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Pritzker Legal Research Center


Transactional Law & Drafting Resources

A Guide to Transactional and Drafting Resources at Northwestern University School of Law

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Using Forms

A form can serve as a great starting point when drafting a contract, agreement or any legal document. In addition to providing sample language and formatting guidance, forms can also serve as a checklist to ensure that you do not forget to include something important. 

Forms on Westlaw & Practical Law

Westlaw Form Finder
 
Browse and search for forms by state, topic, or publication on Westlaw using its Form Finder. These forms come from publications such as American Jurisprudence Legal Forms 2dNichols Cyclopedia of Legal Forms Annotated, and West's Legal Forms (which are accessible directly from the Form Finder page) as well as from topical treatises and texts. 
 
In addition to transactional forms, this collection includes litigation, civil, and criminal forms. The best way to restrict your search to just transactional forms is to use the Advanced Search (see tiny "Advanced" link near the search bar at the top of the screen). The Advanced Search provides an option to limit results to a certain topic and include only transactional forms (i.e., exclude civil forms, criminal forms, and litigation forms). 
 
 

Practical Law Standard Documents & Standard Clauses

Practical Law (Westlaw) provides access to Standard Documents and Standard Clauses, both of which are organized by practice area and jurisdiction. The Standard Documents & Standard Clauses can be downloaded in Word format and include drafting notes to provide guidance about provisions, how terms are defined, etc. 

Forms on Lexis Advance & Lexis Practice Advisor

Lexis: Forms

Lexis: Forms allows you to browse and search across more than 220,000 forms by practice area or state. The source of these forms include form books (e.g., Warren's Forms of Agreements, Midwest Transaction Guide, etc.) and topical treatises or texts published by Matthew Bender. Lexis Advance and Westlaw differ in what publications are available on each database, so the forms you find here will be different than what you can find on Westlaw. Use Advanced Search: Forms to search for keywords in just the title of the document (e.g., copyright /s agreement). 

Lexis Practical Guidance

Lexis Practical Guidance provides access to Forms and Clauses. Forms can be filled out directly online and then downloaded in Word format (see "Quick Download" in right sidebar). Drafting notes also provide guidance as you fill out the form. 

Forms on Bloomberg Law

The DealMaker Documents & Clauses Database is a useful tool to search for transactional precedent, as it provides access to over a million documents organized into more than 600 categories. These documents are material contract exhibits to SEC filings. 

Search across the database by keyword, document type, transaction type, document name, SIC industry, governing law, filing date, parties, law firms, and/or attorneys. Additionally, restrict your search to either whole documents or single clauses (result type). If you search using keywords, click on the (?) icon next to "Keywords" to view the operators accepted for terms & connectors searches. 

In addition to the DealMaker Database, Bloomberg Law also provides access to two collections of sample forms. 

Forms on PLI Plus

PLI Plus provides access to Practising Law Institute Press treatises, course handbooks, answer books, journals, and transcripts of programs. PLI Plus offers a keyword searchable database of forms that appear in PLI’s publications (make sure to toggle over to the "Forms" tab to search across just forms). Forms can be downloaded in Word format. 

Forms on IICLE SmartBooks

IICLE SmartBooks provide access to practice guides in various substantive areas of Illinois law, covering topics such as banking and finance, corporate and commercial law, and business law. Browse titles by practice area, then look under "List of Forms" in the left sidebar to find and download sample forms. Consider reading the chapter/section of the book where the form is pulled from, as that will provide relevant context. 

Forms can be downloaded in Rich Text Format. To search by keyword within a specific publication, go to the home page and use the search bar at the top of the screen. Make sure to select the particular title of interest in the dropdown menu prior to running the search to ensure that your search is restricted to just that title.