The 5 best contract drafting courses in 2023

Guides
November 3, 2022
min

Contract drafting can be tough, even for the most experienced lawyers. 

It’s often a messy and time-consuming process and one that typically requires wading through tonnes of legal jargon. But it’s also one that reduces contractual risk and helps businesses better protect their interests. 

In short: knowing how to draft a contract effectively is worthwhile. But where do you start? 

Well, contract drafting courses are a great place to begin, whether you’re a lawyer or not. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then we’ve compiled a list of the five best contract drafting courses in 2022 - and there’s a course for everyone. 

What are the best contract drafting courses in 2022?

1. UCL Contract Drafting Skills Workshop 

This particular contract drafting course is run by the University College London (UCL), which is one of the UK’s most prestigious universities. The course is led by Mark Anderson, who is a practising solicitor, renowned legal author, and contract drafter. 

📚 What does the course cover?

The UCL contract drafting course covers everything from writing techniques to the four objectives of contract drafting: clarity, correctness, conciseness, and consistency. 

It also helps participants distinguish between good and bad contract wording, as well as introducing them to strategies that help to avoid litigation. 

Unlike many other contract drafting courses, this course also briefly covers how courts interpret contracts.

🧑 Who is it designed for?

This contract drafting course is best suited to individuals with some basic commercial and legal writing experience. However, it is open to anyone that is interested in improving their contract drafting skills. 

⏰ Length

This contract drafting workshop takes six hours in total and can be completed within just one day. This makes it one of the shorter contract drafting courses available. 

🌎 Location

Although UCL is a university based in central London, this contract drafting course takes place online through Zoom. This means that participants can complete the course from the comfort of their own homes. 

💰 Cost 

The total cost for the online contract drafting course is £600. However, there is a £90 discount for UCL alumni, taking the price of this course down to £510. 

2. Falconbury’s Drafting Commercial Contracts Training Course

Falconbury’s contract drafting course is an interactive workshop-style course that involves a combination of teaching, group exercises, discussions, and case study analysis.

The course is presented by a representative from Hill Dickinson, which is an award-winning international law firm. The course is praised for its detail and excellent delivery. 

📚 What does the course cover?

This is one of the most comprehensive contract drafting workshops available, and it covers both the more general principles of contract drafting and how to draft more complex contract terms. As a result, the course is good for learning how to draft standardized contracts and complex ones. 

The course explores specific types of clauses like penalty clauses, confidentiality clauses, and limitation clauses, among others. 

🧑 Who is it designed for?

Falconbury’s contract drafting course is designed for those that already have knowledge of the law but are looking to improve their practical drafting skills. Specifically, this course is designed for in-house lawyers, private practice lawyers, contract managers, and contract compliance officers. 

⏰ Length

Falconbury’s contract drafting course is a three-day course, and it is split into two separate parts. The first part is about drafting and structuring contracts more broadly, while the second part is about how to draft more complex contract clauses. 

🌎 Location

This particular contract drafting course can be completed in various ways, and on different dates. Participants can either enroll on a face-to-face course based in London, or they can attend a live webinar. 

💰 Cost 

The Falconbury contract drafting course costs between £1,099 and £1,499, or between $1,822 and $2,471. The cost of the course varies depending on whether you attend face-to-face or not, and which dates you choose. 

3. Goldsmiths’ Drafting and Negotiating International Contracts Course 

This is yet another course offered by a UK university. Goldsmiths’ drafting and negotiation course covers both contract authoring and contract negotiation

While there are probably some better contract negotiation courses out there that cover just the negotiation strategies, this course is great for individuals looking to cover both stages of the contract lifecycle

Another benefit of this particular contract drafting workshop is that it’s delivered by an expert with legal training both in the UK and the US. 

📚 What does the course cover?

Goldsmith’s contract drafting and negotiation course explores different techniques for contract drafting, as well as the problems of using archaic language. Interestingly, this particular contract drafting course also touches on human psychology, which most do not. 

