clause library

Best practices for building clause libraries

In order for your clause library to be used effectively, you do need to set it up for success. Here are our best practices for building top-notch clause libraries.
Febe Roosens
3 minutes

How to build a clause library: 6 must-know tips

We recently launched ClauseBuddy, a game-changing drafting tool that will revolutionise how you draft contracts, memos, emails, petitions to the court, etc.

With ClauseBuddy, it’s easy to add clauses from your document to the library, or from the library to your document. Not only does ClauseBuddy helps you to find the right content, but it also allows you to ensure consistency and compliance. That’s because as you build clause libraries, you can provide standardised template clauses that have been pre-constructed and pre-approved, and ideally give everyone a one-stop shop for their drafting needs.

Even better, ClauseBuddy allows you to do all of this without leaving your trusted MSWord environment, so you can start building your clause library directly from the document you are working in – without having to switch to another tool.

In order for your clause library to be used effectively, you do need to set it up for success. Here are our best practices for building top-notch clause libraries.

1. Start with access bundles

It might sound obvious, but before you start building your library, ask yourself: who needs access to which content? In order to make the relevant content available to the right legal experts, it will be necessary to create silos.

2. Choose your folder structure

There are two ways in which you can structure your clause library:

When you operate in a wide range of legal matters.
When you do more specialised work.

Pro tip: There is no perfect approach – both options have their advantages and disadvantages, just be consistent.

3. Only add your best content

Things to take into account when adding clauses:

  • What to do with overlapping clauses?
  • What to do with outdated clauses?
  • What to do with redlined clauses?
“Don’t add all the clauses the organisation has ever created in the past.”

Only upload the legally different clauses. There are thousands of cosmetically different ways to write a clause, even though legally speaking many of those would boil down to the same clause. The trick is to find those versions and only upload those legally different clauses.

Only add up to date clauses. Law is constantly evolving. New jurisprudence, new legislation, new interpretations, etc. What is common practice today might be ridiculed tomorrow.

>>> Learn more about how to decide which clauses you should add.

4. Augment your clauses

Adding the clauses is only the first step – how will you augment your clauses?

Seasoned clause library builders know that clauses need to be more than just bits of static text. They augment clauses with additional information ("metadata") to make it easier to choose the correct clause.

>>> Discover even more ways to augment your clause.

5. Involve the right people

You can perfectly create a clause library on your own, for your own. But even if you work in a team, you will find that there are really only two types of hats that can be worn.

6. Choose quality over quantity

Your time is precious. There is no need to spend hours on uploading hundreds of thousands of clauses. Building a clause library can be a gradual, or organic effort that only takes a few minutes daily or weekly.

“It’s better to have 10 standardised clauses than a deluge of 10.000 unstructured clauses.”