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I have been trying to understand what type of contracts a Contract Lifecycle Management platform should actually model. I am a software engineer and I do not know so much about law... Looking online, it seems to me that these platforms always talk about "Buy Side" and "Sell Side" contracts like if they were the only types. Aren't there also other contracts that do not involve buying or selling? To be honest, I haven't been able to come up with good examples, but I do not know if this is because they do not exist or because I am ignorant.

Just to give some context... I am thinking to interview for a job as software engineer in a company that has a contract lifecycle management suite and I would like to know a bit more about contracts just to show that I am not completely ignorant and that I tried to be prepared for the interview.

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Because a contract is simply an agreement between two parties to exchange anything of value, there are many, many more types of contracts.

If the company hires you, you would have an employment contract. If you agree to pick up a shift this week for someone who will pick up a shift for you next week, you have a contract. If the company lays you off, you may end up with a severance agreement. If you sue them for race discrimination you may enter into a contract to settle the case for a million dollars. If you want to protect that money from your fiance, you might enter into a prenuptial agreement. If you get divorced anyway, you might split up custody of your children in a shared parenting agreement.

All of these agreements would constitute contracts.

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There as many contract types as are passed through your contract-classifying algorithm. What is probably of more interest for software construction is awareness of probable market. E.g. it would be a waste of time to try to construct a program to write a contract where Delta Airlines will buy some number of airplanes from Boeing, because both sides will have a crew of professionals hammering out the details and looking for some advantage based on... whatever. The most likely market focuses on people who don't want to professionals to construct a contract – your plumber, a produce-seller etc. There are other types of contracts which very common but probably irrelevant: TOS contracts, real estate contracts... The reason why these are irrelevant to your interest is that the customer plays virtually no role in writing the contract, and the vendor has professionals who work through a standard contract.

If you want a quick taxonomy of "ordinary business" contracts that don't involve lawyers, I would say "service" and "sales". The standard advice that we would give anyone is "consult your attorney". If you are buying a bushel of peaches, you really don't need a written contract, you just decide if you like the peaches and hand over the money if you do. You do need a written contract if you run a peach cobbler restaurant and you need some quality and delivery standard to be met. But it would be unusual for a buyer to present a contract to a vendor. So the auto-drafter should anticipate customer objections and construct the contract to be acceptable to the customer.

That said, you could look here at a collection of templates applicable to a range of contractual relations. I'm not approving of their product, I'm just reporting how drafting can be semi-automated.

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  • I think that the product they sell is actually designed also for lawyers in big companies. I wouldn't be surpised if they had Boeing as one of their clients. It has a tool to author contracts adding clauses from a database of approved clauses, approval processes, compliance, notifications, search, AI for automatic data capture, etc... Their clients are big companies.
    – Ward Clark
    Feb 13, 2022 at 15:03
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The company’s products might not relate to contacts not drawn up with the help of lawyers. A company might have numerous agreements with third parties with complex provisions. “Give a discount of 10% on product X to customer Y between Nov 1 and Dec 1 as long as customer Y buys Z units between June 1 and July 1 for the next 3 years unless . . . “

A signed contract is a piece of paper in a drawer. Some thing needs to capture operational information.

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