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A memorandum in a legal sense can refer to a comprehensive and organized written document that summarizes and analyzes relevant laws based on legal research to support a conclusion on a particular legal issue. A memorandum usually includes a description of factual background of the subject case or fact pattern, a statement of the legal issues to be discussed, an introduction of the relevant laws, an analysis of how the law should apply to specific facts and a conclusion.

In court proceedings, attorneys are asked by courts to submit memoranda to try to convince the court how relevant law and case holdings support their arguments on particular issues. Such memoranda are often called persuasive memos. Attorneys are supposed to cite every legal resource mentioned in the memo according to the local rules of the court.

 [Last updated in September of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]