ContractsCounsel Logo
Home Blog Contract Review Checklist: Easy Process to Follow

Contract Review Checklist: Easy Process to Follow

Jump to Section

What is a Contract Review?

When contract lawyers complete a contract review, the goal is to ensure that their clients benefit from the terms of the legal contract. Lawyers typically have a process they follow which can be in the form of a contract review checklist. A contract lawyer will read each line of the document to make sure the terms are fair and there are no loopholes.

Contract review also confirms the legal validity of all terms of the legal agreement and includes an in-depth analysis. If you choose to forego the recommendation to review a contract, you could find yourself locked into an agreement that you’re not happy with.

Here is more about contract review .

What is the Contract Review Process?

Completing a contract review is a vital process any time you need to make a new agreement. Making sure you follow the right steps to the contract review process is the only way to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract are in your best interest. Since contract reviews can seem intimidating, you might be surprised that the process is simpler than you might think.

Here is a quick rundown of the contract review process:

  1. Evaluate and understand contract terms
  2. Ensure legal validity
  3. Capture full understanding of any risks

Check out this article to learn more about the contract review process.

Contract Review Checklist

If you’re looking for an easy way to perform your next contract review, we have a solution for you. Coming prepared with a contract review checklist is a great way to make sure you complete all the necessary steps of the process. It also helps you stay organized, which helps save time and eliminate any careless mistakes along the way.

Here are six quick steps you can take to perform a thorough contract review, with or without the assistance of a contract review lawyer.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Faryal A.

205 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Sara S.

147 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Ryenne S.

671 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Umar F.

3 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Step One: Examine Important Terms and Clauses

You need to go through the entire contract with a fine-tooth comb, but the first step to any thorough contract review is examining key terms and clauses throughout. This is because certain portions of the contract are more important, such as:

  • Terms and conditions – the basic rules of a contract
  • Indemnification clause – also known as a liability clause; defines who pays for losses and damages

Ensuring these terms are clear and that you are in agreement with them helps protect your interests in the agreement, which is why this step is vital to any contract review.

Step Two: Check Termination and Renewal Rules

Contracts typically encompass an agreement for a certain, predetermined amount of time. This means that there will be rules and regulations for termination of the contract or renewal of the terms. Make sure you agree and understand these rules during your contract review.

Step Three: Audit Contract Language

Contracts can contain some tricky language and sometimes, that can make the terms confusing. Set some time aside to read the entire contract in full, paying attention to any confusing or misleading wording that might be included. Keep a list of these items to discuss with the other contract parties and don’t be afraid to request revisions – that’s what the contract review process is all about.

Step Four: Review Default Regulations

What happens if a contract party doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain? Contract default regulations answer this question. Review the rules surrounding default occurrences. This helps to ensure that you not only understand what could happen if you fail to perform your duties, but also what legal recourse you might have if someone else does.

Step Five: Confirm Key Dates

Timelines, deadlines, and any other important dates should be clearly stated in your contract. It’s essential that you are aware of what these dates are and that you are confident that the schedule works for you. Carefully review these dates to make sure they work with your schedule before signing anything.

You should also make sure that there is a specific procedure to follow if there are any changes in key dates or schedules. Unexpected events are bound to occur, so having that flexibility built into the contract protects all parties involved.

Step Six: Look for Blank Spaces

Whether you are using a contract template to help you draft your agreement, or you’re reviewing an agreement that someone else has drawn up, you must look for any blank spaces throughout. This could lead to an incomplete contract, which could result in a contract that is not legally sound.

Check out this webpage for a complete checklist that you can use to make your next contract review job a breeze.

4 Requirements of a Valid Contract

A huge part of the contract review process is ensuring that all the terms needed are present to make the agreement valid. Contracts are legally binding agreements, and must include certain key aspects in order to be legally valid.

Here are the top four most important requirements every contract needs to be valid:

  1. Offer and acceptance : an offer must be made by one party and accepted by another
  2. Consideration : something valuable must be exchanged, and both parties to the contract must have some sort of obligation under it
  3. Capacity : both parties must be of sound mind and able to consent to the contract
  4. Legality : contracts cannot contain clauses that require any unlawful acts and must abide by state and federal law, no exceptions

Learn more about the characteristics of a valid contract by checking out this article .

