Now with Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass, he’s making his expertise available to an online audience.
This course is built around eight live hour-long sessions held once a week and supplemented by reading, quizzes, and short assignments. (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 15 participants, so everyone has a change to engage.
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.
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 $895 to participate in Masterclass, but you can elect to pay in three monthly installments for a total of $915. (Select from the drop-down menu which option you prefer.) If you're a lawyer at a law firm with up to three lawyers, use the discount code "SmallLaw" at checkout to receive a discount of $150. From time to time we will offer other discounts for series of Masterclass intended for law students or for participants from a particular region or country.
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. But because Ken intends to adjust the course materials slightly for participants outside the United States, he intends to run Masterclass series for participants from different regions and different countries. That should start in the fourth quarter of 2020.
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. After individuals register, they will receive an email message containing a code entitling them to a 30% discount. Organizations that want a group to participate are entitled to a bigger 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 it’s likely 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.
Do you offer any other courses?
Sooner or later, Ken will resume giving public and in-house day-long Drafting Clearer Contracts in-person seminars. They’re a gentle introduction, and they’re fun. For now, Ken does only an online version, for organizations that request it. In the fall of 2020 he expects to launch an on-demand online course, Drafting Clearer Contracts: Webcourse. It will consist of videos, recommended reading, and quizzes. It will probably cover the material in greater detail than Masterclass, but it will be less intensive, with no live interaction.