Legal Drafting

(2140.03) Course
Instructor(s): S. Benda; Adjunct Professor

Description: This course focuses on the language, structure, elements, appearance and organization of documents that create and support legal relationships such as a formal contract.   Students first learn the common formats of legal agreements, e.g. formal contracts, MOUs, term sheets.   Secondly students then learn the architecture, and appearance of a contract.   Thirdly key elements / components and grammar pertinent to a contract are reviewed. Finally students analyze, review and discuss legal documents in the areas of corporate/commercial law, intellectual property law and other substantive law areas.   The seminars include comments on risk management, revising legal documents, software, business realties and selecting and adapting precedents. There is one guest lecture on drafting in a litigation context, and a closing lecture with a panel of judges and senior counsel.  (The last class is held in downtown Toronto.)   The overall emphasis is on modern legal drafting conventions and techniques.   There are three assessments:  class participation / presentation on a particular type of contract, e.g. shareholder agreement;  mid-term assignment and final assignment.  Both assignments are drafting challenges.  The first assignment deals with key paragraphs or concepts, the second assignment has a complete contract.  There are page or word limits to each assignment, typically 10 pages maximum length. The objective and theme is to equip students with the tools to creatively draft contracts, solve problems and address risk issues — all things outside the competency of a computer or software.  

Evaluation: Presentation / participation 20%; Assignment 1 - 40% and assignment 2 - 40%:  Both assignments are take home with a week to complete.

Fall: 3 credits; 3 hours
Max. Enrollment: 36
Prerequisite Courses: Contracts
Preferred Courses: None
Presentation: Lectures, discussion, some workshop. Praxicum designation pending approval.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement: No
Praxicum: Yes