The Clausehound Playbook is a framework that walks the user through the entire legal drafting process. While it was initially created for the purpose of helping lawyers draft agreements more efficiently, we have found that it is extremely effective for use by legal students, and entrepreneurs who embrace DIY.
Starting with the overview, Playbooks provides a summary of the agreement, so the user can gain some context and general understanding before they begin drafting. Each user has a custom Playbook, which is designed to track and save progress from start to finish.
The second step, “understand your deal”, enables the user to think more deeply about what their objectives are for the agreement. It allows them to write down their goals, concerns, the counterparty’s thoughts, and the overall context of the agreement. This allows users to organize their objectives, and to understand the thought process required to draft and then negotiate an agreement. This step also helps the user to identify what further information (including research or expert advice) is required.
The Ask Clausehound button connects the user directly to the Clausehound research team, composed of young lawyers and articling students, who can assist the user with questions they may have. Because the Clausehound team has access to the user’s notes, the team member is able to quickly understand the background for the user’s questions. Playbooks also provide affiliate articles that the entrepreneur can read to gain additional knowledge regarding the agreement topic. We are continuously adding content. For example, our Distribution Agreement has 6 related articles and for something more commonly used, like a Non-disclosure Agreement, we have as many as 20. As the entrepreneur goes through the Playbook, their progress is tracked and saved for future editing and review.
Users are also provided with a checklist of the major terms and concepts found in the particular type of agreement. The user can determine which items are relevant for their ‘deal’, and keep track of them by checking off each item being used in the agreement.
The Playbook teaches valuable drafting skills by modelling the sequential steps used by experienced drafters when they draft a legal document. At the same time, the agreement is downloaded and available for revision and customizing.
For entrepreneurs who do not want to DIY, use of the Playbook can shorten the time they will need to spend with legal counsel. Their exposure to the Playbook methodology, the related articles, and the template of the agreement itself helps the entrepreneur to become better-equipped to ask their legal counsel the important questions, without wasting (expensive) time.