What Makes You a Great Contract Lawyer

May 01, 2022

We do not become great because we follow academic instructions on how to write each contract provision. If that was true, we could be replaced tomorrow with an AI contract drafting program.

We do not become great because we memorize the law and know the applicable statutes. If that was true, we would task contract negotiations to law school professors.

Technical drafting skills and knowledge of the law are important. But what really differentiates the great contract lawyers is that they understand the psychology part of it.

They know what their counterparts are thinking, what is important to them, how best to communicate with them, and how to build enough rapport to reach an agreement.

Great contract lawyers know how to apply their knowledge of drafting techniques to make edits that persuade the counterparty.

They know which words to include or omit from a tactical perspective, not just an academic one.

They know how to read the other side to decide when to hold fast and when to concede.

If you want to become a great contract lawyer, don't just focus on the words and the law. You also need to focus on understanding the people involved and their motivations.

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