🧑 Who is it designed for?

This course on contract drafting has been used by in-house lawyers, lawyers from law firms, government officials and students. 

⏰ Length

Goldsmiths’ contract drafting course lasts for five days, starting at 10am and finishing at 4pm each day. This makes it one of the longest contract drafting courses available, but this makes sense when you consider that the course also covers contract negotiation strategies, too. 

🌎 Location

This contract drafting course is one of the most flexible on the market. The course can be delivered either at the university campus, which is located in central London, online, or at your office. 

💰 Cost 

This contract drafting course costs £5,250, which makes it one of the most expensive contract drafting programmes available. However, there are some discounts for participants that enroll on multiple courses, and there is a discount available for UK students. 

4. Altior’s Commercial Contract Drafting Course

This course on contract drafting is offered by Altior, which is a legal training provider offering public training programmes, professional skills courses, and SQE preparation courses, among other things. 

📚 What does the course cover?

Altior's contract drafting course covers the key principles on contract drafting, how to plan and structure clauses, and how to draft in a concise way. It also covers the basic rules of drafting contractual obligations and recaps on key contract terms, like warranties, conditions, and so on. 

🧑 Who is it designed for?

According to the course overview, this contract drafting course is best suited for trainee and junior lawyers looking to improve their ability to draft commercial contracts. Although there are no pre-requesities for taking the course, those with some basic drafting experience would benefit most from it. 

⏰ Length

This contract drafting course takes roughly six hours to complete, and it can be completed either in one day or spread across two separate dates, depending on your preference.

🌎 Location

This course is completed online, meaning that it is accessible to everyone. However, the drafting course does focus on UK contract drafting, so it will be best suited to lawyers within the UK. 

💰 Cost 

This is one of the cheapest contract drafting courses available by far, with a starting price of £165. 

5. Cambridge Law Studio Drafting Commercial Contracts Course

Cambridge Law Studio's drafting contracts course is one of the most unique drafting courses available since it attempts to help international lawyers draft and understand contracts in the English language, rather than their own. 

📚 What does the course cover?

Since this drafting course aims to help international speakers draft contracts in English, the majority of this course focuses on understanding the vocabulary used in English contracts, and the way the language itself is used. However, it also covers the best practices for contract drafting, among other things. 

🧑 Who is it designed for?

This particular contract drafting course is designed for international lawyers that want to improve their ability to draft contracts in English. 

⏰ Length

This course is four days long, with a total of 24 hours spent in the classroom. 

🌎 Location

This particular contract drafting course is based in the University of Cambridge, which is in the UK. 

💰 Cost 

Unfortunately, it is unclear how much the Cambridge Law Studio charges for these courses. For more information, you may need to contact them directly. 

How to choose a contract drafting course

We’ve only covered a handful of contract drafting courses in this guide, but there are plenty on the market. In fact, there are so many, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. 

To help you out, we have complied a short list of things to consider when choosing a contract drafting programme: 

  • Budget: How much can you afford to spend on a contract drafting course? If the cost is going to be covered by your employer, how much of it can you expense?
  • Prior knowledge: How much do you already know about contract drafting? How advanced would you like the course to be? 
  • Teaching methods: How do you learn best? Would you prefer an interactive style of teaching? 
  • Location: How convenient is it for you to travel to the course if it is in-person? If the course is online, do you have the right materials and learning environment? 
  • Certification: Do you require a certificate of some sort? 
  • Your weaknesses: Is there a particular area of contract drafting that you struggle with? 
  • Specialism: Is the course relevant to the contracts you draft, or intend to draft in the future?

Are there any alternatives to contract drafting courses?

If you're not ready to commit to a contract drafting course just yet but you're keen to find out more about contract drafting, it could be worth checking out the events hosted by Laura Frederick at How to Contract.

Otherwise, you could check out these free online resources:

If you’re a business that’s finding drafting contracts particularly painful, fill in the form below and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

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