Document coders play a valuable role in large-scale litigation and high-volume document productions. Document coding (also called objective coding, legal coding or litigation coding) is a form of data entry in which coders review batches of legal documents to capture specific, predefined metadata such as document type, date, author, bates number, etc. Document coders enter that data into a searchable database that allows documents – which may number in the millions - to be easily sorted and retrieved during the course of litigation.
Document coders have a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent. Education and experience in the IT or legal field is helpful. Companies sometimes hire entry-level paralegals to work as document coders. Training on coding and database applications is usually performed on the job.
Document coders must be detail-oriented and possess above-average spelling, proofreading and computer skills. Familiarity with document preparation and production and knowledge of the litigation process is helpful. The ability to excel in a fast-paced, high-volume environment is also necessary.
Experience as a document coder is an excellent way to break into the legal field, especially the fast-growing area of litigation support.