10 Reasons More Attorneys Should Consider Document Review
Performing document review provides opportunities for both new and experienced attorneys to flex their professional muscles in slow periods, network with other legal professionals, and earn substantial supplemental income. As data sets subject to discovery in litigation and regulatory proceedings continue to grow, so will the need for document review attorneys. This is an expanding field for consultants, no matter their location. How can taking on document review work benefit you? Read on.
It’s no secret that the legal field has become even more competitive. Ten months after graduation, only 71 percent of 2014 law school graduates were employed in long-term positions. Document review is important legal work, typically requiring the services of licensed attorneys. It also gives newly minted attorneys much needed exposure to the litigation process, as well as expertise in review software platforms that are utilized globally within the legal industry.
Interest in “contingent work,” or temporary work that is project or time-based, is skyrocketing. An article in the Harvard Business Review predicts that contingent work will ultimately occupy approximately 25 percent of the global workforce. Document review checks both of the contingent worker boxes by offering project-by-project work and remuneration by the hour, while offering attorneys the opportunity to still devote time and energy to other professional pursuits.
A gap in employment is a résumé killer. Document review is excellent transitional work that still allows attorneys to gain legal experience. Applying for jobs is a job – the interviewing process alone can take several months to complete. Attorneys with an active license immediately qualify for document review work. Given the frequency and the longevity of many document review projects, finding project-based document review opportunities is a comparative breeze.
A recent study referenced in the New York Times estimates that only 20 percent of companies offer flexible scheduling options to employees. With the exception of training meetings and certain time-sensitive projects, most document reviews allow attorneys to set their own schedule. Rather than demanding a commitment to a binding 9-5 schedule, document review providers often allow you to design your own hours so long as you bill certain daily or weekly quotas. Besides establishing a solo practice, document review is perhaps the most flexible gig in the legal industry.
Learning more about the litigation process and how to appropriately categorize documents into responsive, privileged, and appropriate subcategories never hurt anyone. Plus, it’s an opportunity to view a bunch of corporate documents and get a glimpse into the operations of large companies. With the increasing amount of data such companies are generating every day, opportunities for document review attorneys with such experience and professional expertise will continue to grow.
Regardless of whether you’re a new or veteran attorney, document review projects are a great way to meet professional contacts and friends. Moving to a new city? Want a chance to interact with more like-minded attorneys? Look up document review projects in the area. Need to find an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law for a client referral? Ask your fellow attorneys who are also doing document review – odds are someone knows someone who can help.
With more and more employers scaling back on retirement benefits, attorneys have to find a way to save for retirement and resist the urge to dip into savings while they aren’t working full-time. Doing document review for 12 hours a week for 20 years would give an attorney a retirement income of an impressive $78,000 a year. Imagine what you can save if you double that to 24 hours a week!
The America Bar Association reports that the average student loan debt for a graduating law student in 2012 was $84,000 for a public law school and $122,158 for a private school, and those numbers are only increasing. Document review is a simple answer for how you can earn more money in a short period of time in order to stay on top of payments and pay debt down sooner.
Consulting can be lonely – especially if you work from home. There is something to be said about putting on office-appropriate clothes and interacting professionally with other people. There are no distractions from pets or children and no temptation to “just watch one episode” on Netflix. Since document review encourages attorneys to maintain a certain number of documents in an hour, employees leave with a sense of collective accomplishment.
The days of paper document review are almost gone. Electronic discovery platforms allow attorneys to conduct document reviews off-site for the client and review thousands of documents with the click of a mouse. As a result, there are document review opportunities near most major cities.
Interested in learning more about document review opportunities? Shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Contributing Authors: Don Hansen and Steven Sager)