The TRA Contract Drafting Competition, in association with NLSIU and Uber, seeks to engage with the community of law students in India in a bid to introduce and further the art of modern legal drafting, especially contract drafting. At TRA, we understand the criticality of good legal-drafting skills. At the workplace, whether it be a corporate law firm or the chambers of a litigation practitioner, young advocates who possess good drafting skills are preferred over their peers in blue-chip corporate transactions as well as high-stakes litigation matters, that all of us wanted to be a part of. Today, many employers test language and drafting skills before taking hiring decisions as well. Despite its formidable role in law practice, most law schools do little to impart any meaningful education in the art and craft of modern legal drafting. As the judiciary transitions from the the “strict interpretation” approach to interpretation of contracts to the “purposive interpretation” approach, a new era of legal writing has come to the fore. The modern style of contract drafting believes in restricting the use of legalese and legal jargon to the extent possible and instead encourages the use of Plain English. With the TRA Contract Drafting Competition, we hope to spark the interest of law students in exploring the age-old and ever-evolving art of contract drafting.
The subject matter of the TRA Contract Drafting Competition, summarised in the “Case-Brief” below, also provides participants a unique opportunity to work in areas where laws and regulations are yet to develop. It takes away from the participants the comfort of legal certainty provided by statutes and judicial decisions. In order to address the legal challenges of their fictional client, participants will have to rely on first-principles and analogous bodies of law, thus exposing them to interesting and contemporary public policy questions being debated around the world. We believe that exposing young minds to the dilemma presented between the allure of technological advancements and the tempering provided by legal conservatism, will have a huge impact in furthering public debate on these issues and even expedite the process of catch-up that the law must play with technology every few years. After all, at TRA, we are only too familiar with this dilemma.