Who Wants to Work with Me?

LegalSifter is looking to hire someone to work with me in designing our algorithms (we call them “Sifters”) and writing the advice we give users. For more information, go to Indeed or LinkedIn. To get a better sense of the kind of work I do, I suggest you read my posts on LegalSifter’s blog. But some context might also be helpful.

Hiring someone to help me is a necessary next step in the process of building stuff.

For 14 years I was on my own, doing presentations, doing consulting, but with lots of unstructured time in which to noodle. I used that time to establish my reputation. And it worked—lots of people out there rely on my work and discuss it with others.

But at some level, I will have failed (as suggested in this 2017 blog post) if I don’t make what I do accessible to people who for whatever reason aren’t in a position to wrestle with a 600-page book that contains lots of detail and some complexity. I assume they constitute the overwhelming majority.

Making what I do accessible requires building stuff. One context that requires building stuff is review of draft contracts, so it made sense for me to allow Kevin Miller, LegalSifter’s CEO, to lure me from my cave to serve as an advisor and then, starting last August, chief content officer.

When you become part of a team, you assume some responsibility, but when you hire someone who reports to you, you suddenly acquire a lot more responsibility. Whoever decides to take this job will be betting on my being able to help make LegalSifter a success.

By temperament, I’m suited to doing my own thing. (I half-jokingly think of myself as a fan of Symeon Stylites, who lived on top of a pillar for 37 years.) You might want to check out Louise Kulbicki’s interview with me, available through this November 2020 blog post. (Reading the transcript instead of listening to me drone on would save you some time.) I feel strongly about what I do, and I speak plainly if I think someone is doing the cause a disservice. Some don’t like that.

In terms of qualifications for this job, you won’t be surprised that I’m following Patreon’s lead (see this recent blog post) in requiring that applicants own a copy of the fourth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. And I’m looking for someone who’s serious about English usage and writing. I can help make someone who’s a good writer a better writer, but expecting to make someone a good writer is an altogether more time-consuming and questionable a proposition.

Then there’s the whole lawyer/nonlawyer thing. We’re not hiring someone to be a lawyer, but the experience you acquired while doing the lawyer thing might be relevant. But experience you acquired while wearing some other hat might be equally relevant.

My work over the past 20 years has been the intellectual adventure of a lifetime. I still find the topic engrossing, and my role with LegalSifter has added an extra dimension.

If you think you’d enjoy this job, I hope you’ll consider applying.

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.