“Contracting Center of Excellence”?

I was tempted to do an in-depth post about this EY survey, entitled The General Counsel Imperative: How Does Contracting Complexity Hide Clear Profitability? But the more I looked at it, the less I had to say about it. But this random tidbit grabbed my attention: Establish a contracting center of excellence (CoE). A dedicated team set up in a … Read More

Document Assembly Is Easy, Contracts Are Hard

The image above is one of 12 panels from this tweet by Jordan Furlong containing his graphic entitled “Types of Future of Law Paper.” It’s a riff on this xkcd webcomic entitled “Types of Scientific Paper.” Document Assembly Has Underperformed Obviously, for that one panel to work, it has to be grounded in reality. Document assembly is a straightforward technology … Read More

The Contract Drafter as Architect

This post on LinkedIn by Michael Naughton serves as a reminder of the perils of the artisanal approach to contract drafting: if there are no rigorous standards, you’re free to constantly reinvent a defective wheel. So if it’s not artisanal, how should we characterize contract drafting? Here’s what I said in this 2104 post: “I suggest that it’s a craft—the … Read More

Scorn and Ridicule Won’t Get People to Change

Last month I ran the following idea by my Twitter followers: Pondering a blog post: "Ten Signs Your Contract Template Is F*cked." — Ken Adams (@AdamsDrafting) October 10, 2020 It met with sufficient approval that I prepared a blog post entitled “Your Shit’s Fucked Up: 7 Signs of Dysfunctional Contract Templates.” Well, I regret to say that it won’t see … Read More

Overrated: Litigators As a Source of Contract-Drafting Advice

Last week I tweeted this, or something close to it: “When I want authoritative contract-drafting advice, I look to litigators.” I was aware that it was unclear whether I was being sincere or snarky. After a few hours, I decided that being gratuitously confusing was unhelpful, so I deleted the tweet. But the replies to my tweet remain. Some endorse … Read More

Improving Contracts Isn’t a Matter of “Academic” Versus “Practical”

This is the first of two posts prompted by what a reader said in a recent exchange of emails. Here’s one thing they said: On more than one occasion, a colleague has used the term “academic” as a pejorative to describe my interest in an issue. For example, “well, let’s try to stay away from just academic discussions and concentrate … Read More

Nonlawyers and Contract Drafting: Commentary by Some Connections

In today’s post about how nonlawyers can help with contract drafting (here), I advance an idea I don’t recall having seen expressed before. It hardly seems a revolutionary idea, but I thought it appropriate to hear what other had to say about it. So I reached out to a handful of my connections, some long-standing, others more recent. I wanted … Read More

Nonlawyers Can Help With Contract Drafting (As Long as They’re the Right Nonlawyers)

Recently I tweeted this: Legal builds contracts because lawyers are good at claiming turf. Contracts are business documents: that they're legally enforceable and contain dispute resolution provisions isn't a reason to make them a legal fiefdom. Give them to people skilled in deals and contract language. — Ken Adams (@AdamsDrafting) August 16, 2020 I’ll now explain myself in more than … Read More

Contract Creation Is the Stepchild of the Contracts Process

The legal profession has a love-hate relationship with technology. On the one hand, lawyers are, uh, challenged when it comes to using basic technology. And technology vendors tend to grouse that selling to lawyers is a hassle. On the other hand, the legal profession is prone to spasms of enthusiasm over technology. It periodically throws money at some new technology, … Read More