From Brief to Business: How Mastering Brief Writing Techniques is Essential for Successfully Drafting Transactional Documents


transactional documents, drafting, legal writing, persuasive writing

Document Type



Transactional documents - contracts, wills, prenuptial agreements, residential real estate leases, merger agreements - are prospective documents that establish a binding agreement between two or more parties. The goal of those transactional documents is to ensure the smooth operation of any business; as a result, they are different from briefs that typically look back at past actions.

Most lawyers, therefore, only think of persuasive writing when thinking about litigation-related writing. Yet, like briefs, transactional documents must be drafted in a persuasive manner to ensure that they are effective in (1) securing a legally binding agreement that cannot be second-guessed and (2) communicating the parties’ intent. Persuasive writing techniques will help achieve these two goals. First, using persuasive language when drafting transactional documents is helpful to the parties: persuasive drafting choices can convince the counterparty to perform according to the agreement. Second, while “the transactional drafter’s aim is to minimize the likelihood of third-party intervention,” if third-party intervention does occur, persuasive writing techniques can help ensure that the agreement will be interpreted in the way your client intended.