Tuesday, October 11, 2005

You must actually study legal drafting

Myth: expertise in law qualifies you as a legal drafter.

Wrong. If it were true, the UCC and the Internal Revenue Code would be well drafted.

In other words, you may know a tremendous amount about corporate transactions and still be mediocre or even poor at drafting corporate-transaction documents. The two things are different.

In reality, legal drafting is an independent area of expertise in which you succeed not only through practice, but after study and research. What's more, legal drafting is a legitimate field of expertise, worthy of independent study and instruction. It supports a growing body of scholarship and a number of new and valuable texts, and its study is vital to the practice of law.

How much do you really know about legal drafting? Here's a short quiz:
  1. Name a text on legal drafting.

  2. What is the proper legal-drafting definition of shall?

  3. What is the difference between writing "such activities" and "those activities"?

  4. Why do drafters write "Four Hundred and no 100s dollars ($400.00)" and do they need to double-up that way?

  5. Explain the drafting problem in this sentence: "The rule applies to associations and corporations with offices in Texas."
Consider booking a seminar to train yourself and others on these and more fine points of legal drafting.

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