find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Adelaide CBD · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
Freelance Project Finance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Australia
· Vario are looking for freelance lawyers with experience in project finance ideally within the renewable energy sector
View details
Vario Freelance Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Australia
· We are looking for lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Freelance Construction Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· We are looking for construction lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Document drafting for lawyers – the crucial steps many of us forget

Document drafting for lawyers – the crucial steps many of us forget

Promoted by

Document drafting is an area of practice that many lawyers want to improve. If your legal documents are clear, relevant, accurate and enforceable from the start, matters are simplified for all involved.

After twenty years’ experience in the legal profession, I have observed many lawyers ignoring the critical first and last stages of document drafting: the planning stage and the review stage.

There are a number of factors to consider when drafting legal documents. I have compiled my tips and steps to assist with efficient, effective document drafting.

Document drafting – do your documents do their job?

The ability to draft clear, effective legal documents is an essential skill for all lawyers. Legal documents must always:

  • reflect the business dealings and intentions of the client;
  • reflect the agreement that the client has reached with the other party to the transaction;
  • set out the respective rights and obligations of the parties;
  • reflect the relevant legal requirements for the transaction;
  • provide for unknown events, including means to resolve disputes; and
  • be enforceable.

Tips for clear document drafting

  • Plan the document. This will help you draft a document that is well structured, logical, and legally effective covering all relevant issues.
  • During the planning stage, ensure that you know and understand the purpose of the document and the commercial details.
  • Draft with the audience in mind. Your client will be signing the document; it is important that your client understands the contents of the document that they are signing.
  • Use clear, understandable, consistent language.
  • Carefully review the document. The reality of legal practice and the surrounding commercial and client pressure, means that this step is often missed. However a review of the document can avoid costly and time consuming consequences in the future.

Do you have any additional drafting steps or tips? Let us know in the comments below!

The College of Law offers a range of CPD programs designed to help practising lawyers sharpen their drafting skills across a range of practice areas. Upcoming skills workshops include: Drafting preliminary agreements; Drafting and negotiating damages and indemnity clauses; Drafting wills; Drafting documents; and more! All workshops are led by experienced practitioners from the bench, the bar, private practice and legal education. Click here to view the full February-March program.


Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Document drafting for lawyers – the crucial steps many of us forget
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Debate rises over Victorian judiciary attack
Jan 24 2018
Debate rises over Victorian judiciary attack
The Victorian Bar has become the latest to go on record condemning recent political attacks on the V...
Michelle Quigley QC
Jan 24 2018
Vic Barrister who helped stop major heritage redevelopment joins Supreme Court
Michelle Quigley QC, who assisted a coalition to oppose the redevelopment of St Heliers villa estate...
Building, construction
Jan 24 2018
Building finish for NSW coroner’s complex slated for early 2019
Efforts to relocate the state coroner’s facilities from Glebe to Lidcombe are on track, according ...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...