Legal Transcriptionist – All You Need To Know

    Danilo Coviello

    Working in the legal industry can be intense and hectic; you will prepare briefs, sort court proceedings, set up court dates, and still listen to numerous clients’ testimonies. Regardless of where you operate in the industry, be it as a lawyer, paralegal or even a secretary, you are working round the clock.

    Despite the fixed schedule, you are planning to upscale and sign more clients. In that case, you should outsource a few of your workload, like legal transcriptions.

    However, in law-related affairs, accuracy and professionalism are crucial. In other words, any kind of transcriptionist would not suffice, instead, engage legal transcriptionists. Don’t know where to start? Or what to look for?

    This post will guide you! Here, you will find an easy to understand resource on the basic things you should know about legal transcriptionist and legal transcription as a whole for law firms.

    What Is Legal Transcription?

    Legal transcription is not entirely different from any kind of transcription that involves transferring the information of audio files into text documents. The only difference is that here, you transcribe specific topics such as:

    ● Client Letters

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    ● Court hearings

    ● Depositions

    ● Interrogations

    ● legal briefs

    ● Legal proceedings

    ● Legal correspondence

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    ● Testimonies

    ● Legal documents

    Also, legal transcriptions involve strict guidelines that are uncommon for general transcriptions skills. For starters, the method of transcription for the legal industry often requires quoting speakers verbatim, but in a formatted way that is easy to understand by lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries. This generally requires specific training.

    Furthermore, legal transcriptions involve law-specific terms that you wouldn’t find across other industries and require particular accuracy. And that brings us to why you need a legal transcriptionist.

    But, who exactly even is a legal transcriptionist? How are legal transcriptionists different from court reporters? Most importantly, what will you benefit from hiring one?

    Read Also: How To Become a Legal Transcriptionist

    Who Is A Legal Transcriptionist?

    A legal transcriptionist is one who majors in transcribing law-related audio files into text documents, legal documents to be precise. Such a professional understands the law and legal terms, and for that reason, s/he understands how to transcribe legal documents most pleasingly to various experts in the same niche.

    Are Legal Transcriptionists Different From Court Reporters?

    Short answer: yes!

    We understand that you might have a court reporter on your paysheet and thought, why hire a legal transcriptionist? Well, the two roles are different and meet different purposes.

    Court reporters, like the name, attend the court with you, take the record of live proceedings, and create a transcript after. In summary, they fit streamlined services that require real-time meetings and being present to listen first-hand to what the speakers are saying.

    Unlike court reporters, legal transcriptionists can handle all kinds of legal transcription services. More importantly, they don’t need to follow you to court to understand the content of your audio or video recordings.

    With the experience and knowledge of handling similar transcripts over the years, a legal transcriptionist will transcribe your audio perfectly as though s/he was there.

    So, yes, both job roles are different. While it is best to hire both a court reporter and a legal transcriptionist, the latter is best because it handles all kinds of reporting.

    Besides the flexibility and scope, why else should you engage the services of a legal transcriptionist? Here are some benefits of legal transcription.

    Benefits Of Hiring A Legal Transcriptionist

    You Save Money

    Lawyers, like other professionals, are in business to maximize profits while cutting down costs. Fortunately, legal transcription services can help with such aims.

    For a start, you don’t have to employ a legal transcriptionist as in-house staff. That means you won’t worry about severance packages or health expenses.

    Secondly, transcriptionists only take a small cut from your budget. At most, you will pay £3-5 per minute for your audio recordings, and the total charge could reduce if you’re sending the files in bulk – there might be a discount.

    On the other hand, if you engage your secretary or paralegal, you will pay more. In particular, any of the two aids will work in-house and collect in the range of £15-30per hour or even more. And that doesn’t mean they will turn in accurate transcripts.

    You Save Time

    Besides a paralegal or secretary costing you more, there is no assurance that you will get quality transcripts. The two aids are probably better suited for more important administrative duties in the office, so let them stick to that.

    Court reporters also can’t help, they only handle specific reports. So, why not let your units handle what they know best? Why not let a legal transcriptionist help you with your transcription needs?

    When you do, your employees will have a better workflow and efficiency in their core areas, and you get all that you need in time to win your next case and client.

