Effecting Change, Retail and Wholesale

Periodically, I proclaim how getting rid of the copy-and-paste system for drafting contracts will require change at the wholesale level. In other words, it will require a new system that offers a compelling alternative to copy-and-paste. I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago, in this post.

But I don’t mean to give short shrift to change at the retail level—the process of changing one mind at a time. This week I was reminded that retail change is real.

I got a call from someone at a law firm who had attended an in-person Drafting Clearer Contracts presentation—remember them?—in 2015. He described how that presentation had changed how he thinks about contracts, and he now wanted to discuss how he might introduce a big-company general counsel to my work.

I have no idea exactly how many people have participated in my in-person and online presentations, but it’s many thousands. I figured out that in Toronto alone, about 2,000 people have attended my presentations for Osgoode Professional Development. That means there are a lot of people out there like my law-firm interlocutor, working for change.

And I realized that since it started two years ago, 725 people have taken my online course Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass. That’s not nothing. And evidently, plenty of them found the course eye-opening. (This week’s review by a participant: “Fantastic. Do not hesitate, take this course now.”)

Of course, retail change won’t ever amount to wholesale change, but it can help create an environment that’s open to wholesale change.

(My wholesale/retail analogy is a perfect, but I’m happy to go with it. If you can think of a better analogy, I’m all ears!)

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.

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