How to Make a Legal Document in Word

Choose what your boat floats. You can also set these properties by formatting a paragraph in your document and then setting it to Normal to match the formatting of that paragraph. In any case, be sure to update the Normal style before continuing. An anti-pattern to avoid in your documents is to manually add blank lines per paragraph. Instead, simply set up the Normal style so that there is a space after each paragraph. Formatting legal documents is an incredibly tricky process. And since legal departments handle so many different documents in one case, it`s easy to overlook a formatting error that they need to fix. If you haven`t already, consider creating a standard list of reference templates for your most common legal documents (briefings, pleadings, affidavits, etc.). These documents should be pre-filled based on the latest best practices (including formatting). Make these templates available through the cloud so that the entire desktop can access them. Being part of the legal industry means having a rich vocabulary and using legal terms on a daily basis. It also means dealing with a lot of paperwork and various legal agreements, notices, power of attorney documents, etc.

While every lawyer knows how to create a legal document in MS Word, there are additional tips on MS Word that can help you improve the readability of legal documents and set up consistent formatting standards in your legal environment. Now that we`ve discussed the evils of unwanted styles, let`s take a look at how you can add useful and attractive styles to your document. Instead of making this section abstract and generalized, I`m going to show you how to set up my legal documents. When you create a custom template, be sure to create a new clean copy instead of starting with a default template that might be corrupted later. This is easy to avoid as long as you make sure your templates are updated regularly. Of course, if you still need a copy of the document for review or want to print, you can do so with or without the red lines. First, take a look at the army of documents on your servers. We know what it`s like to send draft documents for review just to get more feedback than you`d hoped.

For this reason, we like to limit processing to certain sections before sending our documents. It is easy to do this in Word using the Restrict Editing tool. Even the weight of the document is regulated (no less than 60 pounds). Given the size and weight of the booklet, you are well advised to follow the advice of the dish and use the preferred saddle seam or adhesive binding. The problem is that between cases and meetings and preparing documents, creating these documents can get a bit hairy. A perfectly formatted document may collapse or an administrative assistant may retrieve an outdated template for a document. The paperless law firm should have a simple file storage workflow. Choose an organizational system that makes sense for you and your business. For example, create a folder in your documents that is marked as client files. Next, create subfolders for each client that contain the case number and retention date.

It takes what may seem like years to put together a legal document. Add to that the need to format this document, and you may find that you`d rather bang your head against a wall than continue to deal with formatting. Thank God for Word`s style feature. You want to make sure that each line of the pleading matches the numbers along the pages. First, make sure that the line spacing options match the number spacing options, and then adjust the label field on the label page up or down as needed to match the first line of text with the first digit. It can be tempting to use an existing document and create your template from there. Resist temptation. Format changes and inconsistencies in this document follow you into the next one and increase the risk of errors. With that in mind, let`s talk about why templates are essential for proper document formatting.

Before you configure some of the formatting required for legal documents, it`s best to turn off autoformatting. One of the most common culprits of document corruption is old, outdated files that have not been updated to be compatible with your new system. Use exact line spacing instead of single or double spacing to align text in a font. The number of pleadings is set at exactly 24. In other words, it is necessary to use exactly 12-point line spacing for text with single line spacing and exactly 24 for text with double line spacing. .