International opportunities in contract drafting
Meet the Hosts
In this bootcamp we’ve once again teamed up with an expert within the field
Over the three days, we will discuss the following themes:
What will you learn
- How to read a contract?
- What do you need to know in order to draft a commercial contract?
- What are the important clauses of a commercial contract?
- How to draft to avoid ambiguity?
- How to prepare for a high-value contract negotiation?
- How to perform a risk analysis of any contract
- Learn to calculate damages for contractual breach
- Learn how to create a standard format of contracts and use them successfully in any organization
- Learn how to find out the stamp duty payable on a contract and its registration requirements
Who should attend this course
- Law students who are looking to excel in their internships
- Law students who are unclear about the area of law they want to specialise in
- Law students who are interested in becoming financially independent by securing freelance contract drafting work
- Lawyers who want to earn additional money by doing freelance work
- In-house counsels or lawyers working in legal departments of companies who are interested in understanding the impact of the contracts entered into by their employer companies
- Lawyers / CAs / CSs advising startups and are looking to extend their domain of work to include drafting in addition to compliance
- Litigators who are looking to earn additional funds by generating clients for contract drafting work
Do you know what is the number one skill required by a lawyer?
Do you know what is the one skill that fresh law graduates lack due to which they are not the most preferred candidates in companies and big law firms?
Answer to both of the above questions is drafting skills.
And this is true irrespective of whichever area of law you land in - whether it is corporate law, intellectual property, criminal law, M&A - whatever.
Go back to the first day of your first law firm internship and what is the first task that you remember getting from your senior?
Do you remember how lost you were that despite spending three years in a law school you had no clue how to make real sense of those clauses of the contracts that you were handed over for proofreading?
Say, you were asked by your senior to review a contract and add the necessary exclusion clause basis the negotiation brief provided to you. You ended up staring blankly at it and later complaining to your friend how lost you were on the first day of your internship.
Get this: your employers or clients are going to be businesses. Businesses are set up to make profit and profit is generated by transactions. In order to crystallise obligations in any contract, you need contracts.
Lawyers are required to draft contracts, agreements, notices, plaints, responses on a regular basis. Being able to draft and review contracts is a survival skill. Without this skill you’re unlikely to be chosen for hiring by either companies or law firms.
You’re unlikely to get good internships either, because no one has the time to sit you down and explain how to draft a specific contract.
Instead of aiming to learn drafting during an internship, just imagine - what if you could show and offer really good drafting skills right at the time of your joining in and not only free up a lot of training time for your seniors, but also add up value to their work. This is the holy road to a PPO.
Or imagine being able to financially support yourself while you are still a law student, by undertaking freelancing work of contract drafting and vetting for clients not only in India, but also for other countries.
All this is possible just by learning one basic legal skill thoroughly - contract drafting.
And despite this obvious importance of contract drafting skills, what is the current picture?
You’ll be surprised to know that even law graduates are mostly clueless about how to draft a contract from the scratch.
They may be able to explain the theory of contracts by rote, or tell what happens when a party breaches a contract but when asked to frame an indemnity clause for the firm, they will get nervous, puzzled and end up copy- pasting from a template which may or may not be suitable for use.
The biggest victims of such practices are the clients as a badly drafted contract can cost your client millions - remember, the enforceability depends on your drafting.
I am sure you don’t want that to happen to you in your career especially when it is so difficult to build a client base after you start practicing. Such incidents may also make you lose other clients and that can just be the beginning of the downfall of your successful career in independent practice.
But wait, don’t you learn how to draft a contract only by actually drafting a contract?
So how do you learn it without facing the embarrassment of losing a client for faulty drafting?
Where do you start?
How do you reach out to freelancing clients to secure contract drafting assignments?
Is it possible to do this kind of work while you’re still in law school?