Plain language in law

Services: contracts

Contracts: hard to understand

Lawyers may not always realize how often their clients find contracts difficult to read and impossible to understand. Their clients find that these contracts

  • contain jargon

  • contain archaic word choices

  • consist of long sentences

  • contain redundant information

  • refer to laws that are not explained in the text

Plain language business strategy

Lawyers who have embraced a plain language business strategy have noticed

  • increased work efficiency

  • improved client relations

  • improved client satisfaction

  • money saved

Time to clarify

Lawyers often realize their contracts could do with clarification. Only they find they don’t have the time to spend on the project to produce clearer versions of their (standard) contracts.

With my background as a lawyer I understand why your clarification project keeps ending up on the bottom of your priorities list.

Just as you help protect your clients from a legal standpoint, I can help you create clearer contracts from a communications perspective. This means you can continue to focus on your daily business while I work on clarifying your contracts.

Useful experience

I have over a decade of experience in writing, copyediting and proofreading in both English and Dutch as a former employment law attorney (Dutch LL.M.). In that capacity I have drafted 1,000+ verdicts, contracts and other legal documents. The law firm where I was employed had plain language as their policy.

For the purpose of applying plain language to legal contracts it is actually beneficial that I haven’t studied American or Canadian law. It helps me to determine the difficulties your clients experience when dealing with a contract. It also gives me the opportunity to offer a rewrite without the burden of professional jargon and tradition that you acquired while you were attending law school.

Contact me to find out how I can help you to create plain language contracts.


Member of PLAIN–Plain Language Association International


Merel Elsinga
Victoria, BC, Canada

©2020 by Merel Elsinga