“is there anything more boring than drafting a contract?”

For the heck of it, every so often I search “contract drafting” on Twitter. A few times I’ve been pleasantly surprised to spot a mention of my book. Once someone who evidently was then in one of my seminars tweeted that the seminar wasn’t as much fun as her dinner with an old friend the previous evening. No surprise there—I aim to be moderately engaging, but there’s a limit to what I can reasonably aspire to!

What caught my eye yesterday was someone—evidently a web developer—noting plaintively “is there anything more boring than drafting a contract?” That prompted the following reflections:

  • I’m not sure I’d ever describe contract drafting as boring. To be boring, something has to be utterly routine, a known quantity. I don’t think contract drafting qualifies—the stakes are too high, and the language of mainstream contract drafting is too problematic.
  • For those who are unfamiliar with traditional contract language, contract drafting is most likely bewildering.
  • For those who are all too aware of the shortcomings of traditional contract language, contract drafting is intensely frustrating. I used to hate it when I was required to draft a contract using craptastic precedent.
  • In my utopian future, contract drafting would be a byproduct of structuring the deal—once you decide the deal points, document assembly would do the heavy lifting of assembling the contract language. That future is slowly approaching.

So I don’t want contract drafting to be boring, or bewildering, or frustrating. I want it to be a non-issue.

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.