13 episodes

**Create contracts clients love**

The Checklist Legal Podcast is dedicated to helping you make your contracts better.

Clearly designed legal documents and efficient contract processes are more important than ever. The Checklist Legal Podcast helps you understand key areas of legal design, contract design, and legal technology.

Join Verity White, contract designer and Principal Lawyer at boutique law firm Checklist Legal, as she interviews experts in legal design, technology, and contract automation from around the world to uncover new techniques to create contracts that clients love.

Checklist Legal Podcast with Verity White Verity White, Corporate Lawyer and Contract Productivity Enthusiast

    • Business
    • 5.0, 6 Ratings

**Create contracts clients love**

The Checklist Legal Podcast is dedicated to helping you make your contracts better.

Clearly designed legal documents and efficient contract processes are more important than ever. The Checklist Legal Podcast helps you understand key areas of legal design, contract design, and legal technology.

Join Verity White, contract designer and Principal Lawyer at boutique law firm Checklist Legal, as she interviews experts in legal design, technology, and contract automation from around the world to uncover new techniques to create contracts that clients love.

    Legal Intrapreneur Basics - SPECIAL Live episode - Legal Innovation & Tech Fest

    Legal Intrapreneur Basics - SPECIAL Live episode - Legal Innovation & Tech Fest

    Ep12 - Legal Intrapreneur Basics - Live recording from Legal Innovation & Tech Fest (Sydney, 2018)

    Mindset: Will you go to the movies with me?

    In this special episode, we go the Sydney 2018 Legal Innovation and Tech Fest where Verity Presented on Legal Intrapreneur Basics. We learn

    You can listen and follow along with the presentation pack and other resources from the presentation here at: https://www.checklistlegal.com/legaltechfest

    This presentation covered a range of ideas on moving from innovation idea, to testing to roll out including:
    > How to structure and prioritise innovation ideas for testing
    > 3 simple ways to run user testing
    > How to build a basic, board table ready business case you can use to show your value at an end of year Performance review and slow potential reform on investment in new tech
    > Take up tactics to help get colleagues, managers and clients interested in your new idea
    > Take hands-on responsibility for creating innovation… …even if it is just trying new stuff!

    **Actionable Challenge
    Try using the Basic Business Case template (from https://www.checklistlegal.com/legaltechfest) the next time you have a project or innovation idea to explain.

    **Resources and links mentioned on this episode:
    > See the presentation pack and other resources at https://www.checklistlegal.com/legaltechfest
    > Check out the other templates and downloads on the Resources Page (https://www.checklistlegal.com/resources)
    > Head to https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes, resources links, and templates.
    > Theme music: Silent Partner, ‘Sway this way’
    > Head to the Checklist Legal Resources page for access to the other templates and examples mentioned in the show.

    • 47 min
    Episode 011 Making a Reverse Sandwich Contract and what's next for the Checklist Legal Podcast

    Episode 011 Making a Reverse Sandwich Contract and what's next for the Checklist Legal Podcast

    >>> Mindset: Making productive magic happen

    This is the episode that puts together all the previous episodes and ideas into one full process overview…
    · We run through the four big Secrets of Productive Contracts
    · We step through six steps of how to make a Reverse Sandwich Contract™ which makes use of those four contract secrets

    In Episode 01 (Productive Contracts: Reverse Sandwich Contracts), we met our productivity powerhouse, the Reverse Sandwich Contract™. We learnt the basic concept and structure of a Reverse Sandwich Contract and why it makes for a tasty contracting experience.

    In Episode 02 (A contract is not a bit of paper), we started thinking digitally about how we work with contracts and contract users.

    By Episode 03 (Be a lazy lawyer) and Episode 04 (Delegate like Beyonce), we were starting to think like a lazy lawyer and keep a look out for minions so we can delegate like Beyonce.

    From Episode 05 (Triple O Productivity) all the way to Episode 10 (How to map a contract process), we covered a lot of productivity ground. We learnt how to apply Triple O Productivity to everything we touch – the contract document (Episode 06) and contract process (Episode 09) – to streamline our contract into a productivity producing beast. We learnt the SLAPP test in Episode 07 to streamline contracts and we tried to lose legalese from our contracts in Episode 08.

