Rebranding: Digital Credentials

I’ve decided to offer digital credentials—a certificate and a badge—to participants in my course Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass. You’ll be able to click on the certificate to confirm that it’s authentic and get details of the course. And you’ll be able to upload the clickable badge on LinkedIn and elsewhere. The digital badge is in the image above; it was designed by Gothard. (See this blog post for more about Gothard.)

When I mentioned in this LinkedIn post that I was contemplating issuing digital credentials, I got some snide comments, but I think it makes sense.

If you intend to draft and review contracts consistent with the guidelines in A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, you’re in effect opting out of copy-and-paste dysfunction and legalistic conventional wisdom. Signaling that choice to the world can be an asset, because it can help you connect to like-minded people. In practical terms, your MSCD habit might help you get a job; see this 2017 blog post.

But taking part in Masterclass doesn’t guarantee competence. My role is that of facilitator, not examiner—if someone wants to sleep through the course, they’re free to do so. Instead, signaling your preference for MSCD is an invitation to a conversation. Here’s how longtime reader Chris Lemens put it in a comment to that LinkedIn post:

If I were still in a position where I hired contracts attorneys (as I used to), I would prefer someone who has taken the course. That’s my signal that I can deeply test their drafting knowledge in an interview.

Here’s what another longtime reader, Michael Fleming, had to say:

I agree that a badge can only go so far as suggesting the badged person has some affinity to the thing described in the badge, but I still think that has value to the viewer—who should still remember caveat emptor and such. If it starts a conversation, it was worth the effort to get the badge.

Participants in current series of Masterclass will be the first to get the digital credentials. Once I’ve worked out the kinks, participants in previous series will get them too.

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.