Encouraging Outside Counsel to Improve Their Contract Drafting

You’re an in-house lawyer who consults A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. In fact, it’s widely used in your department—your company does its best to produce contracts that are clear, modern, and effective.

But for your outside counsel, it’s business as usual—when you ask them to prepare a contract, they give you traditional contract language.

Well, if you have any pull with them, you might want to suggest to them that you expect something different—you want all contracts that they draft for you to comply with MSCD guidelines. Tell them to buy copies of MSCD. Tell them to send to one of my public seminars those lawyers that you work with regularly. Or if you engage me to give an in-house seminar, have those lawyers take part. Heck, ask your outside counsel to share the cost with you!

Sure, I’d benefit if you were to adopt that approach, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a sensible thing to try.

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.