The Legal Proofreading Skills course was developed with the assistance of a large law firm that wanted an online, self-pacing course for training its paralegal and legal staff. Its focus is on being able to identify usage errors (grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure) as well as errors unique to legal documents, such as citations and consistent use of defined names. It begins with a review of proofreading principles and techniques. The course then goes through a review of English usage, ending with a lesson on legal definitions and another on checking citations.
The online lessons contain clear explanations, many examples, and practice activities. The course includes pre- and post-tests for the course and each lesson that are scored immediately. Copies of the pre-tests and post-tests go to your instructor, who ensures you are not having difficulty and coaches in the skills as necessary. You go at your own pace and submit assignments when you are ready. The instructor evaluates the activities and examinations, comments on skills you have learned and skills that still need polish, coaches you through learning the skills, and certifies your competence. You receive a graduation certificate at the end of the course.
You will go through the course at your own pace, so you could complete it within a few weeks. However, you have up to two months to complete the course so you can fit the study time into your schedule. All lessons must be finished within the two-month period.
Lesson 1: Proofreading principles
Lesson 2: Proofreading techniques
Practice diagnostic test
Lesson 3: Omissions, additions, typos
Lesson 4: Number accuracy
Lesson 5: Transposition errors
Lesson 6: Abbreviations
Lesson 7: Word division
Lesson 8: Number expression
Lesson 9: Capitalization
Lesson 10: Commas
Lesson 11: Other punctuation
Lesson 12: Special punctuation
Lesson 13: Spelling
Lesson 14: Confusing words
Lesson 15: Subject/verb agreement
Lesson 16: Pronoun agreement
Lesson 17: Using defined terms consistently
Lesson 18: Checking citations