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March 08, 2023

ABA publishes new edition of top guide for lawyers working with contracts

CHICAGO, March 8, 2023 — The American Bar Association Business Law Section has published an updated fifth edition of its best-selling book, “A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, Fifth Edition,” which has become an important legal resource in the U.S. and internationally for most everything contracts.

Author Kenneth A. Adams has created a uniquely in-depth survey of the building blocks of contract language. First published in 2004, the guide offers those who draft, review, negotiate or interpret contracts an alternative to the dysfunction of traditional contract language and the inertia and flawed conventional wisdom that perpetuate it. 

The latest edition contains more than 70 pages of new material addressing an array of topics. Still, the manual’s focus remains how to express contract terms in prose that is free of the archaisms, redundancies, ambiguities and other glitches that afflict traditional contract language. With exceptional analysis and an unmatched level of practical detail, the author highlights common sources of confusion and recommends clearer and more concise alternatives. This manual is organized to facilitate easy reference, and it illustrates its analysis with numerous examples.

Adams, a lawyer who is a leading authority on how to clearly state in contracts whatever you want to say, has developed a basket of offerings, including Drafting Clearer Contracts presentations for companies, law firms and government agencies to use internationally. He also offers Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass, an online course built around eight live hourlong sessions once a week with supplemental reading and quizzes. Adams is also chief content officer of LegalSifter, a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to help with the contract process. He maintains a blog and website at

Title:                              A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, Fifth Edition”Publisher:                     ABA Business Law Section
Pages:                           668 pages
Product Code:              5070814
ISBN:                             978-1- 63905-351-6
Size:                              7x10
Binding:                        Hardcover
Price:                             $139.95
Orders:                          800-285-2221 or

Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Katrina Krause at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Katrina Krause, ABA Business Law Section, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.