When in good condition, templates can ease cognitive load. A great template can make an in-house lawyer welcome drafting a deal from his or her own paper. It’s possible to make it easy and quick to find the fields that require input. With a bit of work and some time to focus on the templates, it’s possible to trust your terms and give your teams the parameters that make it easier for you to work from templates rather than from scratch.
If any of this isn’t ringing true, you need to improve your templates.
- Reformat the templates you use most; front-load the business terms on page 1 (charts are great for this);
- Match your intake forms to the new format. Suddenly, your business teams will be giving you a first draft, and deal writing is greatly streamlined;
- Ensure confidence in your standard terms. Invest in your standard terms. Consider reviewing them with your external counsel or getting another set of trusted eyes to review them. Have sales, finance and product review them to make sure they reflect how your business works;
- Tackle common sticking points. If you’re always arguing about a point, think about whether you need to be. Sometimes, you can address contentious issues in your template terms with a “pre-negotiated” solution that gets you what you need. Speeding up negotiations will save the legal team time and your business teams will love you for it; and
- Focus on strategic thinking. If you do all this, drafting will become more about strategic thinking (where your value truly lies) than fretting over spelling, formatting, version control, and the like.
Each Inter Alia lawyer has worked both in-house and in private practice. We love solving problems for our clients, and this blog gives some insight into how we do this practically and efficiently. If these tips speak to you, or you think we could help you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.