Now with Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass, he’s making his expertise available to an online audience. (Series for 2023 will be announced by the end of November 2022.)
This course is built around eight live hour-long sessions held once a week and supplemented by reading and quizzes. (Go here for the course outline; see the first FAQ below for more information about what the course covers.) The goal is to help you say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. It’s intended for anyone who drafts, reviews, or negotiates contracts, whether they’re a lawyer, businessperson, contract manager, or paralegal, and wherever in the world they work. Sessions for individuals are limited to 20 participants (except for series for participants in a specified country or region, which might have more), so everyone has a chance to engage: Masterclass is intereactive.
Why take Masterclass? Because traditional contract language is dysfunctional. It’s full of archaisms, redundancies, random verb structures, and ill-conceived conventional wisdom, so drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts wastes time and money. Traditional contract language also creates confusion that wastes yet more time and money, particularly as it routinely leads to disputes. (For more on the dysfunction, see the introduction to Ken's book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, here.)
Being an informed consumer of contract language is an essential foundation for avoiding, or at least minimizing, the dysfunction. Masterclass is the quickest and surest path to becoming an informed consumer of contract language and gaining control of your drafting. There’s nothing like it. Go here for feedback from some participants.
If you’re an individual who wants to take the course, register by clicking on the registration button below. You’ll have a choice of series to register for. New series of the course will be announced regularly, with different series being held on different days of the week and at different times, including times that are suited to audiences from different parts of the world.
If you’re from an organization that wants to have a group participate, with examples from your contract templates featuring in the discussion, contact Ken.
What does the Masterclass cover?
Go here for the course outline. To see in more detail what is covered in each session, click on "Register Now" (or click here), then click on one of the series of the course that are on offer. That will pull up the course curriculum. Clicking the "+" next to each session will reveal the "lessons" covered in that session. And this blog post offers yet more detail about what the lessons consist of, while this blog post offers a conversation with some people who took the course.
How much does Masterclass cost?
It costs US$895 to participate in Masterclass, but you can elect to pay in three monthly installments for a total of US$915. (Select from the drop-down menu which option you prefer; this option won't be available for some series.) If you're a lawyer at a law firm with up to three lawyers, if you're a contract manager, if you're in government, or you're with a not-for-profit, use the discount code "smalllaw", "contractmanager", "government", or "notforprofit", respectively, at checkout to receive a discount of US$150. You can pay by credit card of PayPal. If you're a resident of China and you wish pay by company transfer or using local currency, please contact our Asia partner firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much work does Masterclass involve?
This course aims to accelerate your taking control of contract language. But it’s a complicated subject. We estimate you might spend three to four hours preparing for one of the weekly live sessions. And only you can do the learning. Ken Adams will act as a facilitator. He will provide additional materials to test your knowledge and improve your understanding, will moderate discussion, and will act as a resource.
Is Masterclass suitable for people outside the United States?
Just as A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting is consulted around the world, anyone who works with contracts in English will find Masterclass valuable, no matter where they're located. Ken offers some series of Masterclass exclusively for people who work in specified countries or regions.
Ken Adams is known for explaining that traditional contract drafting is dysfunctional. Will Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass help participants navigate the world as it is, or does it set impossibly high standards?
By exposing you to traditional dysfunction and modern alternatives, Masterclass will help participants become informed consumers of contract language. That’s an essential first step to gaining control of contract language. But Ken emphasizes that what you do next depends on your role and on the circumstances. For example, are you the drafter or are you reviewing the other side’s draft? You do whatever the context permits.
What do I need to take Masterclass?
Just a copy of the fourth edition of Ken’s book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. Because the fifth edition is now in production (it should be available by the end of 2022), the course materials include nondownloadable PDFs of the relevant chapters, so you won't have to buy a copy. But if you want to buy a copy, after individuals register they will receive an email message containing a code entitling them to a 30% discount.
Will I get continuing-legal-education credit for completing this course?
Probably! Accreditation will be handled by the American Bar Association’s ABA MCLE Accreditation Service. But standards vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. And you’ll get credit only for participating in the live sessions and not for time you spend preparing for them.
What if I miss a live session?
Each session will be recorded, and the recording will be posted on the course site. So if you miss a session, you'll be able to catch up.
How long will I have access to course materials?
You'll remain enrolled in the course, and will have access to course materials, for one year after the date of the first session of your series of Masterclass.