The legal profession takes a strong stand against typos.
I will admit that as a history graduate student, I thought the research and the writing would speak for themselves. The occasional typo or style slipup, while I would try to catch them when I proofread, would not faze me too much.
For more than two years now I have seen hawkeyed professors and firm partners find even the smallest typographical error with a kind of typo omniscience that puts the fear of the almighty into law students everywhere.
This is especially the case when it comes to legal citation, when a misplaced apostrophe or comma is an easy sin to commit.
Indeed, legal professionals can make a strong argument when pressed on the importance of eliminating even the smallest typos: Lawyers need to care about such things because they have clients to represent and judges to persuade.
Clients see carelessness that ignores how important the case is to them and how much money they are spending on your services. Judges see an insouciance that keeps them from trusting you. How can they be sure you are citing cases properly and advancing credible arguments when you reference a “squid pro quo” exchange?
I will say that I read and reread what I write many more times and much more carefully than I did before law school. Will I catch everything? Maybe not. Maybe there's a typo in this very post! But if I don’t, at least at this point it won’t be because I don’t care. This is another area where law school successfully indoctrinates the law student.
Can you spot the difference between the italicized and regular period? . .
Anyone out there want to defend the occasional typo? One argument I can think of is that spending hours checking for typos can increase legal costs and make law less efficient.