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Experienced attorney, copyeditor

Bluebook citations case state federal proofread

The editing, proofreading, and writing of legal documents is a highly specialized area that requires knowledge and understanding of the various formats of documents such as pleadings, motions, and briefs. A good legal editor will have extensive knowledge of substantive aspects law and also be able to take that knowledge across the board, from federal to state law, from criminal to civil to administrative law as well as from state to state. A legal editor must be able to summarize case law concisely as in setting out the facts, the rules of law and the outcome.

Most legal documents contain citations to cases and statutes and it is imperative that the legal editor be familiar with BlueBook citations for everything from the U.S. Code Service to Texas and Alabama statutory and case law. The BlueBook also addresses styles of punctuation, abbreviations, and capitalization that are unique to the legal field.

To be a successful legal editor, writer, proofreader, and copy editor, one must be familiar with all areas of law, including criminal, civil, torts, civil rights, bankruptcy, and the myriad of other substantive areas of law. Having a law degree is extremely helpful in being an effective legal editor because the editor would be familiar with legal concepts and the unique terminology of the world of summary judgment motions and responsive pleadings. Legal editors should have skills such as summarizing transcripts, including setting out the objections and preserved error, summarizing depositions, proofreading and editing legal articles, proofreading and editing legal briefs for grammar, sentence structure, style, spelling, and BlueBook conformance. Many common technical legal terms are not caught by spell-check, and a legal editor will have the resources and knowledge to insure that respondeat superior is spelled correctly.

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