The Ultimate Guide to Clause Libraries

A step-by-step guide

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When it comes down to it, legal work is all about sharing knowledge. Legal experts arm themselves with knowledge of the law. 

Sure, there are transactional lawyers and litigation lawyers; corporate lawyers and employment lawyers; in-house counsel and attorneys. But whatever their place in the legal services sector, lawyers apply their knowledge to solve problems, and they typically do so by providing it in a document format (e.g.: a contract, a memo, an email, a petition to the court, etc.)

With this in mind, the importance of being able to make that knowledge available in the most user-friendly, most efficient way possible is what sets otherwise equal legal experts apart. 

But while a lot of time and effort goes into creating documents, strikingly little thought goes into how to best capture the knowledge within for future projects to boost the internal workings of the organisation. This leads to a constant reinventing of the wheel, as legal experts individually do drafting work they have done previously and new team members do drafting work their seniors have done before them. 

Enter: the clause library

Clause libraries  (also known as a “clause bank” or “precedent library”) are repositories filled with standardised template clauses that have been pre-constructed and pre-approved, and ideally give legal experts a one-stop shop for their drafting needs. 

Many different approaches to the clause library exist, and we will be looking at several of them in this guide, but they all have the same benefit in mind: making standardised content available in an easily retrievable way and then assisting legal experts to use that content in a way that makes optimal use of their time.