If you ask most people what they think proofreading entails the usual response is “spelling and grammar” correction. Naturally proofreading does encompass these services but legal proofreading in particular requires more input.
In order for effective proofreading of LLB and LLM essays, dissertations and theses, a person trained and experienced in the law is vital since general proofreaders are unlikely to possess the requisite skills involved in proofreading legal documents.
Studying law is a specialist art and writing law essays requires particular skills. Those untrained in the law would fail to spot the structure required in a law essay and the particular way in which a problem/scenario type question needs answering. It would be extremely difficult for general or non-legal proofreaders to proofread legal documents, as they are unlikely to be familiar with the correct presentation of legal arguments, the citation of case law, the various Latin phrases used and legal terminology. In particular international students, for whom English is their second language, often find it more difficult to express their arguments and would benefit from trained legal practitioners. Effective proofreaders don’t just have excellent English language skills, they also possess advanced editing skills which can have a profound improvement on essay and ultimately the mark awarded. As an experienced proofreader, I can assist with word count reduction, formatting, structuring and referencing systems.
Further education establishments have strict requirements for submission of work. Failure to adhere to these requirements can easily result in lost valuable marks. Many students writing law essays and dissertations, struggle to adhere to the required legal referencing system. Most universities follow the system of the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) although the Harvard system is popular particularly in Criminology. Using the correct referencing system can prove particularly difficult for students to master as it affects the way in which citations of cases, books, journals, consultation or policy papers and online sources are to be presented. A competent legal proofreader will be fully conversant with OSCOLA and Harvard referencing and will be able to ensure that your essay, dissertation or thesis is compliant.
Do not hesitate to contact me with your Proofreading requirements.