Why Not Have a “DIY” Contract?

There is much to be admired about a Do-It-Yourself (also referred to by some as “DIY”) person. The key is to know when a DIY project is within one’s own arena of talent and set of skills. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and platforms such as ChatGPT, there are people who believe that they can write their own legal contracts without having to hire an attorney. However, preparing a legally binding contract able to withstand legal challenges is often an area where one should follow the admonition “You get what you pay for.”

There are two basic reasons why hiring a lawyer to draft a contract is often a better option than a “DIY” effort to create a legally enforceable document.

First, an attorney can help you analyze and think about the different scenarios and consequences of your contemplated contract. Quite often, a person will have an idea of what they want without identifying all possible consequences of an agreement. Having an outside perspective by somebody who is trained to be both objective and watch out for your interests is often quite valuable. A good lawyer is literally a counselor of law.

Second, an attorney can ensure that the contract requires all material terms and is legally enforceable using appropriate language. Contracts written by people uneducated in the law often fail because key contract terms are missing and/or ambiguous language is used.

As with many sayings, there is often truth behind the old adage that a person who represents themselves in a legal matter: “Has a fool for a client.” If you are inclined to prepare a DIY contract but decide you want to avoid preparing a foolish agreement, you may consider contacting the attorneys at Lemons, Grundy & Eisenberg.