Do Contract Lawyers Use Templates?
Contract Attorneys and Templates
When you hire someone to complete a service, instinct tells you it should be done from scratch and fully unique to you. That is why the idea of a contract lawyer starting with a template when crafting your agreements may be upsetting. However, the use of templates is not only standard in the legal industry, but beneficial to you as a client.
Understanding Contract Templates
A template is not one contract recycled over and over again. In fact, it isn’t a complete contract at all. Instead, it is an outline for a contract, with multiple blank or customizable areas surrounded by boiler-plate language that is applicable to a wide variety of circumstances and tailored to the legal standards. Most lawyers draft their own templates based on the specific areas on contract law they practice and the laws in the state they operate in. While there are some lawyers who insist on creating every contract from scratch, they are, in essence, just reinventing the wheel.
How Contract Templates Benefit You
Templates certainly benefit lawyers by making the process of creating contracts easier on them. But more important are the benefits template use offers you.
First, contract templates allow lawyers to cut down on the time it takes to draft a contract, which reduces the costs you pay, whether you are paying an hourly rate or a flat fee. For most business owners, this is a major benefit as small businesses can struggle to afford legal assistance.
Second, templates leave less room for error. If a lawyer is drafting every contract from scratch, it increases the risk that they will forget a critical element. Templates include everything that could be needed, giving the attorney the option of customizing clauses or deleting them as needed.
Third, a functional template gives you the opportunity to fill them in on your own, without going back to your lawyer every time you need a contract of the same nature. For example, if your business needs to hire multiple employees for the same position, a lawyer could draft a template for you to use on your own, reducing your legal fees.
Fourth, using templates ensures consistency across contracts. If you write up a new contract for every employee, two workers with the same position could be employed under very different terms, leaving you open to a host of problems. It is better to keep things consistent across the board.
The Drawbacks of Using Templates
While it is advisable that contract lawyers utilize templates, they are not without their drawbacks. However, most of these are negated by working with a quality attorney. Some potential problems that can arise from a reliance on templates include:
Limited creativity in their approach to crafting contracts
Missing opportunities for adapting the language to the needs of the client or their industry
Inappropriately adapting a template for one type of contract for another
Errors in one contract can carry over into others if they are part of the template
Accepting templates just because they are standard, whether or not they are best in a given situation
To avoid these pitfalls, be certain to partner with an experienced attorney.
Getting Contract Templates for Your Business
With the help of a contract lawyer near you, your business can rely on a set of contract templates to ensure you are protected. Contracts Counsel is a boutique marketplace that puts you in contact with vetted attorneys who understand both your local laws and the needs of your industry. Turn to ContractsCounsel.com for help that fits within your budget.