    Fast And Quality Transcripts

    In the case of legal transcriptionists, fast delivery doesn’t equal poor-quality transcripts. No, the delivery is fast because these experts already have the tools to get the job done as quickly as possible.

    Unlike your employees, the professional transcriptionists have transcription software and the personnel who have used such aids for years. That aside, these experts have the experience since that’s their full-time job to deliver accurate, easy to comprehend legal transcripts to fit a range of preferences.

    It doesn’t matter what you want, legal transcriptionists mostly have law backgrounds. That means they will turn in your transcripts in the most professional and legal way that will make you proud.

    Now that you understand the importance of legal transcriptionists, let’s talk about the processes you can expect.

    What Are The Processes Involved In Legal Transcription Services?

    The process for transcribing legal files is the same as other transcription services. It happens in five stages as explained below:

    Find A Trusted Company That Provides Legal Transcription Services

    This stage is often the most strenuous, but it’s worth the investment. Here, you will take your time to seek a company that truly offers legal transcription services.

    It would be a plus if such a company also does general transcription, but, remember that the priority is your industry. The reason for that is because a specialist already handles legal requirements.

    Besides, a legal transcription service provider knows the importance of data privacy. In other words, you can rest assured that no one will breach your clients’ information. A generalist, on the other hand, might not understand those crucial details and put your firm in lots of trouble.

    Overall, find a company that offers at least 99% accuracy, security compliance (a CJIS), clear contracts and insurance plans, and turn around time that meets your schedule. Lastly, find and read reviews about your choice provider.

    Send Your Files

    Once you find a trusted professional that meets the requirements we listed, proceed by sending your audio recordings or video files. An established agency won’t worry about the formats you use, they will have systems that handle such details.

    Experts Transcribe Your Files

    After receiving the recordings, your choice expert will start transcribing the document. The transcription method might vary depending on what you need.

    For example, a legal transcriptionist will transcribe your court proceedings verbatim. In other words, s/he will indicate the feelings and breaks of the speakers. However, if the transcripts were for documentation purposes, experts will remove the nuances and use edited transcription methods.


    Once the transcripts are ready, legal transcriptionists will still review them. In most cases, the said review happens in stages that involve linguists and editors that also have legal backgrounds.

    The purpose of this review is to correct grammatical errors and ensure accuracy. Those aside, this stage is also where the experts check if they had followed your preference.

    You Receive The Transcribed File

    Note that you receiving the transcribed file doesn’t mean the job is complete. No, instead, this stage is for you to do a final check to see if your hired aid indeed met all your requirements. If they don’t, you will send the work back for revisions until you are satisfied.

    FAQs About Legal Transcription Services

    How Long Does Legal Transcription Take?

    There is no one answer for all service providers. At Espresso Translations, for example, we can complete legal transcription without two days. In the case that you need it earlier, we also offer urgent transcription services.

    In the same way, certain projects will take more time than others. The way out is often to engage a service provider and discuss your needs.

    What Services Can You Expect?

    There is no limit to the transcripts you can get from legal transcriptionists. As long as it is law-related, experts can help you complete the job accurately and quickly.

    Nevertheless, here are some of the most popular legal transcription services:

    ● Administrative and public hearings

    ● Arbitration, court, conference, mediation, and seminar proceedings

    ● Client letters

    ● Client, court, deposition, and wire tapes

    ● Conference calls

    ● Correspondence

    ● Legal arguments, briefs, examinations, and pleadings

    ● Federal agency investigations

    ● Interrogations

    ● Judgments

    In summary, the assurance of quality is only with an experienced legal transcription service provider. Fortunately, we are one at Espresso Translations.

    Get Fast And Accurate Legal Transcripts At Espresso Translations!

    Regardless of your specific needs, we handle all legal transcripts at Espresso Translations. We have transcriptionists who are not only native speakers but also have legal backgrounds.

    When you engage us, you can rest assured that we will provide a legal transcript that best reflects the grammar nuances of any of the regions in the UK. Perhaps you want to translate the transcribed file; we can also help you!

    Reach out to our team and let’s discuss your needs today! We will provide you with a per minute quote within the hour.