Susan Chesler, Arizona State University College of Law, and Karen J. Sneddon, Mercer Law School, are publishing Telling Tales: The Transactional Lawyer as Storyteller in volume 15 of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD (2018). Here is the abstract.
Transactional documents, whether employment contracts or lease agreements, encapsulate the wishes, hopes, and fears of the transacting parties. The documents share a series of events, identify the key actors in the event, and anticipate particular outcomes. In other words, the transactional documents are narratives. The transactional lawyer is thus more than a transactional intermediary. The transactional lawyer is the narrative agent or storyteller. Equating a transactional lawyer to Aesop, the Brothers Grimm, and Scheherazade may appear to be an ill-fitting comparison. Yet, the comparison is surprisingly apt. Transactional lawyers weave together provisions and clauses to craft documents that will promote, guide, and control the relationship of those parties. This article shares five strategies to demonstrate how narratology can be used by transactional lawyers to draft documents that more effectively tell their client’s stories.Download the article from SSRN at the link.