    Now, it is time to put all the secrets together and make our very own Reverse Sandwich Contract™.

    Let’s recap the Secrets of Productive Contracts

    1. MAKE A REVERSE SANDWICH CONTRACT
    Useful and usable | Structure your contract for the future to get productivity wins on the board, fast. See Episode 01.

    2. YOUR CONTRACT IS NOT A BIT OF PAPER
    Think digitally | Start thinking digitally to see your contract (and life!) for what it really is and what it can be.

    3. BE A LAZY LAWYER
    Delegate like Beyoncé | Learn to automate and outsource. Always lookout for minions (human and robot) who can effectively do a contractual task, leaving you to increase your skills in higher value areas. See Episode 02.

    4. TRIPLE O PRODUCTIVITY
    Apply TOP for your contract document and contract process
    Write for readability | Obliterate, Optimise and Outsource your contract document for massive productivity gains. SLAPP your contract into shape. Use the SLAPP system’s five key document angles to confirm your contract document is at its productive peak – Structure, Looks, Automation, Plain language , Pictures.

    >>> Be curious | Obliterate, Optimise and Outsource your contract process for an ongoing efficiency pay off. Don’t put lipstick on a process pig! Fix your contract processes.
    See Episode 05 (Triple O Productivity) all the way to Episode 10 (How to map a contract process)

    ***ACTIONABLE CHALLENGE***
    Try the entire Reverse Sandwich Contract™ process in full. Choose a basic contract and follow the steps to see how much you can improve the productivity of your contract process and document.

    ***LINK***
    Resources and links mentioned on this episode:
    > MANY :) Check the individual episode shownotes for details
    > Download the infographic for the high level Reverse Sandwich Contract overview
    > Check out the other templates and downloads on the Resources Page
    > Head to https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes.
    > Theme music: Silent Partner, ‘Sway this way’
    > Head to the Checklist Legal Resources page for access to the other templates and examples mentioned in the show.

    • 13 min
    Ep10 How to map a contract for productivity

    Ep10 How to map a contract for productivity

    Mindset: IT’S COMPLICATED (But it doesn’t have to be)

    This episode of the Checklist Legal Podcast covers:
    • How to create a mind map and my favourite application for creating mind maps
    • How to create Swimlane process maps for more complicated contracts with lots of moving parts

    Head to the website https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast and click on episode 10 for:
    • an example mind map for a basic contract process, from application form to approval, contract execution and welcome pack.
    • a basic swim lane diagram template you can use.

    Key Takeaways
    • Find out who owns the contract process steps that are slowing everyone down
    • Check in process step owners and ask how can you make life easier or speed things up for them.
    • Reduce the number of people in the process.
    • Gather clear and accurate information as early as possible
    • Try to link in with an existing customer database to reduce data entry (which people find boring and often put off).
    • Make it a firm requirement to get all information from clients or customer before the contract process kicks off (i.e. in an application form or other collection method).
    • Add hard stops that don’t allow people to proceed without entering required information.
    • Use drop down menus or check boxes instead of free text fields to eliminate errors and speed up data entry.

    Start simple, avoid those process pigs! Start out your contract mapping career with some easy… low hanging fruit process. Stick with documents that have linear work flows (i.e. I send to Justin, Justin fills in information signs and sends to Brittany, Brittany signs and we are done!).

    **Actionable Challenge**
    Pick a basic contract you work on regularly - it doesn’t have to be a hard one or one you dislike - go to Coggle (or use any mind map tool or pens and paper) and map that contract out step by step.

