A Suggestion to Those Organizing the Upcoming Legal Design Jam

Thanks to @carolynelefant and this post on Open Law Lab, I learned of the “Law Design Jam” being held on October 11, 2013, at Stanford University. Go here for the invitation.

The tagline for the event is “Legal contracts, licenses and policies are now long, dull, difficult and boring documents. Come change that!” Here’s how the event is described:

A Legal Design Jam is a design-driven hackathon to reimagine how we visualize and communicate legal information. It brings together motivated individuals from different fields (law, design, education, journalism, computer science & beyond). Together, we give an extreme, user-centric, visual makeover to a legal document.

During an intensive hands-on workshop, the group will brainstorm and prototype a new version of a legal document, creating visualizations in order to further clarify the trickiest parts of the text.

It sounds like a worthwhile event. I have just one suggestion:

I’m used to Johnny-come-latelies who think that they’re the only people who have had occasion to consider, say, contract automation. When it comes to business contracts, I suspect that no one has given as much airtime to issues of document design as I have. So for purely selfish reasons, I’d be interested to have those behind the Legal Design Jam take my analysis into account, particularly if they have different ideas.

The most up-to-date statement of my views is in chapters 4 and 16 of the third edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, but here are some relevant blog posts:

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.