Proofreading services are required in any sphere that deals with publishing. Legal field is not an exception. Though it may seem a bit difficult, you don’t need to have a legal background to proofread legal texts. However, when it comes to the correction of factual discrepancies applicants with degree in Law will would have be highly prioritized.
Who can apply for legal proofreading position?
This job suits you good if:
- You are not afraid of reading lengthy texts;
- You know what legalese is and understand it perfectly well;
- You know how to deal with long citations that legal books are full of.
The benefit would be a BA/MA in English, Literature, Law or other related qualifications.
Law is interrelated with a huge variety of subjects, so in case you have been working in human resources field or environmental studies, it would be easier for you have to proofread law texts connected with these topics.
It is also worth mentioning that legal texts are very complicated and it may take much time to understand one sentence. Even if law degree is not required, you still have to learn basic legal terms and formulations as law books are usually written by law experts for lawyers or law students.
You should bear in mind how tricky legalese. Regular English phrases in legal text may be used in indirect or transferred meaning. However, if you have proofread academic books before, there won’t be an issue.
Finally, you should do some proofreading exercises based on real legal texts so you can easily identify all the imprerfections.
Have an eye for details
Also one who decided take the position should be very attentive to details. Some of the rules in legal writing differ from the regular formatting. Especially it concerns citation where beside the rules you will find a lot of exceptions. That is one of the most important requirements is that the proofreader should poses a high level of attentiveness and concentration. Unattentiveness and distractions during the working process are unacceptable at you miss out some important information.
Most common errors
Most often occurring mistakes are misspelled names, wrongly capitalized words, incorrect referencing. In addition some clients may have their own preferences of what you should look for in a text. What is more you have to deal with each case individually as what is satisfactory for one client, may not be enough for another. For instance, publishers and private clients have different requirements.
What concerns the lengthy pieces of writing (that legal texts often are) you should make sure it is uniform and consistent. That is also the reason why it is advised that extensive texts are proofread by at least two persons so they can see “the whole picture” as objectively as possible.
Quotations and footnotes
The one who ever dealt with legal text knows how numerous and extensive are the footnotes. They may occupy more than half of the page and be even lengthier than the excerpt itself. The reason is that in legal texts author tries to prove each point with the case study or with the quotation from regulation act.
Writing Tip Of The Week