Contract Review Fees

Contract review cost varies based on a few different factors. One of the biggest things that impacts the cost of a contract review is who completes it. If you decide to complete the checklist on your own, for example, you will incur a much smaller fee than you would hiring a contract review lawyer.

Even though doing a contract review on your own can have less of an impact on your pocketbook, it could have detrimental effects. Since professional contract lawyers are well-versed in the language that valid contracts must have, it is much easier for them to decipher whether a contract is in your best interest.

They also possess valuable knowledge about state and federal law, so it is easier for them to spot a clause or requirement that could make the entire contract void.

Who Does Contract Review?

Contract review services are typically provided by experienced lawyers that specialize drafting and review contracts. Sometimes these lawyers are known as transactional lawyers . Their main job is to help their clients through transactions, which typically involves negotiating contracts to make sure their clients get the best deals.

If you are considering how to find a lawyer to help with contract review, we would recommend finding a lawyer with experience in your industry that has helped negotiate transactions for similar clients. You can use ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to help you find a lawyer as well.

Post a project on ContractsCounsel today to get connected with contract review lawyers who are experts in helping their clients sign favorable contracts. All lawyers are vetted by our team and reviewed by users on the platform.


ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Roman V. on ContractsCounsel
View Roman
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
July 10, 2021

Roman V.

Trademark Attorney
Free Consultation
Milwaukee, WI
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD
Marquette University Law School

I'm an experienced trademark attorney and enjoy helping clients protect and grow their brand names through trademark registration and enforcement. I've worked with a wide variety of clients in different industries, including e-commerce, software as a service (SaaS), and consumer goods, to register trademarks for product names, logos, and slogans, both in the US and abroad.

Justin A. on ContractsCounsel
View Justin
5.0 (10)
Member Since:
July 7, 2021

Justin A.

Partner
Free Consultation
Seattle, WA
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY, WA
The University of Chicago Law School

I am a lawyer who helps small businesses, nonprofits, and startups with a wide variety of agreements, corporate formation, and corporate governance. ​ I earned my BA from Tulane University and my JD from the University of Chicago Law School. Before starting my own practice, I worked at an international law firm in New York City. ​ Outside of work, I am on the board of the nonprofit Seattle REconomy (which runs the NE Seattle and Shoreline tool libraries) and I enjoy gardening, baking bread, and outdoor activities with my spouse and two dogs.

Harry S. on ContractsCounsel
View Harry
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
July 27, 2021

Harry S.

Director
Free Consultation
London
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
BPP

Stirk Law is a law firm based in London that advises on dispute resolution, commercial and corporate arrangements, employment and private wealth. We are experts in our areas and experienced in advising on complex and high value matters in the UK and internationally. We have extensive onshore and offshore experience across a variety of areas such as the administration of trusts together with complex fraud and trust disputes. Our expertise includes the conduct of significant and high-value cases valued at up to in excess of £1 billion over a combined 40 years of legal practice in England, Jersey and Guernsey. As well as having a large international network, we work closely with a corporate investigations and risk advisory business based in London and Vienna. Together we can deliver a holistic service for cases involving fraud, dissipation of assets or other illegal activity.

Talin H. on ContractsCounsel
View Talin
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
July 29, 2021

Talin H.

Owner
Free Consultation
Chicago
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
DePaul College of Law

Talin has over a decade of focused experience in business and international law. She is fiercely dedicated to her clients, thorough, detail-oriented, and gets the job done.

Max M. on ContractsCounsel
View Max
4.9 (20)
Member Since:
July 12, 2021

Max M.

Business Attorney
Free Consultation
Baltimore, Maryland
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD
Georgetown University Law Center

Results oriented business attorney focusing on the health care sector. Formerly worked in Biglaw doing large multi-million dollar mergers and acquisitions, financing, and outside corporate counsel. I brought my skillset to the small firm market, provide the highest level of professionalism and sophistication to smaller and startup companies.

