Getting Contract-Drafting Stuff Done

I was among the few million people who noticed a video of President Obama urging young people to become known for getting stuff done.

YouTube video

Here’s the tie-in to contract drafting:

It would indeed be to a junior person’s benefit to acquire a reputation for getting stuff done. That requires competence. I suggest that for purposes of contract drafting, being an informed consumer of contract language is an important part of being competent. It would give you control over contract language, instead of having you simply crank the handle of the copy-and-paste machine. The route to becoming an informed consumer of contract language runs through A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. (Obviously, that’s only part of what’s required to get contract-drafting stuff done. For example, you should also consider absorbing Nada Alnajafi’s book Contract Redlining Etiquette.)

A bonus of showing yourself to be competent is that you’re likely to be given more autonomy. Based on my experience (both lived and observed), usually someone assigning work isn’t looking to be a control freak. Instead, they just want someone to take something off their plate without inordinate hand-holding. Do that and you might well be given greater leeway in exercising your hard-won control over contract language.

Incidentally, in my law-firm years I did not acquire much of a reputation for getting stuff done. For one thing, by temperament I’m better suited to doing my own thing. But a more practical consideration is that because I hadn’t yet written MSCD, I couldn’t consult it!

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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