Tips for Lawyers Seeking Document Review Jobs

Three Essential Tips for Lawyers Seeking Document Review Jobs

There was a sharp decline in the number of full-time legal jobs occupied by the Class of 2015,1 and competition for these jobs going forward remains fierce. Given the fact that public law school students graduate with an average of $88,000 in loan debt, and that this number jumps to $127,000 for private law school graduates, figures which are substantially higher than just a few years ago 2, it’s no wonder document review jobs are more desirable than ever.

What is document review?

Document review is the process of reviewing documents, either hardcopy or electronic, for privilege and/or relevance. It usually takes place when there are big lawsuits, mergers, or regulatory actions that require each party to turn over thousands of documents to the other side for analysis. Companies and large firms often turn to legal staffing agencies to hire the massive number of lawyers they need to analyze and determine whether the documents are relevant or if they fall under attorney-client privilege.

What are the benefits of document review?

The benefits of document review jobs are plentiful for recently licensed lawyers. These jobs are:

  • • Relatively well-paid.
  • • Flexible, in that you can choose to take time off between projects.
  • • An opportunity to gain substantive experience as an attorney.
  • • A way to begin working and paying off hefty law school debt.

However, before signing up, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind. Below are three tips to help contract lawyers find the right legal staffing agency to sign up with.

1. Go where it’s efficient: Cut out the middleman.

Many recent graduates have sent their resumes out to traditional staffing agencies without even so much as a call back. Online postings for document review jobs are often outdated or repeat postings. What’s more, sometimes staffing agencies post ads for jobs that don’t even exist, just so they can collect resumes to add to their database. Even if the jobs they’re hiring for are real, in order to get the most exposure, lawyers need to sign up with different staffing agencies, which can mean writing multiple cover letters and getting vetted by each agency applied to. Lawyers spend even more time in this process if they want to be considered for out-of-state jobs, since they likely have to sign up all over again with the agency’s affiliated office.

Instead, go with a service where multiple clients have direct access to your profile and can communicate directly with you. Mplace Inc. is an online legal staffing platform that stringently vets the education and licensing credentials of each legal professional who becomes a member of its site. Clients looking to staff document review jobs handpick from this pool of prequalified, prescreened document reviewers, and send job offers directly to legal professionals.

Because clients communicate directly with document reviewers, there is little opportunity for miscommunication via a middleman or recruiter. An added bonus is that document reviewers don’t have to wait to hear back from staffing agencies as to whether they were hired or not (a call most busy recruiters don’t often take the time to make.) On Mplace, once the client selects you, you can accept or reject the offer instantaneously.

2. Go where it’s easy and convenient.

Traditional staffing agencies require paperwork and in-person interviews, and communication happens through a recruiter who is bound by working office hours. The convenience and 24/7 access of an online staffing platform is the way to go in this digital age.

Mplace’s mobile app gives you on-the-go access to notifications of job offers and all the information you need at your fingertips to accept or reject a job in real-time. If you ultimately do accept a job, all project documents are uploaded electronically, making the process easy as well as green.

Mplace also makes things easier by auto-populating conflict details for work completed on its platform. Working on some projects will preclude you from working on others, due to “conflicts.” Mplace updates the details of your work history automatically so you don’t need to constantly update your resume. This way, when you get pre-selected on Mplace by a client, you can rest assured that you have been prescreened for the job. Best of all, client-specific forms are filled out automatically.

3. Go where you know who you are dealing with.

In traditional legal staffing settings, the only real feedback you get about an employer is by word of mouth from your colleagues or friends. You can also scour online blogs for some negative feedback the employer may have received.

To lessen your chances of accepting a job or project that’s understaffed, poorly organized, or mismanaged, go with a legal staffing agency that is transparent and shows you who the client is.

Mplace’s two-way rating system enables legal professionals to publicly rate their experience with a client. This means you can see what others are saying about that employer. The two-way rating systems also offers you the advantage of building a five-star profile by completing work successfully and well, making yourself more marketable and attractive to prospective clients. This way, you aren't at the whim of a recruiter who may or may not have your best interests in mind. You’re in control.

Mplace is the future of staffing agencies for both clients and document reviewers, given its efficiency, speed, and transparency. Membership, including a criminal background check and verification of all education credentials, is free to legal professionals.


1 http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwhiteboard/2016/04/mixed-signals-from-the-legal-employment-market-preliminary-results-for-the-class-of-2015.html
2 http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/reports/2015_june_report_of_the_aba_task_force_on_the_financing_of_legal_education.authcheckdam.pdf

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