"The Contract Shop® is owned by Christina Scalera LLC and is not a law firm. Nothing on this website is legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by purchasing or viewing a contract template. If you have a specific problem and need legal advice, contact a licensed attorney."
Wondering what that disclaimer at the bottom of my website is all about?You’re not alone!
Every once in a while, I’ll get a question in my inbox that goes something like,
“You say you’re a lawyer and that these templates are airtight… but your disclaimer says The Contract Shop isn’t a law firm and none of the content constitutes legal advice. What gives?”
“Are you really a lawyer? If you’re not giving legal advice, how do I know I can trust these documents? Isn’t handing out legal advice what lawyers eat, sleep and breathe?”
Well, yes, but only under special circumstances, which I’ll explain in a minute.
Is The Contract Shop a Law Firm?
First, let me address the “are you a real lawyer” question...
Graduating from Emory Law School wasn’t easy, and neither was the bar exam, but I probably should have studied for more than two weeks. Oops. But yes, I am a bar-card carrying Georgia-licensed attorney. I even have my own law firm with a partner and a junior associate! I don’t talk about it too much because it’s rare that we take on new clients — our current gals n’ guys keep us pretty busy.
Over the past few years, I’ve turned down three offers for in-house legal positions at Fortune 500 companies, been featured in over 30 publications/podcasts, and my choice to be an attorney for creative entrepreneurs is affirmed over and over again.
Truly, I love you guys and working in the creative entrepreneur industry. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t currently be studying for yet ANOTHER boring continuing education test — keeping my skills in tip top shape and staying current with the newest legal developments so I can better serve you and your fellow business owners.
Now let’s talk about that law firm/legal advice thing…
A law firm gives specific legal advice for YOUR business and YOUR situation – after creating a lawyer-client relationship, after learning the specifics of your situation, and after reviewing and interpreting the law to determine how it applies to you and your business.
To recap, the essentials in this situation are:
- a one-to-one or one-to-law firm relationship (sealed with a contract)
- the lawyer’s intimate knowledge of your situation, and
- bookoo bucks* paid
(*There’s just no getting around it, a lawyer’s hourly rate is expensive.)
As much as I would like to give each and every one of The Contract Shop’s customers solid, explicit legal advice when they buy a template, it’s just not possible. The Contract Shop isn’t a law firm, and isn’t set up to support those kind of intimate relationships.
I do still practice law, however, and if you do want a creative attorney’s advice (in other words, mine) on registering trademarks, protecting your intellectual property, or some other business-related legal question, hop over to scaleralaw.com – which IS a law firm – and check out the legal services I offer there. Over there we’ll create the proper attorney-client relationship needed to give you legal help you can count on.
How these contract templates protect you…
I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again – having a contract is the best way to make sure that you and your interests are protected. It ensures that your client knows (or is at least informed) about the terms of service and the rules you both are playing by, and for creating and protecting a solid client relationship.
It’s better to have somethingthan nothing… but it’s far better to have a lawyer-created, peer-reviewed document than something cobbled together from three separate “free” law sites and the advice relayed through someone who “knows a lawyer.”
About The Contract Shop®’s Contracts:
I write each contract template, drawing on my lawyer expertise as well as my experience and knowledge of the creative industry’s unique legal challenges and considerations. Then, each document is peer reviewed by at least two licensed attorneys — one based in the US and one based in the country the template is to be used in.
For example, if you purchase a Canadian contract template, it will have been drafted by me, reviewed by a US-based attorney, and then reviewed by a Canadian attorney.
What the contracts aren’t:
These contracts are written to cover the most common legal issues that come up for creative entrepreneurs and many are customized for a specific creative industry (like if you’re a wedding planner or photographer). However, the contracts are not customized specifically for your business because we don’t have that special attorney-client relationship I talked about earlier.
These templates are designed as a solution to remedy the most common situations as well as the ones you hadn’t thought about yet. Despite this — they are still a better solution 99% of the time for anyone who is taking a look at their contracts + client experience for the first time.
So, long story short, I hope this helps clear up any confusion about whether or not I’m a lawyer and if these contracts are legit or not!
Some homework for you...
If you’d like more info about why these contracts are amazing, value-packed, legal protection you can trust, check out my contract writing process here.
If you need more details on our contract templates, download the Rock Solid Contract Checklist.
Or, if you’re ready to stop biting your nails when it comes time to nail down the who, what, when, where, how of a new deal with a client and feel confident you’ll get paid, check out the contract template options we have here.