of battery, his actions must meet the two elements of State Law X: (1) That unwanted contact was made with a second party, and (2) That the actor intended to make this unwanted contact.

Even if both of these elements are met, and a conviction is possible, State Law Y provides that if a person is in apprehension of immediate harm they are justified in making enough unwanted physical contact to prevent that harm.

Even though determining whether an apprehension of immediate harm exists is typically a question of fact; In the holding of Case Z, from a neighboring jurisdiction, the court determined that words without violent gestures were insufficient to create such apprehension.


After building a foundation of your argument with the relevant laws and case precedent, your reader has a good understanding of the logical argument you are making. Here, in the application section, plugging the current facts into the rule framework you have built will show the reader the parallels between the rules and the facts; leading them to what should be an obvious conclusion.

Example Application Section:

Regarding whether D can be convicted of battery under State Law X, it is uncontested that D meets all elements of that law when he intentionally made unwanted contact with P. The determination of whether D will be committed of battery depends upon whether he has a justifiable defense for his actions against P.

D can argue that under State Law Y he has a justifiable defense for making unwanted contact with P; thus negating the conviction of battery. Under that law, D's battery of P will be considered justified if D was in apprehension of immediate harm. Whether an apprehension of immediate harm existed will likely be a considered a question of fact, and the judge will be the trier of facts because this state's punishment for battery is lower than the required threshold for a jury trial. With no further rules of law, D's contention of being under apprehension of immediate harm will likely succeed based on the evidence that P made threats, and D's statement that P made violent gestures.

Although, if this court takes neighboring state's Case Z into consideration, D's chances of winning the justified defense argument will be decreased. Under this case, verbal threats are not enough to create an apprehension of immediate harm; requiring the addition of violent gestures to reach that level of apprehension. Even if this court follows the ruling of Case Z, and despite P's claims, D has stated that there were both verbal threats and violent gestures causing his apprehension. Due to this, the judge will again have to determine the question of fact regarding the existence of violent gestures, and thus whether D's actions were justified.


Your conclusion section is where you remind your reader of the obvious conclusions and any nuances they may have forgotten. No matter how perfect your logical argument is, legal analysis is often dense and nuanced, and possibly confusing. 

This section allows you to state the most likely outcome of your legal analysis and remind the reader what the outcome would be if legal or factual questions were determined differently than expected.

Example Conclusion Section:

Although D meets the elements of battery under state law, there is a good chance that his claim of having a justifiable defense will succeed. This claim of justifiable defense hinges upon a determination of fact by the judge hearing this case; whether or not D was under apprehension of immediate harm.

If the judge rely's on the fact's of the case, the P made verbal threats, and may have made violent gestures, it is likely that an apprehension of immediate harm will be found. But, in the less likely possibility that the judge follows neighboring state's precedence (requiring violent gestures in order create such an apprehension) then the judges determination of fact will depend upon P's word against D's. I n this situation, the final determination could swing either way.