We try to approach contracts as business tools as well as highly functional legal documents. For example:
- We try to use framework agreements and comprehensive scope and other exhibits as much as possible, so the business focus is on the scope of work, collaboration plan, or similar project-specific document, not the contract text itself.
- We try to come up with client-sensible organizational schemes. They often take a chronological approach reflecting the life of the relationship, or sometimes a design based on the relative importance of specific topics to specific potential readers.
- We sometimes begin a contract with such a set of tables, and then follow it with a set of terms and conditions, to facilitate easier completion and reference by the business people.
- We look for opportunities to include exhibits such as timelines or other visuals, to facilitate comprehension and implementation.
- We try to take into account the nonprofit context. For example, we use recitals and other provisions to ground the contract in the client’s mission.
Here’s an example of our typical format:
Here’s an example of the table/T&C format:
Here’s an example of our typical exhibit format:
We think our approach helps increase reader utility and is consistent with the legal work we need to do in the contract.
We also try to create contract worksheets, summaries, checklists, calendars, and talking points when appropriate to support client planning, and client and counter-party understanding and execution. Here is an example of such a document: