Fall 2008 Penn Law Contract-Redrafting Project—Now Accepting Submissions!

It’s that time again: I’m looking for a company that would be interested in taking part in a contract-redrafting project with my class at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The idea is that I’ll select one contract out of those submitted by June 15. In the fall 2008 semester my class will redraft all or part of it, and sometime in December we’ll have a conference call with company personnel to discuss our changes. I explain in detail in this March 2007 post how the process works and why I think it’s valuable for my students and, one hopes, the company involved. And in this December 2007 post I discuss how the fall 2007 redrafting project went.

Regarding who might be a suitable candidate, this is what my March 2007 posts says:

So I’m looking for a substantial company (located in the U.S. or elsewhere) that’s interested in having me and my class redraft a core contract that the company enters into dozens or hundreds of times a year. (We’d redraft all of a shortish contract or the first part of a longer contract.) I’d want the company to have been planning its own redraft: I’d prefer to have our work looked at closely rather than considered a curiosity. Ideally, senior members of the company’s contracts personnel would be involved and would participate in a conference call (or videoconference) with my students. And I wouldn’t want anyone to be offended if we were to come back with something that’s significantly different from what we had started with.

Last year we selected a contract submitted by a major financial institution.

This project does require a commitment by the company. I have in mind that we’ll be providing the company with not only a redraft, but also a copy of the original contract extensively annotated to describe its drafting shortcomings. It’s essential that before our conference call the company considers our annotations closely and consults any sections of MSCD referred to.

If you’re interested in discussing with me whether your company would be a suitable candidate for this redrafting exercise, please send me an email.

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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