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Legal Drafting Steps – Third Step

Review Words

Review the drafted provisions for consistency of words and identify words that need to be defined.

Provide a definition in the provision or listed in a separate definition provision either at the beginning (short list), at the end (longer list) of the agreement or even in a schedule should the list be quite long.

Review Sentences

Take the time to review the sentences for length and order (the subject, verb and object) in each provision.

Is the provision logical and understandable?

Review Verbs

Consider whether the active or even passive is appropriate to ensure a simple, yet direct language.

Further, has the correct verb been properly use to express either an obligation or right in a clear and definable manner?

Review Punctuation

Please take the time to ascertain whether the punctuation enables the reader to understand each provision as intended.

Be particularly careful about the use of commas.

Use Headings and Numbering

Upon having completed the review, add numbering and highlight headings. As a rule, numbering provides a reference aid for the practical aspect of using the agreement while headings enable a quick aid in searching relevant topics.

These consequent working steps should enable the drafter to present a document that is well designed and expresses the intention of the parties in a logical, orderly and systematic manner.

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