For Contract Drafting, We Already Have the Technology We Need

It’s Wednesday, January 30. This afternoon I’ll be at LegalTech, in New York, hanging out with the ContractExpress team, at booth 324/6.

But I won’t be on the prowl for technology relating to contract drafting and the contract process, because we already have great technology. Document-assembly software that does everything you could want? Check. Software to monitor every step in the contract process? Check. Software to monitor changes from draft to draft? Check. Software that makes it easier to apply an enumeration scheme to contracts? Check. Software that can tell you exactly what’s in a given set of contracts? Check. Software to check for glitches? Check. Software to facilitate collaboration? Check.

Any new software that comes along might be cheaper or might offer incremental improvements in function. But way more significant are two other issues.

First, only a fraction of the potential market is using the technology that’s available.

And second, what matters most is contract content, and that’s not amenable to a technology solution. To develop a contract template that addresses your needs clearly and concisely, reflects up-to-date law and deal structure, and isn’t unduly risk averse, you need serious expertise, experience, and judgment.

Sure, technology, particularly document-assembly software, is invaluable for purposes of leveraging content. But without content that’s been prepared with rigorous editorial control, you’ve got garbage in, garbage out.

If you’d like to say hi while I’m at LegalTech, contact me.

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.