Career Options in Contract Drafting

What are the Career Options in Contract Drafting?

Is it not an interesting question?

Answer is very simple.

Not long back, when one completed their law degree, they had no idea how the industry worked. Most of the law graduates started working with practicing advocates, who were experts at drafting petitions/ complaints. These lawyers rarely got an opportunity to work on client’s contracts. At the most, their contract drafting was limited to drafting of lease agreements, settlement agreements, etc. They rarely had a chance to draft complicated commercial contracts.

As a result, the young lawyers had next to nothing; unless, they had a chance to work in corporate practice of reputed law firms. But, working with a law firm was not much different. Most of the real drafting was done by senior associates or partners, and only few young associates had the chance to work on complex contracts.

All this changed, when Indian economy was opened in 1991, and later when legal processing outsourcing (LPO) industry became a fad in India. Now, young fresh graduate lawyers also had the opportunity to work with LPOs. This gave them a very different experience, a chance to review and draft contracts for international clients.

Now, they had the opportunity to work with US and European MNCs.

But in author’s experience, it matters that you make your choice of career at initial stage. If you have worked as a litigation lawyer, it will be very difficult for you to make the switch as a corporate lawyer, who get to draft lots of commercial contracts.

Even if you get no such option or if you consciously decide to work as a litigation lawyer, you can surely improve your contract drafting skills to help your clients.

Even if you do not have any legal background, but get to work on contracts because your role demands it, you should learn contract drafting. This will help you deal with your counter-parties with much confidence. You will also be able to avoid making expensive mistakes, by negotiating better a deal for you.

If your interest is only academic, learning contract drafting will still help you, as any writing or reading of contracts will definitely improve your cognitive skills.

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