Practicing attorneys can attest that legal writing is often a time-consuming process. Revising extensive contracts, documents, briefs, and motions is often not only mind-numbing for the attorneys, but an expensive proposition for clients.
Wordrake aims to significantly cut down on revision time. Wordrake is a Microsoft Word add-on that sits on top of your grammar check and spell-check, providing suggestions for cutting out superfluous language to make your points more concise. How does Wordrake differ from your standard grammar check in Word? “A spell check or grammar check will point out things that are incorrect,” Wordrake founder, Gary Kinder said. “What we do is more sophisticated than that. We point out where, it might be correct, but is unnecessary. We go beyond the grammar checkers and spell-checkers to take out words that have no meaning. We’re going for clarity and brevity.”
After testing out Wordrake, it’s clear it can be a huge time-saver for attorneys. The Wordrake algorithm for hunting down superfluous language is amazing. Often, Wordrake will cut out several words or half a sentence and suggest a different word in its stead. Having dealt with the significant limitations with Microsoft Word’s grammar check for over a decade, Wordrake is nothing short of miraculous. While not 100% correct in finding errors, Wordrake is accurate 80-90% of the time. Kinder said, “Wordrake will point out things you are too tired to see, you’re too close to the writing to see, or you simply didn’t know you could get rid of. It will save you from having to search for them yourself. Then you end up with a tighter, more clear document.”
Since its launch, Wordrake has taken off. “Every time someone signs up for Wordrake they become an evangelist,” Kinder said. Thousands of firms are currently using Wordrake. Besides the small and medium-sized firms, Wordrake has enterprise contracts with USPS, FedEx, the City of Seattle, and Ogletree Deakins, an Amlaw 100 labor and employment law firm.
Kinder, a New York Times bestselling author and attorney created Wordrake after years of providing legal writing training to the biggest law firms in the country. Kinder noticed that at the largest law firms, often attorneys would not have their work edited by their peers. “I was struck by the irony, that with publishing you have an extraordinary writer, two professional editors, and copy editors, and everything gets tighter and tighter. And after that if your book comes out and becomes a bestseller, you and your agent and the editors and publishers will share the profits which can be thousands, tens of thousands, or maybe a million. A lawyer sends a brief out, and there can be much more at stake, millions, or tens of millions.” And with a brief, there may only be one set of eyes on it.
Wordrake is currently available for $99 per year. For having a second set of eyes read over every one of your documents, it’s a steal. Wordrake also offers a free three-day trial.
The most common comment Kinder’s heard about Wordrake: “I can’t believe I didn’t see that!”