Contact drafting online course

I am planning to start a contract drafting course through Skype. How many of you will be interested in joining. The course content will be based on basics of contact drafting, the writing style, etc., and will be an interactive session. The first session will be free and will cover only the course content and some basics. 

Subsequent sessions will be paid. Details will be shared on request. Write to me in comments to this post with your email ID. Your email ID will not be published or shared. Deadline to send enquiry is 15 Dec, 2017. Share with your friends and colleagues.

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Learn Contract Drafting – Part V – 3 Essentials & a hidden message

If you have sincerely followed up with my past recommendations to be an avid reader, you will greatly benefit from this post. How so?

Simply put, you must have by now read so much that most of my explanations will feel unnecessary. You will now have a basic understanding of sentence structure, grammar rules, word position, etc.

But, if you have not followed up on my advice, you will find be boring after few posts. So, I ask you again to go back to reading and continue reading.

My discussions will now be focussing both on the legal aspect of contracts and the language behind it. I am not recommending any best practices to be followed for contract drafting, for I believe that one should develop one’s own understanding about the subject, learn from one’s mistake and from mistake of others and improve one’s knowledge. For no man can boast of knowing all, and I dare not do that. I believe that you have the potential to achieve the desired outcome, but you will achieve that outcome only if put in the required efforts to achieve that.

So with above motto and motivating talk, let us begin with the first learning on writing better contracts. The message is ‘be humble’, ‘be amazed’ and ‘do as many mistakes you can’.

Being humble is the key to learn about a new subject. If you believe that author as a teacher has lesser knowledge about the subject and you know more, author invites you as a guest author to this blog. Else, hold your peace and SHUT UP. Unless you now agree that you are author’s student for a life time, and author will be your teacher on the subject of contact drafting for ever, you should find your teacher in someone else.

Being amazed is the second key to learn about any new subject. Unless you are truly amazed by your learning, you will soon lose interest and wander off to other interests. So stay truly amazed by trying to learn new things every day, about contracts and about writing. If you have noticed, I have shifted from using the combined word “contract drafting” to two different words, “contracts” and “writing”. For both words will be the guide for both you and I [What is correct use here, ‘I’ or ‘me’? Try to find that out].

If you are ready to make mistakes and accept that without making mistakes you will not learn, you are not listening to me correctly. Making mistakes does matter for learning, for it teaches us another valuable lesson – ‘never repeat your mistakes.’

You must be thinking now – What on earth author has written above – There is nothing about ‘contract drafting’, which is supposed to be author’s real subject of writing. Let the author clarify – the scope of this post is to make aware of the basics of learning – the three messages of this post- before you move to learning. If you have not yet noticed, author has made you read this post, without there being any direct expounding of material on either the ‘contracts’ or the ‘writing’, the two basics that author claims to be teaching you.

The real message – if you are reading this – is a riddle that you need to solve. Tell everyone – through your comments to this post – what exactly, other than the three messages of this post, author has tried to teach you. Also tell, what you have learnt through this post. Yes. It is true – the intended message of author and reader’s learning from this post can be different.

The author’s real message, hidden in this post, will be included as an explanation to this post in near future. Till then, Sayonara.

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What I learnt today in Contract drafting?

No amount of advance preparation in closing a deal will help the business team, where you as a legal support member does not have control over the law firms dealing with the transaction. In a sale-purchase transaction the buyer/ consumer is always a king and their last suggestions to the contract draft are not easy to be pushed back.

Especially in a sale-purchase transaction of shares, the lawyer has to be prepared with spontaneous and innovative solutions to push back the last minute suggestions.

You should be always ready to be surprised by the counterparty’s demands and make preparations in advance. Anticipate the unexpected and do your homework, for you will have limited time to respond.

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Contract Drafting – Part 1 – Language Check

Most of us, lawyers, honestly believe that we know the language we use to write our contracts. For this blog post, I am restricting my views on English language, the language I use to write my contracts. My experience with this language has been a roller coaster ride. You may or may not relate to my experience, but it is an interesting one indeed.

You will not believe this but it is true that despite having a good command over standard English grammar, I started speaking fluently only after I was compelled to do so during my graduation. As soon as I landed on doorsteps of my future college I found facing a student from South India who only knew the local language or the English language. I was forced to answer in English, which I did with much hesitation. 

Later I improved my spoken English skills as well, and am now fairly comfortable in making conversations in English. My writing obviously has improved a lot due to my professional requirement to write contracts in English.

I have found that some Indian writers who have written  winning novels in English language had studied in Hindi medium schools, and picked up writing in English at much later stage in their life. I encourage you to find these writers.

