Using model clauses

For TCLP, use of the created content is equally important to our mission as the creative process itself. Use in turn informs future content creation, as we begin to identify gaps and opportunities for development in our content portfolio. This stage can be completed at the beginning or end of the TCLP process.

How you do it:

There are 4 steps to using our model clauses.

Step 1: Clause familiarisation 

This step will differ depending on whether you are aiming for whole firm/organisation use or a narrower focus on a particular theme, practice area or industry.

There are a number of ways to become familiar with TCLP’s existing content:

In this stage you can begin to evaluate which clauses are most relevant to your organisation. Take note of which clauses are most relevant to your work, which could be used in your existing precedent documents, and which clauses you want to adapt for future use.

We suggest using four key questions:

  • How widely applicable is this clause (across industry sectors/legal practice areas)? 
  • How great is the potential climate impact of this clause?
  • How easy is it to integrate this clause into your precedent banks?
  • How easy is it to integrate this clause into client contracts?

Step 2: Clause engagement 

There are two parts to this stage and both will help you to engage with your chosen clauses on a deeper level. 

Clause ‘sell-in’

‘Sell-in’ is for the clauses which are ready to be used ‘as found’ with little or no redrafting. The exercise encourages you to think about the next steps towards using these clauses in your work. 

How you do it:

  • Select clauses which you think could be used in your precedent banks with little or no redrafting.
  • Consider the practice area and/or type of agreement that they fit into and whether they could be easily incorporated.
  • Populate the ‘individual clause sell-in’ template, which is a framework for discussing the relevant stakeholders and gatekeepers to using each clause, as well as what the obstacles might be and relevant ‘next steps’ to overcome them.

Clause adaptation

‘Adaptation’ encourages you to think creatively about the clauses, consider them as opportunities from a range of different perspectives and use this information to engender new applications or figurations of a clause.

How you do it:

  • Open the Fast Idea Generator and consider your clauses and how they may be used in different contexts than imagined by the original author(s).
  • Populate the adaptation exercise template, imagining new applications for the drafting and receiving feedback and input from others.

See the updating, adapting and translating our publications page for details on how to feed your ideas and changes back to us.

Step 3: Plan of action 

The aim of this step is for you to make a plan of action to incorporate the clauses into your precedent banks and then in turn use them in actual contracts. Consider:

  • How will the clauses be placed into your organisation’s precedent banks?
  • Once the clauses have been placed in your precedent banks, what steps are required to get them into actual contracts?
  • Who are the gatekeepers in your organisation that can help you to achieve these steps? Who can you help, in turn?

How you do it:

  • Option 1: Suggest that participants organise a one-to-one chat with another member of the TCLP community who has: (a) perspective useful to what they need (i.e. client side, firm side), or (b) is further along in the journey than them and can share tips/experience. This can be done by reaching out to the community member on our TCLP Slack channel, or by emailing the TCLP team, who can put them in touch with someone suitable.
  • Option 2: Collaboratively populate this buy-in template with perceived challenges, successes and ways in which TCLP can help. Use it to prompt discussion on what you need going forward, what you can learn from someone else, and any insight you can share with others. This template can also be used to identify an individual further along the journey than you that you can approach on our TCLP Slack channel for tips, as in Option 1 above.

Step 4: Action! 

Now it’s over to you to go and put your plan into action! This step is to be undertaken within your own firm or organisation, where you use what you have learned to go away and ‘do the work’ of putting clauses into precedents and contracts.

You will need:

  • A good overview of your practice areas and precedents;
  • A small internal working group, consisting of diverse representation across teams; and
  • At least one senior member with good overarching knowledge of your business.

How you do it:

  • Complete Steps 1, 2 and 3 above.
  • Tag clauses (and adaptations) by agreement type and by stage of contract.
  • Allocate selected applicable clauses to relevant teams/partners and lawyers in your business. Use your learnings from Step 3 (Plan of action) to identify the best approach.
  • Ask the relevant teams to draft the clauses into the precedent documents. Track amendments made and issues to consider.
  • Review and align.
  • Submit your drafting and practice notes to TCLP by following the steps on the updating, adapting and translating our publications page.

Change the precedent, change the world!