January 15, 2013 Articles

Guidance for Working with Associates, Contract Attorneys, and Paralegals in Document Reviews

A well-run and well-organized document review will lead to a better understanding of the case for everyone.

By Lindsey Nelson

Document review receives a bad rap. While most firms (particularly during recruiting season) like to minimize the amount of document review their associates must perform, a significant portion of associates’ duties at a large firm relate to document reviews. Document reviews can arise because of discovery obligations, in response to a subpoena, or when doing an internal investigation. For junior associates, that often means hundreds of hours in front of a computer reviewing documents for responsiveness or privilege. For mid- and senior-level associates, document reviews often involve organizing a document review protocol for junior associates, contract attorneys, or paralegals who will complete the first-level review. Though they can be tedious, document review is the lifeblood for any matter, as it is the main source of information for determining the facts relating to the litigation. A well-run and well-organized document review will lead to a better understanding of the case for everyone from the junior associate to the senior partner. The following are tips for mid- and senior-level associates for running an efficient document review involving junior associates, contract attorneys, or paralegals.

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