Most lawyers spend a lot of time in Word. Word processing is a big part of legal practice, and many of the documents lawyers produce, like briefs, motions, pleadings, interrogatories, and contracts, can be long and complicated, with strict formatting requirements.
Below are a collection of tutorials and blog posts that demonstrate how to format a document properly. There are many ways to make your document look the way it needs to, but by using these tools, you can usually save yourself a lot of time and aggravation, and sometimes make it easier to avoid mistakes.
This is a common task when writing briefs
• Tabs for TOC & Authorities (1:46 min)
• Building a Table of Contents (6:33 min)
• Building a Table of Authorities (9:53 min)
• Using Microsoft Word’s table of authorities (lawyerist.com)
This is a useful guide to all the steps involved in formatting a legal brief in Word
• How to format an appellate brief (lawyerist.com)
If you create a kind of document frequently, you can save time formatting it by creating a template.
• Video: Create an easily customizable template in Word 2010
• Using Legal Templates in Word 2013
Sometimes it can be hard to make a document do what you want, especially if you received it from someone else. This is how you look under the hood to find out what’s wrong.
Field codes are placeholders for information like dates and client names. You can use them to automate repetitive parts of document creation.
• Field codes in Word
• Insert fields
• The missing date code in your Microsoft Word document (lawyerist.com)
Keyboard shortcuts save time. It's almost always worth it to memorize them for the tasks you use frequently.
• List of keyboard shortcuts for Word
• Don’t lose that file! using Microsoft Word’s AutoRecover (lawyerist.com)