My NYLJ Article on Retooling Your Contract Process for the Downturn

The New York Law Journal has published, in its “GC New York” section, my article entitled “Retooling Your Contract Process for the Downturn.” Click here to go to a nifty PDF reprint and click here to go to the online version (free registration required). I suspect you’ll find that a hard copy of the reprint is easier to read than the online version.

This article describes how law departments are under pressure not just to cut costs, but to work smarter by simplifying what they do. When it comes to your contract process, you can simplify it by redrafting your templates and by using automation, and the potential benefits of doing so are dramatic.

I know that this is a dreaded traditional-media article, but it’s as relevant as anything I’ve written. I’d be grateful if you’d forward a link to anyone who might be interested—the higher up the food chain, the better. And don’t hesitate to submit as comments to this post any thoughts prompted by the article.

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.

1 thought on “My NYLJ Article on Retooling Your Contract Process for the Downturn”

  1. I appreciated your article. The section entitled “Decisions on Redrafting” was particularly interesting to me. Every year I send about 20 law student externs to the legal departments of large corporations.

    One of their assignments is to revise a corporate document so it is more readable. The students specifically ask their supervisors for a document the department would like redrafted. They take on this task after a half-day “Readability Workshop” (I don’t call it plain English anymore) and the required purchase of Garner’s “Legal Writing in Plain English.” Some of the students meet with me for hours to review their work product. Most of the students do a professional job on this assignment.

    One might think this resource—law students with writing-for-readability training—could be a way for legal departments to redraft documents cost-effectively.

    That probably won’t happen, though, as the student work is rejected in favor of the original document at least 90% of the time. Those originals, apparently in hindsight, “ain’t broke.”


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