It is the documentation of various legal instruments such as contracts, deeds, wills and such other legal instruments that are constituted of the legal matters and laws concerned. To make such documentation legal, the documented form must be in accordance with the laws where it is to be enforced. In addition to this, it must be signed properly, witnessed and then filed.
Why Is Legal Drafting Necessary?
This is important so as to make sure there is clarity, proper structuring, written in an organized manner, meaning and purpose of the document is conveyed, written in simple words and sentences, no use of complex terms, grammatically correct and should be concise.
If an error is made in a legal document, then the lawyer can lose a client as meaning change even by the simplest of the errors or any grammatical mistake. Drafting a good legal instrument flawlessly and usage of good language is very effective. So drafting has to be precise and concise as well as it should be understandable to the client.
Technical and legal terms should not be used along with the crux of the document that should not be lost. It is necessary to maintain a delicate balance between the two. Effective drafting of legal instruments can even help the lawyer retain their clients as well as get potential clients.
What Are The Skills Required For Legal Drafting?
The skills required for legal drafting are as follows:
- Always remember for whom you are writing –The drafting is dependent on who is the reader of such an instrument and on the basis of that, the draft should be prepared. If drafts contain complicated terms both technical and legal then the client is surely going find it almost impossible to understand it as he is not of that field. So the readability of such an instrument becomes deteriorated.
- The layout of the document-There must be clarity in the layout and organized way of writing. In short, it should be reader-friendly by logical organization of ideas and sentences, proper spacing, short and readable paragraphs and table of contents in case the legal instrument consists of many pages and referring each specific page with a number helps the client to go through the instrument smoothly without any dilemma or delay.
- Use of active voice and action voice- Usage of active voice in legal drafting is important. Do not go for the option of passive voice. Active voice gives the message to the reader as to who is performing or doing the act and provides a better understandability. To give that oomph and dynamicity to your drafting, you need to step it up with action words that are sure to create a punch while reading and more attention is earned towards your draft.
- Concise, precise and clarity –It is necessary to make sure the sentences and words are simple and not elongated. The text should be concise, up to the point so that the essence of the document is not lost and the clarity of the instrument should be such that it is understandable to the client. It is important to note that heavy legal jargon, complex terms can lose the essence of the document and make it difficult for the client to understand.
- Ensure no grammatical errors – The person drafting the legal instrument should be proficient in English and grammatical side of it as even a minute error can result in the change in the meaning and the purpose of the instrument. Also, the person should know grammar in Legal English too.
- Systematic editing and correction – It is always better to read and re-read the draft as it helps in editing and correcting the draft to a better version. Doing that helps in bringing out an effective legal instrument where its essence is not lost, readable and understandable, systematic writing and smooth grasping. Edit unnecessary words from the draft.
It takes years of practice to be proficient in legal drafting. No one can excel in one day. Legal drafting does play a significant role in the career of a lawyer as it brings in people who are potential clients of the lawyer.