How American Legal Style for PerfectIt Improves Text
29 September, 2019
By Ivy Grey
Written communication is the foundation of every law practice, but it is extremely time consuming—and when time-pressure is a factor, it can be an embarrassing stumbling block. So how can lawyers balance time and billing pressures with the perfectionism that the industry demands?
Legal Writing Matters
Legal writing carries such great weight and importance that lawyers must invest significant time and energy in producing near-perfect work product. Yet lawyers must also be efficient. Whether it is in the form of pleadings, contracts, letters or scholarly articles, lawyers simply cannot afford to spend several days crafting and then fly-specking the ideal, error-free document.
Technology can be the solution. But anyone who has looked at technology for the legal market knows that solutions are often prohibitively expensive and aim to do too much while delivering too little.
Lawyers are smart and the work is substantive and complex, so pasting together documents from templates deals with the wrong end of the quality versus time equation. Rather, technology should be focused on polishing documents on the back-end and cutting down non-billable time spent refining documents. Clients will pay for lawyers to think–they won’t pay for lawyers to proofread several times. The longer the document, the more important proofreading is. But long documents take more time to proofread, and that means more time is written off of the client bill.
American Legal Style for PerfectIt
American Legal Style for PerfectIt solves that problem. It is designed specifically to improve the process of editing and proofreading legal documents. This new style sheet:
- enforces language and usage guidance from the legal writing experts;
- catches consistency errors that arise from collaborative efforts or the use of form documents;
- searches for common errors that may arise from autocorrect, spellcheck or dictation or talk-to-text tools; and
- can be adapted to fit your firm’s house style and as well as personal pet peeves.
Specifically Designed for the Legal Market
In addition to the standard internal consistency checks, such as italics, hyphenation, oxford commas and unclosed parentheses, that were already included in PerfectIt, American Legal Style does more. It can:
- Catch law-specific errors that spell check will not check, or may sometimes create.
- Apply rules for italicization, such as the mandate to italicize only foreign words and phrases that have not been anglicized.
- Prompt to use plain English rather than legalese.
- Enforce proper spelling, italicization and hyphenation of terms of art as shown in Black’s Law Dictionary.
- Catch common typos and transposed letters in terms of art.
- Catch inconsistencies where words like “Agreement” or “Debtor” are defined terms, but are sometimes not capitalized.
- Prompt to reconsider commonly confused or misused words.
Easy to Install and Use
PerfectIt is easy to install. It takes less than six minutes (a tenth of a billable hour) from the purchase decision to first-time use. No training is required. PerfectIt is intuitive and easy to use. Working right from the menu bar in MS Word, lawyers can begin using PerfectIt and see its benefits immediately.
Purchase Pays for Itself
At $70 per year for an individual license (and discounts on multiple purchases), PerfectIt is inexpensive. Plus, the transparent pricing means that there is no need to talk to sales people who will delay your purchase and waste your valuable time.