Telecommuting Job Idea: Legal Document Coder

By: Nell Taliercio

Legal document coders provide a very specialized service for law firms. They organize the legal documents to make research easier for the lawyers. By using databases to organize things, the information can be found quickly, allowing more time to be dedicated to the case at hand.

Where to find a job as a legal document coder: There are many companies that offer document coding that may hire freelance workers. You could contact law firms in your area, especially smaller law firms, who may need occasional help.

Skills you need: You need to be able to do Objective Coding (a basic index of each document, including dates, author of the document, recipients, type, title, where stored) and Subjective Coding (includes keywords from the document itself for searches). If you have some basic knowledge of the law, it is helpful. Some companies only want to hire entry-level lawyers or paralegals, so they have a better understanding of the documents.

You should be able to learn the filing system that each law firm uses quickly, so you can step in and do the job efficiently. You should also be aware of the various styles of indexing that can be applied to the documents, including inventory, bibliographic, and detailed indexing.

You should have excellent typing skills (40 WMP or better) with high accuracy. You should be able to read quickly and accurately as well.

Tools you need: A reliable computer and internet connection are necessary if you will be working from home. A printer, scanner and fax are useful tools for transferring files to the law office. But, since many of the documents may be confidential in nature, they may have to send them through the post office or other delivery service. You should have a standard word processor and database programs. Some companies may have a preferred program that you may have to purchase.

How much money can you make? Depending on skill and experience, you could make upwards of $9 an hour.

Careers and Job Hunting
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