{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "1yr associate- My supervising partner in commercial is known to be a nut cracker, but he’s also very highly regarded for his work. He’s been coming down on me for careless mistakes in my papers (docket no., venue, verbiage). I know he’s right. I had two clerkships and hate clerical errors, but they have always haunted me. He’s telling me they have to stop.. or else. Help? I have a one year old baby, five year old son and just lost my stepmother to Covid. Can’t handle a job change right now.", "post_id": "5f5fda64fd55a0002fe30dab", "reply_count": 19, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

1yr associate- My supervising partner in commercial is known to be a nut cracker, but he’s also very highly regarded for his work. He’s been coming down on me for careless mistakes in my papers (docket no., venue, verbiage). I know he’s right. I had two clerkships and hate clerical errors, but they have always haunted me. He’s telling me they have to stop.. or else. Help? I have a one year old baby, five year old son and just lost my stepmother to Covid. Can’t handle a job change right now.

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Write a checklist of your typical errors. Then before submitting it for review go over your checklist.

likehelpful

This. I once had the same issues, so I wrote out a list and took it to my boss and showed him it and told him that I planned to correct my errors by using this list, and asked if there was anything else he could think of that I could add to the list. He was incredibly impressed. ... this didn’t stop him from firing me a few months later though. A toxic environment is a toxic environment, no matter how hard you try to get better. Get ahead of the ball and see what other positions will work for your lifestyle.

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Before sending stuff out, stop, drink some water, take a walk, maybe even sleep on it, come back and proofread it. These types of mistakes make anyone reviewing your work lose their trust that the substantive portion is indeed accurate and the whole ordeal takes twice as long.

likehelpful

On top of this I have someone check over all my work before I hand it in. Just someone to look over things a bit making sure nothing crazy happened. I agree with A1 that venue and docket shouldn't be something you're messing up.

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Make a checklist of specific things you’ve been called out for before: docket no., venue, footnote spacing, whatever, and before sending it out make sure those things have specifically been reviewed and are ok. Eventually it will become second nature but it will help to break things down beyond general “proofing” where you might forget to closely review certain things besides typos. Also, make sure you print out everything and review the hard copy. Yes it wastes trees and and costs $ in paper and toner, but you will catch way more errors that way. If your firm has a document services department many will help you with reviewing as well as long as you give it to them sufficiently in advance. They are there to help you.

likehelpful

As a first year, I would often use my assistant (who is a retired paralegal) as a second set of eyes for these types of things. I would give her the small details I was afraid I would miss, ask her to confirm them, and also ask her to edit for grammar/spelling etc. I usually asked her to do it on a hard copy of the document (so she wasn’t making changes to my document directly). It was super helpful.

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1. Print all drafts and review/revise by paper copy rather than on screen 2. Read written copies from the bottom of the page up 3. Proofread any revisions made by assistant 4. If your last draft included a number of changes or substantive changes, it wasn’t your last draft I do not follow these points religiously, but turn to them when typos seem to abound.

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Millenial here, editing on paper is much easier. Could also be because I'm old enough to remember hard copy books but young enough to transition to the screen.

Their are attorneys who care alot about those things and others who don't. I am one who doesn't. I can't work for people who do. I win on my arguments and the law I don't win on a cite being 100% correct 100% of the time.

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I mean the docket no. and venue need to be correct to begin with

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Sometimes these mistakes happen until you’re more comfortable and familiar with the substance of the documents you’re drafting. I had the same problem when I was starting out (and even more so with difficult partners). To avoid this, I would always try to finish an assignment the night before and look it over with fresh eyes in the morning. I always did one proof reading session where I ONLY looked at non-substantive portions of the document (caption, signature, certificate of service, numbering, etc.). Telling myself that I was only focusing on those portions really helped me focus. Another thing you could do is make a list of all of those things (and other that you miss typos in) and check them off individually at the end. I get what others say about proofing being important, but until some of this stuff becomes second nature and almost automatic, I think it is challenging for a lot of people.

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There*

likefunny

Someone else posted a tip on here that’s really been helping me - don’t send anything until you can read it twice all the way through without making a single change. Tedious but working for me

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You're a former clerk who likely excelled in law school. You're psyching yourself up, which will make anyone make dumb mistakes. When you draft something, imagine it's going straight to the court, you'll find yourself more attentive. Second, no matter how well "regarded" your super is, keep this in mind, attorneys ain't shit. Law is supposed to be the great equalizer so your work will speak for itself. You'll be surprised at how much your work product improves once you focus less on impressing your partner and more on getting shit done.

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Second the checklist idea, putting a doc down for a while, and paper editing.... will add a read aloud check to the list.... when I read a doc aloud, I find things that reading in my head doesn’t

Part of the lumps as a young associate. I kept a list of common mistakes and would proof things twice. You’ll get better the more you do it.

1) the checklist of things to look at is incredibly important if you keep repeating these problems. Have actual check boxes print and complete it with an actual pen as you review. 2) check out available software for use in reviewing typos and improving writing. Microsoft teams has some amazing functions that I wish all associates (and anyone else) would use for proofing and improving their writing.

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