Legal Drafting

Updated on May 23, 2024 12:53:06 PM

Legal drafting is the most important instrument of legal communication. The skill to draft well is the skill to think and communicate well. “Legal drafting" is the skill developed by Legal professionals over decades of regular serious practice and experience with devoted attention to improve their efficiency in drafting petitions, plaints, and appeals to convince the Court to impress upon to prove their cases positively. Legal drafting may include the preparation of any written legal document--a motion, a letter, a brief, a memo, or a contract.

It is the development and preparation of legal instruments such as constitutions, statutes, regulations, ordinances, contracts, wills, conveyances, indentures, trusts and leases, in other words drafting, in a legal sense, means an act of preparing the legal documents like notices, contracts, affidavits etc

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Process of Drafting

The process of drafting operates in two planes:

  • The conceptual
  • The verbal

Besides seeking the right words, the draftsman seeks the right concepts. Drafting, therefore, is first thinking and second composing.

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Characteristics of Legal Drafting

  • Clarity: There must be clarity and preciseness not only in each sentence but also in the overall presentation of the draft. There must be a nexus between sentences and different paragraphs. The draft shall be in sequence and relevant to the subject matter.As to what the document means to say, does not mean to say and need not say. Make yourself well-versed with various provisions of laws the legal document deals with.
  • Remove the ambiguity: Try to clear all the ambiguous instances from the document. The statements made in the documents should not communicate more than one concept.
  • Be precise: The matter to be covered by a draft should be precise and concise. It must convey the complete message for which it is prepared. The reader should feel inspired by it.
  • Unilateralism: Be prepared for vetting, review without necessarily accepting casual and non-contextual suggestions. Clarity as to the bare minimum contents you require for protecting and safeguarding your interest has to be adhered to.
  • Remember the chronology: If the document is supplementary to any other master document/s make sure to comply with master documents and other supplements as well. If needed, draft the details of the other documents in a chronological order..
  • Define important things: Include a chapter of definitions to define and explain the important technical concepts relating to the document. Make sure to adhere to the definitions throughout the document. The chapter containing the definitions is placed lathe beginning of the document.
  • Adaptability: The matter to be included in a draft must be adaptable to the factual position, to the circumstances of the case and feasible/suitable to the enforcement.
  • Lucidity: The language and words used while drafting must be lucid, simple and appropriate to the situation. There should not be longer sentences or paragraphs. It must convey the message involved in it to a person of ordinary prudence. The language must be polite and make the other side form a good opinion.
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