So, formerly I was “that” girl in law firms. You know that girl who knew how thing worked, could always be depended on to fix things and who you always called in a crunch? I was also that girl who would be snarky during the crunch because we all knew that you needed me wayyyy too much! In fact, one of the snarkiest moments in my career was the evening an extremely capable and intelligent litigator called me to ask me how to “copy and paste” in Word. Proofreading long papers and briefs written by others was a regular part of my day. One of my former employers obtained his LLM degree in alternative dispute resolution while I worked for him. To this day, I still often sign my emails with a “M” after my name since many of the citations in those papers were long, drawn out hours I spent on his papers.
Now, I am still “that girl” but I run a company of those girls and guys. I wish I could say my proofreading days were over, but I still work with lawyers … and have a business partner in law school. Finding easy and efficient ways to proofread is not something I want to do – it is something I need to do. And if you are a lawyer, paralegal, law clerk, judge, secretary or basically anyone who must write documents for a living…. you also need to find a way to efficiently proofread. What I did not have at my fingertips in my former paralegal days was PerfectIt. While I am still harboring some small grudge to the makers for not having this available to me back in the day – I am a huge fan of what this product does.
Real world today, I received a memo on First Amendment rights that needed proofreading before being turned over to a judge/professor for review. The type of mistakes it caught? T-shirt was capitalized several times when it should not have been. The words school-sponsored was hyphenated in two places but not in the third. A run-on sentence was found that needed correcting. These types of small errors are easy to make and much harder to catch when proofreading your own work (because we all proofread for content by default – not typos). I cannot tell you how much I absolutely love this product.
It even goes a step further by including Black’s Law Dictionary, The Red Book, Bluebook and the Elements of Style into its American Legal Style proofreading library. Citations can now be proofread with ease (we have all added/dropped periods when we should not have) and done within a few seconds. Now for my lawyer friends reading this – there is a slight delay while it works through the many rules it runs. Lawyers are not known for their patience at times so – let it run its course. It takes a few seconds longer than typical spell-check, but of course, that is simply because it runs a ton of rules that it needs to cycle through. It will be well worth your extra few seconds – and keep your paralegal/secretary from spending an extra 10–15 minutes proofreading. Check it out and let us know what you think!!