Some Materials for Teaching Contract Drafting

MSCD is a reference work rather than a textbook, so it doesn’t contain any teaching materials. That has probably prevented some teachers of contract drafting from using it as a course book.

I’ve contemplated making available online a complete set of teaching materials, but that will have to wait. In the meantime, though, I can make available some items.


I would have thought that instructors would find of use my “articles” and “no articles” templates, which make it a simple matter to apply MSCD’s enumeration schemes to any text. (Soon software will be available that will make the task even easier.)

I require that all my students use the templates. Using them allows my students to recognize the efficiencies of rigorous numbering and formatting schemes. Also, the last thing I need is to complicate my review of assignments by having each assignment reflect a different, and inevitably less than ideal, numbering and formatting scheme.

The templates are available on the “Templates” page of my web site, along with a set of instructions on how to use the templates.

Categories of Contract Language

I’ve prepared a list of contract provisions, each of which reflects suboptimal verb use. A copy is available here. When I teach the concept of categories of contract language (using chapter 3 of MSCD), my students and I discuss examples taken from this list. I ask them to suggest what they would fix in a given example and to identify the category of contract language that it represents. I then give them a version of this list that incorporates my fixes and states for each example the category of contract language involved.

If you teach contract drafting at law school and would like to see a copy of the list with my fixes, contact me.

Other Materials

If you’re particularly eager to use MSCD to teach contract drafting but feel you need additional materials, I have some other items that you might find of use. Again, 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.

2 thoughts on “Some Materials for Teaching Contract Drafting”

  1. I’m glad to see someone is trying to push the idea of templates, styles, etc. for contract drafting. I’ve searched and searched online, only to discover I needed to make a template myself.

    I looked at your article template and it’s based on the same principles, generally, as what I’ve done. However, I noted that you have to force the article heading, when you should set up a centered style to follow the Heading 1 style, and then have the Heading 2 style follow the article heading.

    Also, in my experience in M&A and VC work, most forms use a different style, one that is more of a straight outline style than your Article Template, where the enumerated section at th 4th level continues to be indented.

  2. Winston: As I understand it, your suggestion regarding article headings would interfere with Word’s table-of-contents feature. And otherwise, I don’t know what advantage it would offer.

    And the MSCD numbering schemes are indeed different from the innumerable alternative formats you see in mainstream drafting. I explain in chapter 4 of MSCD why that’s so. I suggest that the MSCD schemes are clearer, more logical, and more efficient.



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