What is Contract Law?

If you’ve ever heard to people arguing and one of them saying, “Hey, we had a contract”, what they’re referring to can be called contract law. Contract law is a branch of law that deals with making and enforcing agreements. Contract law regulates the making of the contract, the carrying out of the contract and determining a fair consequence if the contract is not honored. Contracts are used in any place where business is conducted, so contract lawyers can be found in various types of businesses. Here is an overview of contract law.

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What is a Contract?

A contract is an agreement between two parties where one party agrees to do something in exchange for something from the second party. A valid contract actually consists of four parts.

• The Offer – To have a contract, the first person must make an offer to another person and inform the other party what is expected in return.

• The Acceptance – If the second part agrees to the terms, the contract is complete.

• The Consideration – For a contract to be valid, most parties must give up something, which is called consideration. In business, one person agrees to work, and the other person agrees to pay for that work.

• Mutual Intent for Contract – Both individuals must intend to enter into the contract and to honor the contract.

Does a Contract Have to Be in Writing?

When we think of contracts, we tend to think of an agreement between two parties and both parties signing an agreement. This is not always the case. There is such a thing as implied intent. When someone walks in the grocery store to buy groceries, there is implied content because it’s implied that if the individual buys groceries, he or she will pay money for them. If that person goes to the dentist, it’s implied that the person will pay for the dentist for the services provided.

What Does Contract Law Entail?

Contract law entails assisting individuals and businesses in contracts. Because contracts are such a big part of any business, contract law can be found in almost every aspect of the law. A contract lawyer may work exclusively for one company or may work independently on an as-needed basis. In an attempt to save money, many businesses hire contract lawyers for specific situations rather have a specific company lawyer. Contract lawyers will set up contracts, read documentation, file contracts and explain the ins and outs of the contract. Everything they do has to do with making deals and putting them in contract form.

How to Become a Contract Lawyer

Contract lawyers typically have the same educational requirements as any other lawyer. The must enroll in law school but must first have a bachelor’s degree and pass the law school admission exam. Law school usually takes at least three years. Once the individual earns the law degree (J.D. degree), he or she must pass the Bar exam to obtain a license to practice law.

There aren’t really law programs specifically for contract lawyers. They complete various legal courses, and contract law is one of them. Course topics may include business and professional ethics, business law, torts and writing, property, constitutional law, and criminal investigations.

Individuals who are arbitrators by nature and enjoy setting up deals and ensuring that both parties fulfill their end of the bargain often find contract law to be an exciting branch of law. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that lawyers should see job growth of 8% between 2016 and 2026, and this includes contract lawyers. Contract law can be a stimulating branch because contract lawyers can be found in so many industries.