    **LINKS**
    Get the Swim Lane Diagram template and other free resources via https://www.checklistlegal.com/resources

    Checklist Legal – Article about Legal Process Mapping
    https://www.checklistlegal.com/2017/11/legal-process-mapping-guide/

    Swim Lane Diagram template download: https://www.checklistlegal.com/example-legal-process-mapping-swim-lane-diagram-2/

    **Decision Trees and mapping**
    Zingtree: Zingtree is an incredibly powerful way to give guided advice or troubleshoot issues (https://zingtree.com/?aid=17173)
    Coggle: Coggle is an amazing mind mapping tool (https://coggle.it/recommend/560e2a38066647fa5777db5e)
    Stationary: Or just use Post its or Pen and paper (from your drawer!)
     Post its
     Whiteboard and markers

    For the 5 Why technique straight from Toyota, see toyota-global.com/company/toyota_traditions/quality/mar_apr_2006.html, accessed 27 May 2017.

    TD Barton, H Haapio and T Borisova, ‘Flexibility and Stability in Contracts’© (2014) Retrieved via ulapland.fi/loader.aspx?id=5a80d6cd-83dd-4126-bb16-a069b85533d2, accessed 10 June 2017.

    Think Buzan, ‘Mind Mapping Evidence Report’ Retrieved via b701d59276e9340c5b4d-ba88e5c92710a8d62fc2e3a3b5f53bbb.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/docs/Mind%20Mapping%20Evidence%20Report.pdf, accessed 10 June 2017.

    Mind Mapping, ‘What is a Mind Map?’(2017) Retrieved via mindmapping.com/mind-map.php, accessed 10 June 2017.

    Head to https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes, resources links, and templates.
    Music: 'Sway this way' by @SilentPartner

    • 16 min
    Ep09 Triple O Productivity for your contract process - Make your contracting process more productive

    Ep09 Triple O Productivity for your contract process - Make your contracting process more productive

    Episode 09: Triple O Productivity for your contract process - How to make your contracting process more productive

    MINDSET: GET CURIOUS

    On this episode, we do a ‘why’ oveview of contract process mapping. We lay out the broad way to use Triple O Prodcutivity™ to improve your contract process productivity. The next episode delves deeper into the ‘how’ of contract process mapping.

    • Why you have to get your contract process in sync with your contract document
    • An example of an out of sync, slow process and how process mapping fixed it.
    • Why a visual map of a process is so important

    *Key Takeaways*
    For a contract to operate at optimum productivity, all the users of a contract must row together with complete trust in each other, the contract document and the contract process. Ask the 3 key contract process Triple O Productivity questions….
    1. Obliterate: Do we need this step in the process? Can we do something else so this step isn’t needed?
    2. Optimise: Now we are left with only the necessary process steps, is there a way to make every step in the contract process smooth, simple and speedy?
    3. Outsource: What parts of the contract process are best completed by…
    • a Robot Minion?
    • a Contract Owner Minion?
    • a Customer Minion?
    • a Minion Minion?
    • Me?

    *Actionable Challenge*
    Consider a contract process you find frustrating or slow or annoying and instead of getting frustrated, get curious and make three lists…

    Approvals – Make a list of all the different approvals in that contract… when you have all the names and departments of every “approver”, you can then ask them what they “approve”… what are their concerns they are looking for in the contract…
    Thresholds – Once you know the approvers & what they are looking for, you can develop a list of thresholds next to each approver… is there a certain level of risk they are concerned about? Are they just wanting to make sure everything is standard? Ask them what (if any) level of risk or value would mean their approval isn’t needed… ask them what areas they are concerned about and add this to the list.
    Knowledge management and upskilling – With an understanding of who the approvers are, their current concerns and thresholds for needing to approve or not, you can then provide clear advice about the different options available at different levels… once they have your advice and understand the process themselves, they might not want or need to approve any more or perhaps their approval will take minutes, not days.

    LINKS
    Sarah McCoubrey, ‘Can plain language change our approach to conflict’ (November 2016) Presented at Clarity2016, Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved via clarity2016.org/can-plain-language-change-our-approach-to-conflict, accessed 7 June 2017.

