How to Turn Document Review Into an Associate Position

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on August 02, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some say the economy is rebounding but we all know it's still tough to land a law firm gig. If you took a document review job to pay the bills after taking the bar, you're not alone.

Law school graduates from the last few years face a tough market and doc review is one way to keep the student loans at bay. It can be hard to make the jump from document reviewer to associate and many don't make it.

But it can happen.

We've taken advice from all over the Internet to provide you with some helpful tips to make a doc review job into a full-time attorney position.

1. Be Professional. This should be a general rule for any office but it's even more important when you want to be recognized in a positive way. Dress like an attorney, respond to emails with a salutation and a closing, and make sure there are no embarrassing errors in your work. Act like you want to be taken seriously and you will.

2. Make a Lunch Plan. You have to take a lunch break sometime so make it count by interacting with firm members. If partners and associates eat in the break room, brown bag it. If they go grab takeout, join them and get in some quality conversation. Make sure they know you're the kind of person they want working with their clients.

3. Volunteer for Other Assignments. Doc review is not fun, we admit it. But it's important for the firm and there's a lot to be done. Speak up when you've completed your assigned work, when other projects come up, and when fires need to be put out and you may find yourself with more responsibility.

4. Learn the Software. Most document review software is terrible but it gets the job done and it often has hidden tricks to make the work faster. Not only will this make your job easier, knowing the software might give you an opportunity to help an associate use it and show off your skills.

5. Take it Seriously. It's a job and the firm is paying you to do it. So show up on time, don't clock out early, and do the best work you can. No one wants to hire a slacker, but a proven dedicated worker just may find a position.

If document review is the job you're stuck with don't waste the opportunity to use it as a jumping off point to bigger and better things as an associate.

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