Legal transcription is a specialized branch of general transcription that converts legal proceedings in verbatim from the audio form into the written word. Although the field does not require specialized skills, a background education in law or familiarity with legal jargon is essential.
Many legal firms are opting to outsource their transcription work because of the immense benefits in their favour. They’re cost-effective, yet the final result is of high quality as it is completed by professional transcriptionists.
Furthermore, when the document is complete, you can choose to keep it in digital form within your firm’s database or print it out to have a tangible copy. In instances where a transcript is needed, you’ll only need to attach it as an email in digital format instead of sending it via post, which is a long and expensive process.
What is legal transcription used for?
- Detailed Record of Court Proceedings: Legal transcription offers a tangible record of court proceedings for legal practitioners. In written form, a lawyer can follow through conversations to understand the jury’s reasoning and ruling in cases.
- Preparation for Future Hearings: Accurate legal transcriptions help in better preparedness for future cases. By studying written testimonies, lawyers come up with well-crafted questions for the next trial.
- Evidence: A lawyer can present a printed legal transcription in court as evidence of what occurred in previous court sessions.
- Case Studies: Legal proceedings in written form are study materials to help prepare student lawyers for real-life cases
Benefits of Legal Transcription
Reduction in workload
The task of transcribing is, in most cases, given to junior or admin staff. When a legal firm contracts professional legal transcription services, the team works on what they were hired to do instead.
A contracted legal transcription firm delivers high-quality content that does not need further proofreading. Your team remains industrious in their roles when there’s no divided workload and extra responsibility.
The result is high productivity as all of your team’s time is utilized to achieve the firm’s goals.
Record keeping of legal proceedings
Legal transcription is one of the best ways of preserving records for various legal proceedings. For legal companies that are quickly embracing the digital age, transcription converts their audio files into digital formats that are easy to store for future reference.
Digital formats are easy to index and search in the firm’s database by inputting a few queries. Paperwork is large a part of legal work and good record keeping is essential.
Review and highlight important elements
Listening to an audio or a video without a written document is ineffective especially when you want to capture facts to refer to later on. When you have the same record in written form, it becomes easy to highlight the most relevant points for a particular trial.
A written document in printed form or digital form is easy to manipulate. You can make notes within the report and come up with follow-up questions for the next trial.
When preparing for an appeal, you can use the written record of previous cases to build a stronger counter argument for winning the case.
A highlighted document makes the facts and crucial information easy to access when a need arises.
Evidence from court proceedings
Legal transcription is evidence in itself that a trial took place. You can share information with clients, associates, partners, and shareholders who have an interest in a particular case or trial.
Some people may not understand the original audio file because of a language barrier or because they are hard of hearing. Legal transcription helps such subjects understand by having the document translated into their native language if the issue is the language barrier and those with hearing problems can understand any facts that they may have missed during the proceeding.
Learning opportunities for law students
Legal transcription is a gold mine of knowledge for legal students. It takes away the theoretical studies and replaces them with real-life cases. Students get first-hand training to craft questions and create a defence for a real-life situation.
Furthermore, legal transcription gives students learning opportunities in cases that went wrong. If there was a mistake by the legal counsel in a specific judicial proceeding, students learn about it and can offer suggestions on remedying the situation.
Students have different learning abilities. There are those who can absorb the information through listening, and there are those who need to read to understand. Legal transcription offers avid readers this opportunity.