This article is written by Girija Rani Mullapudi from Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (Vizag ).
The main objective of this article is to understand how the legal drafting is important to a law student and also author personally expressed some thoughts on basics and strategies how to draft.
The most effective tool for legal communication is legal drafting. The ability to draft well is associated with the ability to think and communicate clearly. As a result, it’s important to understand what a legal document’s intent is. A legal document must be written in such a manner that it clearly states the legal question, the client’s claims, and any solutions requested. Some reasons stating the importance of legal drafting are discussed below:
Authentication and drafting are the critical qualities that must be mastered, and they are reinforced in the Professional Skills Instruction set of presentations. However, any exercise must also be edited carefully and the vocabulary carefully selected. During the process the students learn to identify the needs of the client and to prepare the documentation in order to ensure its effective usage and management. A student with the ability to draft the documents will identify their potential audience. A legal document’s content must be understandable to the audience that is reading it. A legal notice submitted to the other side, for example, should not be so full of legal terms that the other party is unable to comprehend the legal question and solutions requested from them.
Legal drafting is also necessary because it ensures the correct structuring of the legal language. An unstructured document is ineffective without balance. Any text can appear confrontational by overusing negative declarations or offensive and unparliamentary language. The most genuine and reliable document is a document free from such mistakes and errors. Avoiding legalese, or confusing legal sentences and vocabulary that is beyond the grasp of a layperson, is another aspect of legal drafting skills. A legal document’s context and intent must be plain and straightforward. A legal text that is overburdened by overly complex language loses its meaning as the intent of the document becomes vague.
Legal drafting has to be precise. This is not to say that the crux and requisite declarations should be omitted. A well-written text communicates its intent and applicability in a concise manner. On the one hand, technical words may help to ensure the fidelity of a text, but they may not cater to or intrigue the general public. A confusing text containing a lot of legal language will be difficult for a customer to understand.
Drafting skills include not only the ability to create clear records, but also the ability to explain the legal document’s purpose to a layperson. A lawyer with these legal drafting skills can develop a solid legal practice in any legal field. A lawyer’s drafting ability must be shown to prospective clients in addition to possessing legal drafting skills.
ESSENTIAL THINGS WHILE DRAFTING
It is important that the legal document be simple to understand and written in a plain and succinct way. There must be no grammatical or typographical errors in the text. Proofreading and editing are necessary steps in ensuring that the legal transcription is error-free in grammar and spelling. To retain integrity in the legal profession, even the tiniest mistakes must be avoided. One of the most difficult aspects of drafting legal draft is keeping the wording clear enough to prevent ambiguity. To give an engaging performance, one must always find common ground with their audience. Although writers and journalists often attempt to dress up their prose with fancy words or phrases that are open to interpretation, lawyers must resist this style. Having any word count is an effective goal at the same time. And also, as a law student one should be good at drafting by practicing it through different areas such as preparing moot memorials, writing blogs or articles in different areas and also doing internship will improve the drafting skills.
BASICS OF LEGAL DRAFTING
The purpose of “legal” records is to provide for the evidence and legislation that can affect the parties to a contract. The lawyer’s job in “drafting” a legal document is to ensure that all applicable evidence and legislation are identified and then applied to create a document that achieves the client’s objectives. Legal records are usually a series of rules for someone to obey in order to carry out the intentions of one or more of the document’s parties. The client’s objectives are furthered by clear, full, and practical orders.
The Drafting Process in Summary
Identify the facts that determine what must be discussed in the contract
Research the law that is implicated by the evidence
Use the law and facts to state the terms of the agreement that will achieve the client’s objectives.
THE “SKILL” OF DRAFTING
The following strengths are needed for drafting:
Gathering input from the firm and other sources in order to properly comprehend the client’s objectives and the business environment in which the parties operate;
Creating a draft version that expresses the client’s basic agreement;
Analyzing the draft version to identify legal issues that affect each term of the draft report;
Researching all legal issues to determine if the applicable law can be accounted for in the agreement;
Analyzing the draft version and the applicable law to identify planning and structuring opportunities
Rewriting the arrangement in accordance with applicable legislation in order to achieve the client’s preparation, structuring, and fundamental business objectives;
Testing the contract with the clients to ensure it is suitable for their business interests, and the client’s administration of the agreement; and
Editing and revising the document to ensure the offer is stated in a simple, succinct, and usable format and language.
However, it is not merely good vocabulary or the formatting of sequence skills that we draft a document. A draughtsman must also know skills which include but are not limited to:
Expertise in Analyzing;
The ultimate aim of this process is to guarantee that a law student completely understands why each term, phrase, clause, or paragraph is included in whatever document they draught or study, as well as the impact it would have on their client. Anything else is unacceptably bad legal advice. Regardless of the form of text, the writing process is the same. If you’re writing a contract, conveyance, letter, settlement, interrogatory, or petition, the values and aims are the same. The law student must understand what they want to do in each case, the facts and law that matter, and how the document incorporates facts and law to establish the desired legal relationship.
Drafting is an intricate skill, something that can be constantly learned, cultivated and developed. So, a law student must train themself form the beginning of their carrier by practicing drafting in the way of preparing moot memorial, doing internships under seniors’ guidance and also writing blogs and article also helps in improving the drafting skill of law student.
Harold A. Segall, “Drafting: An Essential Skill, Fordham Urban Law Journal”, Vol.30, no. 2,751 (2002), https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol30/iss2/10 , 28 May 2021.
Wilcox, Jamison. “Teaching Legal Drafting Effectively and Efficiently- By Dispensing with the Myths”, JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION,Vol.57, no. 3 (Sep 2007): 448-66, http://www.jstor.org/stable/42894037, 28 May 2021.
Edited by Shivanshika Samaddar of National Law University Delhi.