What is legal coding? By definition, legal coding is the process of creating a summary of keyword data from a document. It is used by law firms and law professions to create an index or database of documents for use in litigation.
The record in any database has to be coded and indexed so that data can be easily and quickly retrieved whenever required. There are two basic types of legal coding, objective and subjective. During the objective coding process trained expert document specialists to review every law document and prepare a computerized index of basic objective data about each document that will include,
- Date of document
- Title of document
- Author’s name
- Box number
- Type of Document
- Document source
While indexing the legal documents and objective coding different options are made available. They are,
- Indexing according to inventory
- Legal transcription
- Detailed indexing that includes, detailed outlines of important issues, priority ratings, plain summary,
- Bibliographic indexing
What is subjective coding? Subjective Coding is a more comprehensive coding process and more specific to the case. Here the coder has to take information from the document, analyze it, and make a short summary of the document. Subjective coding includes relevant data coding from the document text and relevant keywords. Legal coding is always done after a detailed coding standard is agreed upon. Nowadays the coding process has become quite organized and standard coding software is used for coding purposes. This type of coding helps the user to narrow down the search.
Thus during legal coding, coders use different processes that include data capture, determination of physical or logical document breaks, OCR (Optical Character Recognition), bibliographic coding, and in-text coding.