2024 Contract Drafting In English


This seminar focuses on the practical skills necessary for drafting contracts in English. Participants will sharpen their skills in working with legal English, and specifically drafting contracts in legal English. The emphasis is on learning by doing, and the seminar will offer the opportunity to draft and receive feedback from experts. Participants will engage in several drafting exercises and a negotiation session.


The seminars are currently offered both in-person and online simultaneously, at the choice of the participant. This choice must be indicated at the time of registration. A small number of courses are scheduled to be delivered exclusively in person or online, and are indicated as such in the 2024 schedule. In-Person Only seminars usually start at 9:30 am Washington D.C. time. Daily sessions usually end at 4:00 pm. Breaks (including the lunch break) are allocated as appropriate. Online Only seminars will be delivered through five (for 1-week course) or ten (for 2-weeks course) live online sessions via videoconferencing platform. Each session will last approximately 3.5 hours and will be scheduled to start within a time window of 7:00 am – 8:30 am Washington D.C. time. Hybrid In-Person/Online seminars will start at a time most convenient to both in-person and online participants, and will generally follow the In-Person seminar format. We expect the classes to be highly interactive and can include presentations, case studies and exercises.

Course Outline

Overview of the U.S. Contract Law

  • Sources of Law
  • Contract Formation
  • Contract Interpretation

Basic Drafting Topics

  • Definitions
  • Warranties
  • Termination Clauses
  • Remedy Provisions
  • Contingency Clauses

Boilerplate Language and Utilizing Templates

  • Choice of Law/Governing Law
  • Jurisdiction
  • Arbitration
  • Force Majeure
  • Third Party Rights

Course Coordinators

Carlos Davila is an attorney with more than fifteen years of experience. Carlos has served as co-arbitrator in an ICC power dispute. He has represented clients in disputes involving government contracts, on matters including construction projects, logistics and other services. Carlos was in-house counsel for a microfinance company based in Washington, DC, with global operations. He is admitted for legal practice in Mexico and in New York State. He has Master of Laws degrees from both Georgetown University and the I.T.E.S.M. Graduate School of Public Policy in Mexico, as well as a Bachelor in Law degree from the University of Sonora, in Mexico.

Jeff Ziarnik is a lawyer, educator, and international development specialist. During his time at the ILI, he has organized and coordinated over 150 high-level legal and international development training seminars. He has a J.D. from the Western Michigan University Cooley School of Law and is a member of the Virginia State Bar. While in law school, he worked as a law clerk in Bucharest, Romania. Prior to law school, Jeff was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia.