Contract drafting skills

Last January 18th, HEAD students had the great pleasure of welcoming Ms. Constance Cantrell, Mr. Steven M. Goldman and Mr. Steven G. Shapiro, American lawyers and teachers at The Washington College of Law, American University.

They joined our Contract Drafting Skills Class at the invitation of Joan Betti. As experienced lawyers, our guests described the main elements of an American contract. This was an exciting experience, as it enabled students to imagine themselves confronting some of  the challenges a lawyer faces while drafting contracts.

Our guests gave us very practical insight into  the basics of contract drafting through the example of a car purchase. With that example, they explained to us the concept of Representation & Warranties, and detailed the types of clauses that can be included in a purchase agreement: the description of the car, the examination of the car, details about the delivery, etc..

They shared with us the very interesting notion that lawyers can choose the tone of the contract they are drafting. It was fascinating to hear that depending on the needs of their clients, lawyers can choose to be more equitable, in order to facilitate the exchange or to lower legal fees (as these fees are considered in the purchase price), or more aggressive, if the object sold is particularly rare or of high value.

Overall it was really refreshing to learn the basics of US contract drafting from experienced laywers, to hear their practical points of view, and to get to know the many different ways one contract can be drafted.

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