Legal Case Study Assignment Instructions

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Guidelines for Writing a Case Study Analysis

A case study analysis requires you to investigate a business problem, examine the alternative solutions, and propose the most effective solution using supporting evidence. To see an annotated sample of a Case Study Analysis, click here.

Preparing the Case

Before you begin writing, follow these guidelines to help you prepare and understand the case study:

  1. Read and examine the case thoroughly
    • Take notes, highlight relevant facts, underline key problems.
  2. Focus your analysis
    • Identify two to five key problems
    • Why do they exist?
    • How do they impact the organization?
    • Who is responsible for them?
  3. Uncover possible solutions
    • Review course readings, discussions, outside research, your experience.
  4. Select the best solution
    • Consider strong supporting evidence, pros, and cons: is this solution realistic?

Drafting the Case

Once you have gathered the necessary information, a draft of your analysis should include these sections:

  1. Introduction
    • Identify the key problems and issues in the case study.
    • Formulate and include a thesis statement, summarizing the outcome of your analysis in 1–2 sentences.
  2. Background
    • Set the scene: background information, relevant facts, and the most important issues.
    • Demonstrate that you have researched the problems in this case study.
  3. Alternatives
    • Outline possible alternatives (not necessarily all of them)
    • Explain why alternatives were rejected
    • Constraints/reasons
    • Why are alternatives not possible at this time?
  4. Proposed Solution
    • Provide one specific and realistic solution
    • Explain why this solution was chosen
    • Support this solution with solid evidence
    • Concepts from class (text readings, discussions, lectures)
    • Outside research
    • Personal experience (anecdotes)
  5. Recommendations
    • Determine and discuss specific strategies for accomplishing the proposed solution.
    • If applicable, recommend further action to resolve some of the issues
    • What should be done and who should do it?

Finalizing the Case

After you have composed the first draft of your case study analysis, read through it to check for any gaps or inconsistencies in content or structure: Is your thesis statement clear and direct? Have you provided solid evidence? Is any component from the analysis missing?

When you make the necessary revisions, proofread and edit your analysis before submitting the final draft. (Refer to Proofreading and Editing Strategies to guide you at this stage).

Topic: Preparing a Case Brief



Through this assignment, the student will learn how to brief a court ruling. In writing a case brief, one's task is to essentially summarize a court ruling (sometimes called a court "opinion", or "judgment"). In many ways a case brief can be compared to a book report, as it is meant to summarize the key aspects of a larger body of information. The general aspects of a case addressed by a student brief include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • facts of the case (what transpired between the parties involved before the case was brought to court)

  • issues (the questions that are addressed by court in this specific case)

  • ratio dicidendi (the judge's reason for deciding the way he/she did)

  • holding (the final verdict or decision of the court)

  • analysis (the student's original commentary regarding the significance of the case)

Method of Instruction and Evaluation:

To complete this assignment, the student will examine and brief the appeal court decision in R. v. Proulx, 2003. Students are asked to use the Case Brief Template provided.

Before writing this brief, students should first examine:


This brief is to be no less than 500 words, and no more than 600 words in length.

Due Date:

Please refer to the Law Evaluation Summary for the due date associated with this assignment.

If you feel that circumstances beyond your ability to control, or to prepare for, will prevent you from completing this assignment by the specified due date, then you are invited to complete and submit an extension application for approval by the course instructor. Completing and submitting this application is the only accepted means of obtaining an extension in this course.

Expectations Addressed:

The "Methods of Legal Inquiry and Communication" strand of the CLN4U Ministry of Education Curriculum Guidelines outlines all of the following specific expectations. By the end of this class, the student will be able to address those specific expectations that have been highlighted below.

  • Research:

    • formulate questions that lead to a deeper understanding of a legal issue;

    • conduct research on legal topics, using traditional and non-traditional sources of information (e.g., law-related websites, primary and secondary source documents, legal professionals);

    • evaluate the credibility of sources and information by checking for logical errors, accuracy, and underlying assumptions, including prejudices, biases, stereotyping, or a lack of substantiation for statements, arguments, and opinions;

    • classify and clarify information using organizers, graphs, charts, and diagrams;

    • compile summary notes in a variety of forms and for a variety of purposes (e.g., research and preparation for debates, oral presentations, mock trials, tests, examinations);

    • identify various career opportunities in the legal field (e.g., paralegal, community legal worker, criminologist).

  • Interpretation and Analysis:

    • distinguish among opinions, facts, and arguments in sources;

    • draw conclusions based on analysis of information gathered through research and awareness of diverse legal interpretations (e.g., case studies);

    • apply an analytical/inquiry method to legal issues (e.g., choose a subject, formulate a question, develop a research plan, gather information, distinguish between opinions and facts, decide on an interpretation, write and present their analysis).

  • Communication:

    • express opinions, ideas, arguments, and conclusions, as appropriate for different audiences and purposes, using a variety of styles and forms (e.g., mock trials, case studies, interviews, debates, reports, papers, seminars), as well as visual supports (e.g., graphs, charts, organizers, illustrations);

    • use an accepted form of documentation (e.g., footnotes, endnotes, or author-date citations; bibliographies or reference lists) to document all information sources, including electronic sources;

    • use correct legal terminology to communicate legal concepts, opinions, and arguments.


For assistance on writing a brief, please refer to the following online resources:

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