How To Save Time And Money Drafting Your Own Legal Contracts... With Confidence

by Chip Cooper - Date: 2008-05-13 - Word Count: 606 Share This!

Did you know that most progressive law firms use powerful software authoring tools to automate the arduous task of contract drafting?

Would you like to save time, money, and aggravation by using similar tools to draft your own marketing contracts?

Here's how you can do it.

New Automated Contract Drafting Tools

In the past, most entrepreneurs readily accepted the notion that fitting a contract to their business needs required an attorney to draft from scratch. You're familiar with the process... it's similar in concept to going to a tailor for a tailor-made suit -- lots of discussion and iterations. Assuming the document is delivered when promised, the time and money involved is often considerable. And what's more, the attorney controls the entire process.

Now, powerful, automated drafting tools are empowering entrepreneurs to write a first draft of business contracts that closely fit their business needs.

Does this mean that you should not seek legal review? In most cases you should seek legal review, just as you would have the tailor in a ready-made clothing retailer make minor alterations to a suit that you choose off the rack. Your attorney should be employed to give advice and to tailor the final document for a good fit, but not to engage in the time consuming and expensive task of creating the first draft.

Electronic Forms Are Less Flexible And Require More Knowledge

In order to get a good fit with an electronic form or template, you must follow the advice of the knight guarding the Holy Grail in the Indiana Jones movie -- "choose wisely". The reason is that forms and templates do not provide the logic which links alternate clauses to the agreement. They may provide a few alternate clauses, but you must decide which to use, and even more critical, you must know how to make these decisions.

Because forms and templates lack the logic which links alternate clauses, document flexibility and the number of meaningful document variations are limited. In many cases, substantial background knowledge is required. Hence, they are best suited for relatively simple contracts if non-lawyers are using them.

Online Contract Drafting Services Are More Flexible And Do Most of The Work For You

Online contract drafting services utilizing rule-based document assembly systems are not as readily available as forms or templates due to the relatively high cost to develop such systems. However, the benefits in terms of flexibility and ease-of-use are truly significant.

Online contract drafting services incorporate a database of alternate clauses, often numbering in the range of 100 or more for a single document that will average only 20-30 clauses when assembled. The key to these online drafting services is the built-in logic that asks the user a series of questions -- then selects the appropriate clauses from the database in response to the answers and assembles and formats the final document.

Online contract drafting services utilizing rule-based document assembly techniques actually do all the heavy lifting for you, easily and quickly. Flexibility often goes into the hundreds of document variations for relatively simple agreements, and to the hundreds of thousands of variations for relatively complex agreements. That's why you get near-custom results with rule-based, online contract drafting services as distinguished from relatively archaic forms.

Be mindful, however, that these rule-based tools are expert system-like; therefore, the logic and clauses which make up the system are only as good as the :expert" who created them.

Which Tool Is Best For You?

You should experiment with both types of tools to determine the best one for you. Regardless of which one you choose, you'll start to enjoy the significant benefits of controlling the cost, aggravation, and turn-around time of the contract drafting process. If you don't, your competitor probably will.

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Chip Cooper is a leading intellectual property, software, and Internet attorney who advises software and ecommerce businesses nationwide. Chip's easy and affordable online contract drafting service coordinates website contracts such as Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Subscription, Membership, and SaaS agreements. Visit Chip's site and download his FREE report, "12 Sure-Fire Ways Your Website Can Get You Sued". Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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