Document writers, move over and make space for document reviewers! Not enough knowledge about how to optimize the process of document review? We are here to fix that.
Document review is essential in the legal sphere, as well as in others. You can’t print a contract without proofreading it first. Silly mistakes and typos, unclear language, and incorrect definitions can break the contract and even make it invalid.
Even though document writing is a valuable skill, document reviewing is just as important. It requires even more attention to detail and time. Legal document review software has made the job significantly easier and diminished the risk of error. Nevertheless, being able to effectively review an important document is still a necessary skill. Here are some essential traits a document reviewer should possess.
Document review tools can make the reviewing process so much easier and faster. Using software, you can also avoid human error and end up with a more accurate document. While it could take you over an hour to proofread a contract, it only takes software a few seconds. Things can slip your eye, but nothing slips the eye of technology!
You will save yourself lots of time in the future by learning to operate document review software. Don’t treat AI as your competitor. The program just gives you suggestions; you’re still the one approving them.
It comes as no surprise that writing is an integral part of reviewing and proofreading. You need to be a good writer to be able to recognize good and bad writing. If you’re not a published author, don’t worry! You’re not writing a novel. You should be able to identify errors in syntax and grammar, as well as sentences and paragraphs that just don’t feel right.
Often, when several people work on the same document, it ends up sounding incoherent and confusing. As the reviewer, it’s your job to feel that out and find a way to rewrite these parts. If you can clearly tell that different people worked on the document, it still needs some work. In the end it should be a wholesome text.
Fluency in technical language
Many fields, like medical sciences, engineering, and psychology, have their own terminology that outsiders are not familiar with. On top of that, documents usually include some legal terms. As a result, you’re expected to be familiar with the technical terminology of the field, and the legal jargon used in the document.
It’s fair to assume that you wouldn’t be fluent in all types of technical languages. You only really need to focus on the terms used in the field you work in. Thus, if you work closely with pharmacology, you should familiarize yourself with terms describing drugs and medications. In addition to that, you need to have a good understanding of common legal terms used by legal professionals when drafting certain documents.
As a document reviewer, you are the ultimate communicator. Thus, your communication skills should be enviable. Most legal documents rely on clear language. The reviewer is the person who puts all parts of the text together, making a wholesome document out of a collection of paragraphs.
As you go about your task, you will also be in contact with the writers of the document, as well as the legal team, vendors, clients, and more. If you want to communicate their ideas clearly, you need to understand them. To get that point across, you can use your strong communication skills to your advantage!
Attention to detail
Humans are prone to making silly mistakes and typos. You can accidentally misspell a word, or even worse, let it go unnoticed. Even though document editing software is helpful, it can’t do everything for you. Take, for example, long strings of numbers or addresses. Many editing tools won’t pick up on mistakes in these because there is no way for them to identify these errors.
Software can point you in the direction of important details that need checking. It is then your job to go back and double-check every single detail.
As you can see, being attentive and meticulous is not enough when you’re reviewing official documents. There is a lot more that goes into it! What exactly, we can’t tell you. Depending on your field of practice, you might have to familiarize yourself with foreign languages, become a customer service rep, and learn to work in a team.
Start off by practicing the skills mentioned above, and you’ll be on the right track!