Redesigning the Contract Lawyer

11 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2021 Last revised: 12 Nov 2021

Date Written: November 7, 2021


This paper is a preliminary work in progress paper dealing with contract drafting for smart legal contracts. The paper describes how lawyers are taught to draft in a non-deterministic style which will not work for smart legal contracts. Smart legal contracts will be written in some computer code which will be in a deterministic language. This difference may also require lawyers to be trained in a new style of drafting and possibly being trained to produce appropriate pseudo-code. Finally contract interpretation could become complex as judges will now have to understand how the smart contract code corresponds to the natural language version and possible the intermediate step of pseudo-code analysis. The paper provides an outline of the difficulties that will confront the next generation of front-end contract lawyers.

Keywords: smart contracts, pseudo-code, lawyers, drafting styles, judges,boiler-plate clauses

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

McCullagh, Adrian, Redesigning the Contract Lawyer (November 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Adrian McCullagh (Contact Author)

Griffith Law School ( email )

Nathan Campus, GU
Nathan 4111

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