According to the Canadian periodical The Lawyers Weekly, “In the world of contract drafting, Ken Adams is the guru.” He occupies a unique position in the field of contract drafting, in that he’s the only commentator to focus on the language of contracts—not what you express in a given contract provision, but how to express it in modern and effective contract language.
His book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (ABA 3d ed. 2013) is widely used throughout the legal profession. He gives seminars in the U.S., Canada, and internationally, and he acts as a consultant and expert witness.
As part of its “Legal Rebels” project, in 2009 the ABA Journal, the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, named Ken one of fifty leading innovators in the legal profession. And in a 2011 opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery, the foremost business-law court in the U.S., described A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting as “thought-provoking” and noted that “One can even share and in fact applaud Adams’ encouragement of clearer forms of contract drafting.”
The Legal Writing Institute awarded Ken the Golden Pen Award for 2014, “to recognize his exemplary work in contract drafting.” For more information, go here. The Golden Pen Award honors those who make significant contributions to advance the cause of better legal writing.
After including Ken’s blog in its “Blawg 100”—its list of the hundred best law blogs—for five out of six years, in 2015 the ABA Journal named Ken’s blog to its Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.
From 2006 to 2012, Ken was a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught the school’s first course on contract drafting. He’s currently an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1989, Ken practiced corporate law in New York and Geneva, Switzerland, with major U.S. law firms. To find out how he changed from being a practicing lawyer to being an authority on contract language, see this February 2009 blog post.