This article has been written by Moromi Sultana, pursuing a Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation, and Dispute Resolution from LawSikho.
Law is one of the most interesting fields and in-demand careers in the world are it anywhere, a lawyer plays a very important role in settling disputes, filing complaints and so much more and consists of a wide variety of career opportunities and one of them is specifically in the field of contract drafting.
This article will thus discuss the importance of contracting drafting in today’s world and its relevance and what are the possibilities and job opportunities arising out of legal drafting work for a fresher or a law graduate.
Importance of contract drafting
In the legal field, contracts play an important role in every sector and in the success of the company. Hence, drafting effective contracts is very crucial to maintain and develop a company’s interest. Well, there are certain things to keep in mind while drafting a business and commercial contract to serve the best interests of both parties and to avoid any future contractual disputes. A contract can be of various types such as construction, building, management, a real estate contract or any other. Drafting an effective contract can provide a series of benefits for companies starting from defining the company terms, management activities, bifurcation of roles and responsibilities and protecting the interest, avoiding contract breach, litigation, and improvement of relationships in business.
Contract-related disputes that arise because of contract matters pose various challenges for small as well as big corporations, firms and incur high costs and cause emotional strain to the company and its employees. Therefore, be it small businesses and major corporations, it is important to draft effective contracts and give its best efforts to avoid pitfalls by drafting an effective contract.
A contract is automatically created if a party offers something to the other party for some consideration and if the other party accepts the offer, it becomes a contract. There are certain basic rules which are to be followed and a contract must include the following points below :
- A subject matter which is lawful;
- A party shall make an offer;
- The other party to whom the offer is made shall accept the offer in exchange for consideration;
- There must be a written Agreement such as in circumstances like the sale of real estate property.
Above are the initial steps for the enforceability of a contract, but a contract after it is made can be rejected, revoked, and in cases can be counter-offered before the initial steps are complete. If an offer has been left open for a period of time then in such cases the offer can’t be canceled until the time period is over.
If the other party wants to make few changes to the present terms of the Agreement then it is said to be a counter-offer that can either be rejected or accepted by the offeror. “A contract can be accepted with a written or clearly spoken statement, or if a party performs their side of the agreement or promises to do so.”
Contract drafting – A blooming career path
Every year many law graduates pass out from their respective colleges/universities with a dream to make it in the law field and gain the right expertise for a bright career after passing the All India Bar Examination. Hence, a fresher who is new to the legal field might want to follow some tips which will prove to be beneficial for his/her legal career. Hence, experts suggest these five tips to flourish in the field of contract drafting and gain success.
Tips to ace contract drafting
Mostly, lawyers engage in the specialization of Transactional law and litigation were as solo practitioners working at small firms make it in both these tasks and contract drafting is a skill which is usually preferred in every sector and has a need in the market always, hence a lawyer must learn to draft at least a basic binding legal contract.
A Lawyer before drafting any contract must require a contract outline which shall include the arrangement made between the parties, this outline is not a contract substitute but this outline can show a path and will have all the necessary points including the important clauses which are to be included and during instances or circumstances when there is a contract breach.
The first important point before drafting a contract is to make sure that the language is clear and shall have no mistakes which may change the meaning. A contract made in a simple language is more preferable to the one which has flowery words and is difficult for a layman to analyze. Use of conjunction shall be on point and precise so that the meaning of the words and clauses are not different from what it appears to be.
Few important points to be remembered before stepping into a legal firm as a fresh law graduate
Seeking out work and be a self-starter
In a law firm, the proactive and best legal minds are of great value and the law firms may reduce their value if those minds are not utilized properly or are underperforming. If a law student is hoping to make it big in a law firm or become a partner, they need to be a team player from the beginning and should always be ready to take initiative and grab opportunities and seek on getting the work done diligently. Firms will notice the passion and love for learning about the work and hence will entrust you with interesting cases and roles.
- Networking and contract drafting
Well, a fresher or a law graduate may give their best every day in mastering the skill of contract drafting under the guidance of their seniors, attorneys, and other peers, but it is very important to network and connect to various people in the legal fraternity who are experts or have a good foot in contract drafting and have wide range of expertise in it. Connecting with a wide range of legal professionals gives an immense opportunity to a fresher or a law graduate to gain expertise in contract drafting, whether it may be attending seminars, contract drafting workshops, Mediation procedures, and others and it can open a whole lot of knowledge and information for a newcomer if he or she wants to excel in this field.
Learn to say no when needed
While a first job or an internship can be a wonderful experience but along with comes a lot of responsibilities. Though, it is crucial to be attentive and careful about doing things right, meeting deadlines, and indulging in new drafting tasks. But when you are missing deadlines, trying to keep up with multiple things, and fumbling extra work is an indication that it has become overwhelming. Hence, a calm mind and a positive approach towards things will be needed for a fresher to learn the drafting work and as it rightfully said “Rome was not built in a day”. It is crucial to maintain their sanity and have a logical approach towards things.
As the law is a long high path, it can cause burnout to many upcoming lawyers in their initial years if the profession and the personal life are not balanced well or by being too hard on yourself. An amount of drafting work must be taken which shows the initiative but does not so much that it leads to failure to meet deadlines. However, saying yes to new opportunities or work doesn’t have to be scary. Turning down new projects just to get home by 5pm is not the norm which has been going on recently in a few years. It is important to show the associates, partners that you are a team player who is willing to get the job done.
- Finding a mentor is never a bad idea–
Entering a law firm, thinking that it will always be convenient to do things on your own is not actually a feasible idea and can be disappointing. Much like networking with the right kind of people, it is crucial to find a senior associate or a partner to provide you guidance personally as well as professionally. Well everybody learns at their own pace and a fresher is wholly responsible for their career development and thus it will help a lot to find someone who has already walked the lane and have experience in it and receive their guidance and the fun fact is that this person does not have to be in the same workgroup or in the office. It is just a person who is willing to guide you both professionally and personally, regarding various topics and interests.
Learn to stay persistent and at a place
With pure determination to learn contract drafting, it is very important for a fresher to give their full time and availability in mastering the skill. Within two to three years most of the law associates tend to move from firm or company to company for more exposure. Hence, finding a law firm to fit one’s career is just one part of the equation as every firm is different and has an identity of its own and an associate’s work ethic in the first year will determine the future career.
With regard to the points made above, it can be concluded that there are abundant opportunities for a fresh law graduate in the area of contract drafting and how learning the skill can help a legal professional make a good amount of fortune and also add immense value to their future practice and career. But it is important that a law graduate is persistent and is willing to devote a good amount of time to give their best in this lucrative field.
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