The Relationship Between Contract Drafting and Contract Law

I sporadically find myself discussing the nexus between contract drafting and contract law, or rather the contract law that’s taught in the first year of law school.

A reader pointed out to me this post on the Conglomerate Blog, which offers a musical analogy to explain the relationship. Buried deep in the comments to that post is my own analogy. As it might be of interest to readers of this blog, I hereby exhume it:

Drafting a contract is like designing and building a house. Contract law is like the constraints that come into play in determining what the house should look like and what materials you should use: the force of gravity, the tensile strength of steel, the combustibility of sheetrock … Those constraints are fundamental, but they quickly become second nature to experienced architects and builders, who are able to focus their attention on matters more immediately relevant to their clients’ needs.

If you have an analogy that you think works better, by all means offer it in the comments—the more outlandish, the better!

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.