Geneva Campbell Brown, left, and Stephanie Win Hu, right. Courtesy photos

Imagine your internal client calls you because a vendor did not provide the services we anticipated at the time or cost that we were expecting. You pull out the supplier agreement you drafted to recall your rights and their obligations. However, legalese makes the contract difficult to interpret and leaves your client in a weak position. You cannot locate the service levels or consequences for failure to meet them. You realize that, when you return your client’s call, your lack of care in drafting this agreement will be on full display. This nightmare can be avoided.

The ability to effectively present a point or argument in writing is a vital skill for in-house counsel, something we can carry from our time in private practice. Perfecting drafting skills remains a critical and valued capability for in-house practice that can make you stand out as an effective legal partner to the business and boost your professional confidence. The most successful counsel will be able to take complex issues or voluminous information and transform it into something clear, convincing and straightforward. Here, we outline a few fundamental concepts for balancing legal analysis and business needs to enhance proficiency when drafting agreements.