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Why the unlawyered shouldn't use online templates

Charles BrecqueCharles Brecque
Last updated on:
February 3, 2022
Published on:
November 9, 2021

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Discussing the temp in templates.

There is no shortage of free or paid contract template providers online for anyone seeking some form of agreement. The UK government even offers example templates for the Non-Disclosure Agreement and Assured shorthold tenancy agreement. However, working with a trustworthy contract template is not always the safest or most useful option for the unlawyered. Moreover there are  situations when a trustworthy template won't be sutiable such as with the model assured shorthold tenancy agreement. When using online templates and creating contracts on your own, you might find yourself tackling the three Ts: tailoring, tracking and terms. 

  1. Tailoring

The first reason is that a template will inevitably require some form of tailoring to the specific situation it is being used for. For example, there are different types of tenancy agreements based on the duration, property and types of tenants and an NDA with a potential hire will require a different set of terms than with a potential customer. Choosing the wrong contract can result in not having the right protection or worse a vitiating factor.

  1. Tracking

The second reason is that a configured template is only one step of the process. Contracts need to be signed which often requires coordination and tracking via email which can be painful for the coordinator. Centralised contract management systems can help but are often not suitable for the unlawyered since they are designed for larger organisations or in-house legal teams.

  1. Terms

Finally, whilst the legalese of a contract is essential for binding the terms together, it is not as useful to the unlawyered as the core terms themselves. This means that a spreadsheet with a summary of the contract’s key terms such as the start and end date is more useful than a pdf filled with paragraphs of text. However, the terms would need to be manually extracted from the template, and each time a new contract is initiated which isn’t practical either.

Curious about automated data extraction from documents?

Why choose an end-to-end contract platform?

Choosing an end-to-end contract platform which provides lawyer approved templates can save time whilst simultaneously preventing legal headaches. Legislate was built for the unlawyered to help them create and manage simple agreements without requiring a lawyer in the loop. Templates are easily configured within the platform and never need to be downloaded and shared since parties are invited to collaborate directly in Legislate.

Once the terms are agreed, contract data is automatically extracted from the agreements thanks to patent pending knowledge graph technology which means the unlawyered have complete visibility in their contracts and business.

If you would like to learn how to easily create employment contracts or assured shorthold tenancy agreements in the UK, read one of our tutorials, book a demo or sign up.

The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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