Monday, May 22, 2006

proofreading in practice

For an interesting perspective on the importance of proofreading, from a small firm practitioner, see:

(Be prepared to wince at the comments about the author's own law school legal writing experience.  I couldn't help thinking, at least he had a legal writing course in law school, whatever its shortcomings may have been.  Many older lawyers in practice today never even had a legal writing course.)


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Hello Nancy and Sue,

At your suggestion, I didn't "wince" at Robert M. Unterberger's comments on the negative experiences he suffered in his law school's legal writing class. (Write Now: Proofreaders Wanted For Small Law Firms; your blog entry of May 22, 2006)

Instead, I winced in anguish when I read that Mr. Unterberger had written in his very next paragraph:

"So avoid the "cherry picking" school of editing, foisted on us in law school by legal writing instructors. Instead, try something new. For example, a solo lawyer I know says she reads discreet sections of documents several times."

I believe that the president of Legal Writing Success means that the solo lawyer he knows reads "discrete" sections of documents several times.

While Mr. Unterberger's lawyer friend may very well be, the sections of documents she proofreads are in no way "discreet."

How ironic that Mr. Unterberger's closing advice for the reader is "catch those embarrassing errors," for he seems himself to have "a fool for a proofreader."

Surely, Mr. Unterberger deserves rebuke for failing to follow his own advice. But what can be said of you two? You are also legal writing experts--yet you linked your readers to a professionally embarrassing article that you obviously read without having caught a glaring proofreading error.

Posted by: Ed Bruning | May 24, 2006 2:39:54 PM

Ed, thanks for pointing out the author's proofreading error. It just goes to show, none of us is infallible. :)

- Sue Liemer

Posted by: Sue Liemer | May 25, 2006 8:47:35 AM

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