JOSEPH L. on ContractsCounsel
View JOSEPH
4.8 (16)
Member Since:
July 26, 2021

JOSEPH L.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Stratford, CT
41 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CT
Southwestern University School of Law

Mr. LaRocco's focus is business law, corporate structuring, and contracts. He has a depth of experience working with entrepreneurs and startups, including some small public companies. As a result of his business background, he has not only acted as general counsel to companies, but has also been on the board of directors of several and been a business advisor and strategist. Some clients and projects I have recently done work for include hospitality consulting companies, web development/marketing agency, a governmental contractor, e-commerce consumer goods companies, an online apps, a music file-sharing company, a company that licenses its photos and graphic images, a video editing company, several SaaS companies, a merchant processing/services company, a financial services software company that earned a licensing and marketing contract with Thomson Reuters, manufacturing companies, and a real estate software company.

Daniel R. on ContractsCounsel
View Daniel
Member Since:
July 1, 2021

Daniel R.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Chicago
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
Gonzaga School of Law

Daniel is an experienced corporate attorney and works closely with corporations, privately held companies, high-net worth individuals, family offices, start-ups and entrepreneurs. Daniel graduated from the Gonzaga University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Illinois.

Stanley K. on ContractsCounsel
View Stanley
Member Since:
July 29, 2021

Stanley K.

Corporate Attorney
Free Consultation
Waltham, MA
30 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, MA, TX
University of Texas School of Law

Stan provides legal services to small to medium-sized clients in the New England region, and throughout the U.S. and abroad. His clients are involved in a variety of business sectors, including software development, e-commerce, investment management and advising, health care, manufacturing, biotechnology, telecommunications, retailing, and consulting and other services. Stan focuses on the unique needs of each of his clients, and seeks to establish long term relationships with them by providing timely, highly professional services and practical business judgment. Each client's objectives, business and management styles are carefully considered to help him provide more focused and relevant services. Stan also acts as an outsourced general counsel for some of his clients for the general management of their legal function, including the establishment of budgets, creation of internal compliance procedures, and the oversight of litigation or other outside legal services.

Sam W. on ContractsCounsel
View Sam
Member Since:
July 30, 2021

Sam W.

Entertainment attorney
Free Consultation
Los Angeles
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America

Sam Widdoes has practiced law in California since 2014. He began his career as a litigation associate at a boutique firm in Los Angeles, and founded a production development company with a partner in 2017. Since then, Sam has served as the head of business and legal affairs at District 33, while working hand-in-hand with writers, directors and actors to develop, pitch and produce scripted and unscripted content. In that role, Sam produced the documentary series BLACKBALLED for Quibi/Roku, and will produce the upcoming documentary feature AS WE SPEAK directed by J.M. Harper for Paramount+/MTV, and the doc series THE BLACK BOX for MRC and XYZ Films. He is also the executive producer of an upcoming limited series with CBS TV starring Judith Light and Noah Wyle called SHADOWS IN THE VINEYARD, and a feature comedy for Spyglass Entertainment, among other projects. In early 2022, Sam opened WIDDOES LAW, APC, after recognizing a need for experienced legal services in the unscripted and documentary spaces. Since opening his own practice, Sam has advised producers, editors, directors and rights holders on a variety of agreement negotiations, including option purchase contracts, collaboration agreements and documentary producer deals. Sam also serves as production counsel for several documentary features, series and short films, and will draft, negotiate and advise on all legal aspects of the projects, including financing, production and distribution. Sam earned his Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in 2013, where he graduated on the Dean's List and as a member of the Society of Trial Advocates. He holds a BA in journalism from the University of Richmond, and sits on the Board of Trustees at Turning Point School in Culver City, California. Sam is passionate about quality storytelling, and supporting those with the vision and drive to share their stories with the world.

Robert D. on ContractsCounsel
View Robert
Member Since:
August 3, 2021

Robert D.

Solo Practitioner
Free Consultation
Cincinnati, OH
30 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, NY
University North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law

Robert is a skilled corporate lawyer, licensed to practice law in NY and DC. He has over 25 years of experience, with a focus on Venture Capital, Private Equity, M&A, General Business Law and Company Formation. Robert brings business side experience to every legal transactions. This allows him to shape a client's legal needs around its business goals to drive success in an effective and efficient manner.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with a legal contract?

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

CONTRACT LAWYERS BY TOP CITIES
See All Business Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city