Document Review Attorney Job Description

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What is a Document Review Attorney?

A document review attorney is responsible for reviewing all documents pertaining to a court case. Most of the work happens before a trial begins, known as the pre-trial discovery process. At this stage, attorneys exchange documents, records, and evidence that they will present at trial, all of which must be reviewed. Some cases can have hundreds or even thousands of documents that must be examined.

While there is software that can aid a document review attorney with this task, he or she must look through the documents and determine what is and isn’t relevant to a case.

Document attorney jobs can be full time with larger firms, or they may be taken on an as-needed basis with smaller firms, like when they take on a bigger case.

Education Requirements

A document review attorney is detail oriented and able to inspect many different kinds of records. Everything from emails, memos, PowerPoint presentations, and witness interviews must be checked page by page.

A document review attorney will likely work with other attorneys who will try the case in court. They will provide specific directions concerning records and may even provide some training. The document review attorney must be able to take direction, communicate effectively with other attorneys, and remain focused on the task.

Document Review Attorney Essential Skills

A document review attorney job description will likely include these skills:

  1. An eye for detail as he or she will scan hundreds upon hundreds of documents and must be able to discern which documents are pertinent.

  2. EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) skills, which refers to the various stages of the eDiscovery process.

  3. Strong computer skills, specifically in document review software, are necessary.

  4. Great communication skills.

  5. Project management skills to stay organized and move from task to task as asked.

  6. The ability to work efficiently to maximize time.

  7. A positive attitude towards a task that’s time-consuming and sometimes tedious.

Document Review Attorney Roles & Responsibilities

A document review attorney is detail oriented and able to inspect many different kinds of records. Everything from emails, memos, PowerPoint presentations, and witness interviews must be checked page by page.

A document review attorney will likely work with other attorneys who will try the case in court. They will provide specific directions concerning records and may even provide some training. The document review attorney must be able to take direction, communicate effectively with other attorneys, and remain focused on the task.

Day-to-Day Duties

Today’s records are mostly digital, so the day of a document review attorney is mostly spent in front of a computer. Records are often coded and loaded into a specific software that gives the reviewer the opportunity to sort documents and focus on a smaller subset of them. When a record is considered relevant, it’s flagged.

Those in this role may also do the following:

  1. Summarize documents.

  2. Highlight important pieces of a document.

  3. Label certain records that should be kept confidential.

  4. Create a log of all documents so an attorney can see what’s available at a glance.

  5. Review the same documents multiple times. In a first pass, the reviewer may tag important records and highlight key sections. On the second, they may summarize or add notes.

Salary Expectations

Research suggests more firms are relying on document review attorneys, especially those with a high number of cases. Nationwide, job growth for attorneys in general is rising as well, with an expected 4% increase in jobs by 2029.

The average salary of an attorney is about $122,000, but a document review attorney will likely make less than that. A document review attorney’s salary will probably hover around $73,000.It’s not uncommon for these specialized attorneys to work overtime, especially as a case draws closer. The opportunity to earn overtime is high in this position.

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