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Contract drafting -what law school doesn’t teach you

This link is for any law school students/newbie lawyers who read my blog.

I’ve been doing a lot of transactional work over the last few months and have been struck by just how little law school prepares you for contract drafting. In fact, Contract Law as it is currently taught in most law schools has very little to do with the practice and with preparing you to meet your clients business needs. It’s been a great learning experience for me (one of the perks of working in Africa is tons of responsibility right off the bat), but I often wish the learning curve hadn’t been so steep.

For those of you who might find themselves in a similar situation, I highly recommend this article as well as the books listed at the end of the article (the books by Kenneth Adams and Charles Fox). I actually think the books are helpful for any transactional lawyer, not just lawyers practising in the U.S. – the elements of good drafting often have almost nothing to do with the jurisdiction where you practice…in my experience so far, the elements of local law are usually available in a template and rarely vary…the hard part is translating your client’s business needs into contract terms and these books help tremendously.

Back to work…

3 comments to Contract drafting -what law school doesn’t teach you

  • Have you seen the Kenyan Law of Contract Act? It’s 3 pages long – that should tell you something!

    Most of the time, what they teach in law school is all theory. They don’t even touch at the drafting part – at least in my time they didn’t. So when you finally start working, it’s like you never went to Law School. At all. I hope things will improve – at least the effort is being made to do so from what i hear.

  • Princess

    You are absolutley right! Law School in no way prepares you for drafting Pleadings so unless you are a Summer Associate during your Summer Vacations, you don’t learn how to draft Pleadings until much later.

  • Nowadays, to learn Law in law schools is one thing while to practice Law needs another school probably to be called ‘practiceable law school’. thus your saying is absolutely right.