The process of legal analysis, i.e. the Issue-Rule-Analysis-Conclusion format, is the analysis which all lawyers are use. It should be emphasized that this type of analysis is not limited solely to legal analysis. It can (and should) be applied in any situation in which a knowledgeable person attempts to apply that knowledge to a specific life experience. The following description of the I-R-A-C process may be helpful:
In the I-R-A-C process the student is required to do the following:
A. Issue: Identify the question which best addresses the problem posed by the facts presented
(There should be a direct link between the question raised in the Issue and the general “rule” set out in the Rule. For example, if you think the facts presented raise a question whether one party made an “offer” to the other party, the Issue could be stated, “Did X make an offer to Y?”)
B. Rule: Identify and state the legal rule(s) verbatim (word-for-word) from the text which apply in the situation or fact pattern given.
(Again, there should be a direct link between the question raised in the Issue and the general “rule” set out in the Rule. For example, if you have asked in the Issue, “Did X make an offer to Y?” , then your Rule would be a definition of an offer, page 225:
“Under the common law, three elements are necessary for an offer to be effective:
“1. The offeror must have a serious intention to become bound by the offer.
“2. The terms of the offer must be reasonably certain, or definite so that the parties and the court can ascertain the terms of the contract.
“3. The offer must be communicated by the offeror to the offeree, resulting in the offeree’s knowledge of the offer.”)