Legal practice is rife with contracts that part of makes the essence of the legal industry. Whether it is internal amongst the employees or a new business deal, in many ways, contracts don’t just formally lay out the terms and conditions of an agreement, it is also a major key point that governs and strengthens relationships.
Unfortunately, the legal contracts do not display the same kind of excitement that we actually feel while welcoming a new employee in the firm, or when closing a new business deal with a client/partner. What our contracts lack is the emotion and joy that we actually feel while establishing a new relationship.
This is becoming increasingly common as more and more lawyers are starting to work remotely post the pandemic. With less face-to-face interactions with clients, the contract process seems to be a lengthy and rather boring formality, making the entire process seem very disconnected from the business and its people.
This is the time when the legal teams should consider reinventing contracts in order to make them sound more human and friendly. Take a look at these five steps that can add emotion to your legal contracts:
- Use your brand voice
Firms spend a lot of time developing a specific brand tone and voice that represents them on social media, emails and various other documents. So why not use the same brand voice in your contracts as well?
Because people are already aware of your brand tone, it will be much easier to communicate with employees and clients or potential business clients in the form of contracts as well. Instead of using complicated legal language filled with jargons that confuses the other party and is time-consuming, a few pages of friendly and easy language will help you secure a new established relationship easily.
- Transparency is the key
Inserting most important points in the depth of the contract is the most common mistake that we do. It is not only complicated and time-consuming, but also triggers the other party to lose interest in signing the contract hence delaying the transaction.
Legal teams need to mention the most important details at the beginning of the document so that the other party saves time and makes the decision easily. This is especially important when you are closing business deals.
- Display excitement and emotions
There is no hard-and-fast rule that all contracts need to sound extremely formal, monotonous and boring. Your contracts should use the same human, friendly tone that you use on social media and internal emails. Whether you are welcoming a new employee in your firm, or congratulating a new client and partner for joining your business, the legal contract should display the right amount of excitement that would make them feel like they are dealing with a proper team instead of a plain, faceless organization.
This holds more importance now when meetings are being done online instead of having in-person interactions. The other party needs to feel welcomed and by adding a human touch and friendly voice to your contracts, it will do just that. For instance, if you are hiring a new employee, legal teams can try add some friendly personal information that the employee may have shared during the interview can do wonders.
- Make your steps and expectations clear
Once you have used that friendly tone in your contracts, the next thing legal teams need to make sure of is the expectations. The counter-party needs to make sure what your next steps will be after they have signed the contract.
For instance, if you have signed an agreement with a new client, your legal contract should point out the next steps involved such as client onboarding and training, depending on your business. Get your clients involved in every step by making sure your team member is constantly in touch with them for every step so that everyone is on the same page and everything is transparent.
- The magic of visuals
Your legal contract should be branded consistently. Make sure to use your firm’s logo, brand colours and messaging throughout the contract that will make it stand out from others.
In addition to all the above-mentioned points, make sure that you use automation to make the entire process easier. Through automation, legal teams can create templates and design the contracts to make it look less formal and more friendly.