    ‘Lawyers should be enterprise architects’ - George Dent, ‘Business Lawyers as Enterprise Architects’ (2009). 64 The Business Lawyer 279 (2009); Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-25. Available at SSRN: ssrn.com/abstract=1264063

    ‘Contracts and Legal staff are good at fixing problems. However, this ignores the point that many of those problems could have been avoided.’ IACCM, ‘Top Negotiated Terms 2015: No News Is Bad News’ (21 January 2016) iaccm.com/resources/?id=9105&login&welcome# , accessed 10 June 2017.

    DocuSign: https://refer.docusign.com/s/verity

    Australian Story, ‘She's Not There’ (14 July 2008) Retrieved via abc.net.au/austory/content/2007/s2304453.htm, accessed 9 May 2017.
    Head to https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes, resources links, and templates.
    Music: 'Sway this way' by @SilentPartner

    • 17 min
    Ep08 Is it time lawyers lose the legalese?

    Ep08 Is it time lawyers lose the legalese?

    Episode 08: Is it time lawyers lose the legalese?
    MINDSET: LESS LEGALESE, MORE TRUST

    On this episode of the Checklist Legal Podcast:
    • Scientific proof clients hate legalese
    • Why lawyers should hate legalese too
    • Why (as Prof Joe Kimble says) the law is no serious obstacle to writing clearly and plainly
    • How you can sound smarter (hint: use plain language)
    • 3 legalese words to banish from your contracts.

    Key Takeaways
    Steer clear of legalese.
    Do the work to understand your reader and write for readability to gain trust.
    Complex texts are difficult to read.
    Write clearly and simply if you can, and you’ll be more likely to be thought of as intelligent.
    Ask for feedback… identify complicated wordy words in your contracts and other writing and look them up on word swap lists to find

    Actionable Challenge
    Do a “find replace” on your contracts for the following words…
    Utilise (or utilize)… swap for… Use
    Subsequent… swap for…Later, next
    Pursuant to…swap for… By, following, under

    LINKS
    Caitlin Whiteman, ‘Why easy-to-read is easy to like – what science tells us about the remarkable benefits of simplicity’, (21 March 2016) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-easy-to-read-easy-like-what-science-tells-us-caitlin-whiteman

    Chistopher R Trudeau, ‘The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication’ (May 20, 2012). 14 Scribes J. Leg. Writing 121 (2011-2012). Available at SSRN: ssrn.com/abstract=1843415

    Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (Hardcover), Bryan Garner. See also a fun article on these ‘here-and-there’ words based on Garner’s work by Andy Mergendahl (Lawyerist, 24 May 2012) lawyerist.com/43513/legal-writing-ditch-here-and-there-words/, accessed 10 June 2017.

    Joseph Kimble, ‘You Think the Law Requires Legalese? (21 October 2013) retrieved via legalwritingeditor.com/2013/10/21/think-law-requires legalese/#.WS1J1Gh97b0, accessed 30 May 2017.

    Centre for Plain Language, ‘Law Words: 30 essays on legal words & phrases’ (1995) Retrieved via clarity-international.net/documents/law_words.pdf accessed 10 June 2017.

    Law Reform Commission of Victoria, ‘Plain English and the Law Report’ (1987) No 9, Appendix I Drafting manual: Guidelines for drafting in plain English

    Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd Pocket Edition), definition via lawyerist.com/28922/thy-legal-writing-shall-not-include-shall/, accessed 10 June 2017.
    Joseph Kimble, ‘What is plain language?’ (2002) Retrieved via plainlanguage.gov/whatisPL/definitions/Kimble.cfm, accessed 10 June 2017.

    BA Garner, ‘Learning to Loathe Legalese’ (November 2006) Retrieved via michbar.org/file/barjournal/article/documents/pdf4article1085.pdf, accessed 10 June 2017.

    DM Oppenheimer, ‘Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly’ Applied Cognitive Psychology, (31 October 2005) Retrieved via ucd.ie/artspgs/semantics/ConsequencesErudite.pdf, accessed on 10 June 2017.