What matters is your interest and passion to learn and you will learn. So if you are presently not comfortable with the English language don’t be disheartened and keep learning. With practice you will surely be able to master the language.

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Art of being critical

Soon after I wrote the blog post – “Learn Contract Drafting – Part 1 – Start Reading”, I conciously turned to my fellow LinkedIn group members to get some feedback on the peculiar and informal writing style of the post. 

And, did I get some comments. I did get a few encouraging ones and few critical ones. Two of the critical comments were interesting, not because they touched upon what I was seeking. They were interesting because those comments were close to becoming a personal insult, if I chose them to be.

One person was against the idea that I had posted same request on several LinkedIn groups, including a group that this individual was managing, and suggested that my request amounted to marketing of my blog. Another thought that I was writing only to gain some cheap publicity. I replied to them politely explaining why I wrote the post in that way.

By the way, isn’t LinkedIn a professional social network, which implies that one can advertise one’s professional work, even on closed group pages that are a part of Linkedin website.

The interesting part is that the first person does the marketing of his own work on other LinkedIn groups. And, the second person did not respond to my reply, implying that either nothing more was left in the person’s arsenal of personal criticism or that my reply was accepted by that person.

I do not mind such criticism, as one cannot avoid it if one is writing on a public forum.

I am writing this only as an advice to you –  the contract drafter who is still learning – that you should always have an open and positive mind. You should always keep your head cool, if someone criticises your writing, even if you view it as a personal criticism. 

Why you should do that? 

As you are learning to draft contracts, it is implicit that you will also negotiate them in future. And, a good negotiator always keeps his head cool. If you accept all kinds of criticism, even personal ones, you will learn a lot and you will learn fast. Your rejection to accept criticism will only hurt your own prospect of improving your work.


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Learn Contract Drafting – Part VI- How to improve your writing?-1

Author wrote Last Post in one sitting. If you observe closely, you will find many loose ends, silly grammatical mistakes and a great example of bad writing. Author admits that author is lazy, but invites you to read the below paragraph.

Example Paragraph

If your professional work involves writing or review of other’s writing on a daily basis, it is easy to fall prey to ‘chalta hai’ attitude. You will agree must admit, as I have myself done, that a great writer doesn’t claim himself as one is not one who claims that, but is someone whose readers admire them as great writers. Pick any great novel writer you like, Charles Dickens, Mobi Dick or ‘Kallu – the Kalia’, you will understand what I am trying to convey [synonyms: tell, inform, say, etc.] here.

In this post, author is doing three things:

a. Admitting that author is not a perfect writer, and does not claim to be one;
b. Showing you how author improves his writing. The underlined words show the improvement made in the sentence. Author asks advises you to read the second example sentence of the Example Paragraph with the stricken out words (and without the underlined words).

c. Author is showing that in an informal writing – like this post – a writer you can take liberty with words, mannerism and style, for certain purposes. Author is trying here to keep you interested in author’s writing retain your attention by using irrelevant yet funny words as, in examples given in third sentence of the Example Paragraph.

Author’s purpose in doing so is to inform you about the following:

a. It is ok if you admit (publically) that you are not a good writer;
b. It is best if you keep improving your sentences, even while you are writing and after that;
c. In writing contracts or a professional email, one does not have liberty to write in an informal way. However, without understanding the taste of salt (practicing by informal writing) one cannot appreciate the taste of sugar (become good at writing contracts).

If you have benefitted from this post, then author will appreciate your views on above post. If you think this writing is not meant for you or author could have done better, then author invites you to accept the challenge as a guest author for this blog.

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Learn Contract Drafting – Part V – 3 Essentials & 1 Hidden Message

If you have sincerely followed up with my past recommendations to be an avid reader, you will greatly benefit from this post. How so?

Simply put, you must have by now read so much that most of my explanations will be unnecessary. You will now have a basic understanding of sentence structure, grammar rules, word position, etc.

But, if you have not followed up on my advice, you will find be boring after few posts. So, I ask you again to go back to reading and continue reading.

My discussions will now be focussing both on the legal aspect of contracts and the language behind it. I am not recommending any best practices to be followed for contract drafting, for I believe that one should develop one’s own understanding about the subject, learn from one’s mistake and from mistake of others and improve one’s knowledge. For no man can boast of knowing all, and I dare not do that. I believe that you have the potential to achieve the desired outcome, but you will achieve that outcome only if put in the required efforts to achieve that.

