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This article is written by Nikita Arora from Trinity Institute of Professional Studies. This article discusses the benefits of being a freelancer with drafting skills in India and overseas.

Introduction 

To put it simply, the ability to articulate one’s thought process in writing is the skill of drafting. Perhaps no other occupation requires this skill more than the legal profession. A successful lawyer can efficiently articulate his client’s case through spoken or written words. A lawyer’s greatest asset is his legal knowledge and the ability to translate that knowledge into the world. 

As a freelancer, drafting contracts can be intimidating but it is worth having a working knowledge of the rights and clauses that go into them, particularly because many of the same elements apply to all of them. A freelancer contract is a formal agreement between the freelancer and the client that specifies the project to be completed and the work to be delivered. The following article will go over the components of contract writing skills as a freelancer, and also the skills that every freelancer will require.

Importance of contract drafting

Contract drafting is a lucrative and satisfying aspect of every legal profession. Contract drafting generates a large portion of income for both individual lawyers and law firms, and it is typically a reliable and lucrative revenue source. Contract drafting is a more reliable process with high margins as compared to many other fields of work that are inconsistent in terms of time and effort investment. The best thing is that contract drafting allows a decent living for even young lawyers.

Many young litigators who are working hard to establish themselves as arguing counsel in the court earn far less money from the litigation side of their practice. Contract drafting on the sidelines, on the other hand, helps pay the bills. Many lawyers with budding practices even hire juniors to undertake contract drafting if they can get enough drafting work to increase their practice’s earnings.

Big law firms make a lot of money from transitional activities like mergers and acquisitions, banking projects, and corporate finance, which require a lot of contract drafting. As a result, in big law firms, having good contract drafting skills is crucial, particularly in transactional practice areas, which are typically more lucrative. Many big law firms pay litigation associates or Intellectual Property (IP) law associates less than transaction lawyers, particularly at entry.

Essential contract drafting skills that every freelancer would need

Negotiating and then drafting, or the other way around, takes a significant amount of time, effort, and resources. As a result, a freelancer bears a significant amount of work as well as client demands. However, drafting a contract requires more than just strong grammar, formatting, and sequencing abilities. A freelancer must adhere the following guidelines to establish a good drafting practice: 

  • Obtaining information from the client and other sources to fully comprehend the client’s objectives and the business sense in which the parties operate. 
  • Creating a rough draft that expresses the specific agreement that the client is considering. 
  • Analyzing the rough draft to recognize legal issues that affect each term.
  • Researching all legal issues to identify how the applicable law should be accounted for within the agreement.
  • Redrafting the agreement according to applicable law to achieve the client’s preparation, structuring, and underlying business objective.
  • Editing and revising the document to ensure that the deal is stated in a simple, concise, and usable format. 

The ultimate aim of drafting is to ensure that when the client reviews an agreement, they fully understand why each phrase, sentence, clause, or paragraph is used and how it will affect them.

How contract drafting skills help freelancers?

As a freelancer, contract drafting would be done from scratch, so one should be aware of all of the basic laws that they might be working on. A freelancer will not be working on just one type of law but will be asked to work on a variety of laws, for which they will need to learn the basics of each. Law firms, startups, and foreign companies establishing themselves in India are gradually turning to freelancers with experience in designing templates and job agreements.

An increasing number of lawyers are leaving private practice to work for employment agencies, law firms, and government agencies as freelancers. Contract drafting as a freelancer is also a perfect opportunity for new lawyers to obtain legal experience and network connections. Although the services a freelancer provides vary depending on their area of practice, document review and document drafting are two services that are often rendered. Freelancing improves client-handling skills, which is a crucial skill in the legal profession. This skill would make them stand out if they applied to any top-tier law firm. As a freelancer, you’ll know how to write ideas and proposals, which is a unique ability that gives you an advantage. Any recruiter would want to hire you because of your drafting skills, and you can set a reasonable salary bar. 

How a law student can become a freelancer?

  • Law students should be familiar with all of the statutes that they learn in law school Because a freelancer is needed to deal in numerous domains.
  • Contract drafting is an important skill that every law student should acquire. They should go through as many contract templates as possible. Read or understand what is behind it, as well as the linked legal sections associated with these clauses, and seek the assistance of a senior or someone to understand how it works. So when students graduate from law school, they will have that skill in hand and will know how to draft a contract.
  • Offering freelance services while in law school would be a bonus because it would allow you to understand how the industry works and what kind of job you would be able to get.

How drafting skills can benefit freelancers working outside India?

There is no better time than now to broaden your profession beyond the borders of your country. The global legal market is worth around USD 800 billion. Our legal industry in India is barely about USD 2 billion. This provides an excellent opportunity to cater to international markets rather than only India. The rapid adoption of remote work around the world is likely to bring in a surge in cross-border contracts, fuelled by an increase in cross-border transactions. To meet these needs, a new age lawyer would need to know not only how international contracts are drafted, but also how they may be enforced. Thus, to provide contract drafting services to a global clientele with their contract drafting needs, a freelancer must comprehend not only international contract law but also the enforcement laws of various countries. This is because international contracts are negotiated and drafted with the enforceability in that jurisdiction in mind.

Benefits of hiring a freelancer to draft the contract

These are the three main advantages of having a freelancer draft your contracts and legal documents:

  1. You can rest assured that your contract is legally binding. The freelancer ensures that they listen to and understand the client’s wants and intents from the start of the process, and then incorporates this knowledge into the contract using the appropriate vocabulary required in legal agreements.
  2. Accounts that are settled keep old friends in the business. Using the services of a freelance contract lawyer to show your offer as clearly as possible is the greatest method to avoid any ambiguous thoughts or intentions.
  3. A freelancer lawyer can give you legal advice on the terms of the contract. Sometimes we want things done a certain way but aren’t sure if it’s legal, and that’s when a freelance lawyer’s experience comes in handy.

What are the important elements of a freelancer contract?

  1. The scope or objective of the work.
  2. Contract timeline, termination, and start-up.
  3. Payment schedule and method.
  4. Basic information verification.

Above all, a legal consideration under Section 2(d) of the India Contract Act, 1872.

Platforms for freelance work

Millions of business owners and freelancers connect on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, a general-purpose ecosystem that connects freelance writers, developers, graphic designers, video producers, social media specialists, and others with work. Platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr handle the legality of contractor-client agreements, including conflict resolution processes, so that both sides may concentrate on the work at hand rather than what-if scenarios that are unlikely to occur.

Conclusion

The world is changing, so is the legal industry. If your career is shifting, remember that you have options. If you’re searching for additional income or making a career transition, it’s time to consider how you might utilize your drafting skills as a freelancer. There are perks to freelancing, such as the freedom, flexibility, and feeling of being your boss. Contract drafting is the most remote-friendly of all the jobs you could do as a lawyer. To draft contracts for clients, you do not need to appear in court, file forms, or be a trained lawyer in that jurisdiction. All you need is an understanding of the relevant legislation and the parties’ intentions, as well as exceptional drafting skills. Freelance work will help you supplement your income and take charge of your legal career if you know the laws and have a strategy for finding and keeping clients. You have the opportunity to work in a lawyer’s dream world, where you can generate the facts required to accomplish a desired legal result.

References 


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