Introduction To I.R.A.C.
As you study business law you will need to complete some legal questions or case-studies. When you analyze a case or business question we recommend that you use the following Clever process:
The following process, I.R.A.C, provides a framework for organizing the facts of a case so that you will be able to answer to a business law essay or case-study questions.
Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion (IRAC)
- Issue: Decide that the legal issue or issues are in the case. (Take each issue 1 at a time.)
- Rule: Research statutes, case law, doctrines, etc. To find out what the rule of law says about this issue?
- Application: Decide how the rule of law applies to this specific case.
- Conclusion: Now that we know the above, what is your conclusion and how is the court likely to decide this case?
Using this Clever process will provide you with the correct structure for your answer and will ensure that you have not missed out on any important information.
I.R.A.C. In Detail
Step 1. Issue.
State the main issue (or issues) in the case study or question. The issue should be a question i.e.: “Is there a contract between party A and party B?” or maybe more general i.e.: “Are oral contracts acceptable in these situations?” If there is more than one issue you must write a separate IRAC analysis for each.
Step 2. Rule.
Now describe the legal rule that applies to the case. This should be a general legal principle i.e.: “A contract is formed when the four main requirements for forming a contract have been met”. You should state the rule, legal definition or principle of law here. You do not need to include the specific details of the case.
Step 3. Application (Also known as Analysis).
This is the most important part. It is often the longest part of your answer as this is where you apply the rule (in Step 2 above) to the facts of the case. Here you explain the facts of the case and how the rule leads to your conclusion (Step 4 next). You should discuss both sides of the case, give examples where possible, and reasons for your conclusion. You should use the rule in Step 2 as a base for your discussion of the case.
Step 4. Conclusion.
This is your answer to the issue in the case. It may be a decision to award damages or not or whether there has been a breach of law or who is liable i.e.: “No valid contract was formed between A and B.”
Note: If there is more than one issue you should approach them separately and give separate conclusions for each.
Remember: All legal cases require facts only. Hearsay or statements without clear evidence are not acceptable in a court of law.
Legal cases may have many outcomes. This information is to give you an idea of the legal terms and proceedings only. You should always consult a professional when needed.