So with above motto and motivating talk, let us begin with the first learning on writing better contracts. The message is ‘be humble’, ‘be amazed’ and ‘do as many mistakes you can’.

Being humble is the key to learn about a new subject. If you believe that author as a teacher has lesser knowledge about the subject and you know more, author invites you as a guest author to this blog. Else, hold you peace and SHUT UP. Unless you now agree that you are author’s student for a life time, and author will your teacher on the subject for ever, you should find your teacher in someone else.

Being amazed is the second key to learn about any new subject. Unless you are truly amazed by your learning, you will soon lose interest and wander off to other interests. So stay truly amazed by trying to learn new things every day, about contracts and about writing. If you have noticed, I have shifted from using the combined word “contract drafting” to two different words, “contracts” and “writing”. For both words will be the guide for both you and I [What is correct use here, ‘I’ or ‘me’? Try to find that out].

If you are ready to make mistakes and accept that without making mistakes you will not learn, you are not listening to me correctly. Making mistakes does matter for learning, for it teaches us another valuable lesson – ‘never repeat your mistakes.’

You must be thinking now – What on earth author has written above – There is nothing about ‘contract drafting’, which is supposed to be author’s real subject of writing. Let the author clarify – the scope of this post is to make aware of the basics of learning – the three messages of this post- before you move to learning. If you have not yet noticed, author has made you read this post, without there being any direct expounding of material on either the ‘contracts’ or the ‘writing’, the two basics that author claims to be teaching you.

The real message – if you are reading this – is a riddle that you need to solve. Tell everyone – through your comments to this post – what exactly, other than the three messages of this post, author has tried to teach you. Also tell, what you have learnt through this post. Yes. It is true – the intended message of author and reader’s learning from this post can be different.

The author’s real message, hidden in this post, will be included as an explanation to this post in near future. Till then, Sayonara.

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Learn Contract Drafting – Part 4 – Write for your audience – Part 1

“A wider audience of a writer’s creative work reflects that writer’s influence on such audience. In case of legal writing, a writer’s audience is both well read and well informed. So, a writer writing for such an audience has to be careful not only in choosing the words but also – in words of so many proponents of ‘better legal writing’- keeping the prose clear, precise and brief.”

Hello there, my beloved readers! I draw back your attention to above paragraph. If you did not read it carefully, please read it once again.

I asked you to read the first paragraph, again, for two reasons: (a) firstly, to tell you that better reading habit includes “reading carefully”, so you should both read a paragraph and also understand its whole meaning; (b) secondly, to ask you what you thought of the writer’s writing skills after reading the paragraph.

As part of learning process, I invite your comments to my request in (b) above.

Now, coming back to the first paragraph, my honest opinion about ‘I’ as a writer and ‘you’ as audience is that I did fail miserably, but on purpose, to adhere to ‘the message’ I am trying to convey through the first paragraph.

‘The message’ is to “write for your audience.”

Why I failed in giving this simple message?

I failed because I did not use simple sentence structure, assuming that my audience incudes a group of students, who are not comfortable with “reading comprehension”. I failed this audience.

I failed because the first sentence of the paragraph is having a long subject – “A wider audience of a writer’s creative work…”. Huh! That is a long subject, and goes against the recommendation of writing “clearly”. Don’t you agree?

I failed because the whole message could have been simply given by stating that “One should write for one’s audience;” which is far more “precise”.

I failed because by writing one whole paragraph having three complex sentences did not keep the message ‘brief’.

Hmm!  You must be wondering, why at all this paragraph and the article itself was written in first place. If you are not, you got my message.

 

PS: Do write back your views on this article.

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Food for thought– Is university syllabus a contract?

I came across a news item that talks about an interesting lawsuit. A former law student of the Massachusetts School of Law has claimed in his suit against the law school that he received an unfair D grade in contracts paper due to professor deviating from the syllabus.

Read more about the news in detail HERE and HERE.

In India, if a student receives “deficient services” in relation to education received from any school, college or university in India, such a student may sue such school, college or university as a consumer, and may recover refund of amount spent as fees, and in some cases even damages.

Do you think that such case will be seen as a breach of contract between a student (as a consumer) and law school (as a service provider) if filed in Indian courts?

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Learn Contract Drafting – Part 3 – Read Patiently

Hello readers. Welcome back.

If you read my last two articles on ‘contract drafting’ and have come back for more (that means you are not angry on me for my last advice), my next most important advice to you is – “read some more, read carefully and read with patience.”

I am hoping that your anger is now turning into a wicked smile.

By the way, I am not fooling you. I just gave you some very important advice.

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