    For more word swap ideas: http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/files/alternative.pdf

    Head to https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes, resources links, and templates.
    Music: 'Sway this way' by @SilentPartner

    • 9 min
    Ep07: The SLAPP test for productive contracts

    Ep07: The SLAPP test for productive contracts

    Mindset: FINE TUNE DOCUMENT PERFORMANCE

    On this episode, we look at the SLAPP test. Key tactics we can use to improve the productivity of the contract document.

    We'll cover:
    • Academic studies showing the effectiveness of visual contract elements
    • The picture superiority effect
    • Why easy to read is easy to like
    • Contract formatting tips

    The SLAPP test: http://bit.ly/CLL_SLAPP

    >>
    Step 1 (Structure)- Is your contract structured like a Reverse Sandwich so it’s useful & usable?
    Step 2 (Likeable)- Does your contract look good?
    Step 3 (Automated)- Is your contract ready for low-code automation?
    Step 4 (Plain language )- How easy is your contract to read & understand?
    Step 5 (Pictures)- Do you use pictures, flowcharts, graphics, icons, tables & other visuals to break up text?

    >>
    ‘But I am simple in my communications!’ I hear you say. Well, there is an easy way to check. Go to your Sent email folder.
    Find the last email you sent which had more than 3 sentences.

    Click https://www.webpagefx.com/tools/readable/ & paste that text in. See what score you get… try re-writing & simplifying if over grade 9.

    >
    Formatting skills: https://www.howtogeek.com/school/microsoft-word-document-formatting-essentials/lesson5/all/

    Check the costs of poor writing using the ReWrite for Change calculators (http://rewriteforchange.com/calculators-2/).

    Readability tools: Grammarly (https://www.grammarly.com/)

    Test the Automated Visual Notice Clause Builder
    http://bit.ly/CLL_Visual_Notice_Clause

    Learn more about visual contracts (http://bit.ly/CLL_Visual_Contracts)

    Document structure concepts: International Business Communication Standards Association (IBCS-A)

    Hannah Morgan-Stone, ‘Plain to all: Using logic to distill complex thinking into clear documents’ (November 2016) Presentation at Clarity2016, Wellington NZ.

    ER Tufte, ‘Envisioning Information’ (1990) www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_ei, accessed 10 June 2017.

    H Song & N Schwarz, 'If it's hard to read, it's hard to do: Processing fluency affects effort prediction and motivation' (2008) Psychological Science 19(10): 986–988. www.dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/780/docs/08_ps_song___schwarz_effort.pdf, accessed 10 June 2017.

    Visual contracting: H Haapio & S Passaria, ‘Improving Contract Clarity’ (31 July 2014) (an excellent webinar presentation with accompanying notes) & H Haapio & S Passaria, ‘Visual Law: What Lawyers Need To Learn From Information Designers’ (15 May 2013) www.blog.law.cornell.edu/voxpop/2013/05/15/visual-law-what-lawyers-need-to-learn-from-information-designers/accessed 10 June 2017.

    Stefania Passera, ‘Contract visualization - boost your brand & bridge the language barrier’ (10 December 2014). www.iaccm.com/resources/?id=8255&cb=1478262447, accessed 10 June 2017.

    DL Nelson, US Reed, & JR Walling, ‘Pictorial superiority effect’ (1976) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning & Memory, 2, 523-528.

    For a visual overview of the Picture Superiority Effect, see DigitalSplashMedia’s fun animation www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLLDUyy8utY, accessed 13 May 2017.

    See generally Geoffrey Marnell (excellent not only for the title pun but also the content) ‘Measuring Readability, Part 1: The spirit is will but the Flesch is weak’, www.abelard.com.au/readability%20statistics.pdf, & ’Advantages & disadvantages of readability formulas’,

    NA Merola, ‘We like people who are easy to read: The influence of processing fluency in impression formation; (2014) www.repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/21572, accessed 11 June 2017.

    S Michie & K Lester, 'Words matter: increasing the implementation of clinical guidelines', (2005) Quality & Safety in Health Care 14:367–370. Retrieved via qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/14/5/367.long, accessed 11 June 2017.

    See https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes,

    • 16 min

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