Legal Transcription: All you need to know

Sese Hang Limbu
November 2022

Legal Transcription: All you need to know

If you work in the legal or criminal justice sectors, whether as an attorney or a private investigator, you need a legal transcription. Legal transcriptions provide transparency during court proceedings and give additional information about the case. Although there is demand, certain misbeliefs are surrounding legal transcription.

What is Legal Transcription?

In the simplest of terms, legal transcription means converting media (audio or video) into text, for legal purposes. Legal transcription services are widely used for transcribing court hearings, depositions, witness interviews, and interrogations among other use cases.

Legal transcription is especially useful to lawyers and attorneys. It takes a lot of time and effort to review and process media recordings. Legal transcription helps improve their productivity as documents are easier to review than actual media recordings.

Transcription services help you transcribe audio or video media into text. Transcriptionists need to have an idea about the content of the media to provide accurate transcripts. Your legal transcriptions should be prepared by competent transcriptionists who specialize in law.

Try Transcribe by Reduct →

Is Legal Transcription Worth it?

So is legal transcription worth the cost? Many attorneys and lawyers will choose to agree. A clear, easy-to-read textual format helps you save time and effort to search and highlight information. Also, outsourcing to a legal transcription service allows your assistants and paralegals to direct their time on more important things.

Legal transcription also makes it easier to search, record, organize and present information as opposed to media recordings. It also includes timestamps and speaker labeling that assist attorneys in building their cases.

Along with saving time and effort, investing in legal transcription is also a smarter choice for trimming costs. Legal transcription service is cheaper than hiring paralegals. Paralegals are important members of your team and can help you with tasks you cannot outsource. At just $1 per minute cost of transcription, it is an efficient choice to outsource legal transcription.

Difference between Legal Transcription, Dictation, and Court Reporting

As we’ve mentioned before, legal transcription refers to the conversion of recorded audio or video into a textual format for legal purposes. It is done by legal transcriptionists, who specialize in law. Transcriptionists transcribe audios that are pre-recorded into documents. There is no official certification required to be a legal transcriptionist.

Dictation, however, refers to speaking into a recording device or typing what you’ve spoken. Dictations are faster than transcribing as it doesn’t involve typing. However, transcription is more descriptive and can be documented easily.

Court reporting is different from legal transcription as it is done by court reporters who work in the courtroom. They have certified personnel who use stenographs to transcribe everything that is said in court or other legal settings. Court reporters transcribe in real-time and they need to be fast and clear. Moreover, court reporters are expensive. Overnight transcription service at just $1 a minute makes legal transcription service a cheaper and faster option than relying on court reporters.

Try Transcribe by Reduct →

Outsourcing to a Transcription Company or a Freelance Transcriptionist?

If you choose to outsource your transcription needs, you can either contact a transcription service company or hire a transcriptionist.

Outsourcing to a Freelance Transcriptionist

Outsourcing your needs to a freelance transcriptionist is a cheaper option compared to working with a transcription company. The service is more personalized as you can handpick who will be working on your transcripts individually. There is also no shortage of freelance transcriptionists, so you can choose someone who best fits your criteria (in this case someone who has proper transcribing skills, familiarity with legal terms, and experience).

Since you’re dealing with individual freelancers, the volume of media recordings can be an issue. There’s only so much a single transcriptionist can do. Hiring multiple freelancers for a larger volume of recordings can make the transcripts inconsistent.

Moreover, there’s also the hanging issue of confidentiality while dealing with freelance transcriptions as they have access to your entire document.

Outsourcing to a Transcription Company

Outsourcing to a transcription company has benefits over freelance transcriptionists. Depending on the transcription company you choose, you can get fast, consistent and accurate transcripts with the added benefit of proper accountability and confidentiality. So how can you choose a transcription company that best suits your needs? Well, here are some things you can consider:

  1. Experience

  2. Does a company with 16,000+ hours of completed transcription sound reassuring? Of course, it does. When it comes to legal transcription or transcription in general, you want to work with a company that has been in business for a long time. If a company has been in business for a long time, there’s a guarantee that they do not compromise quality.
  3. Quality

  4. You should expect an accurate transcript from a legal transcription company. In the legal field, inaccurate transcripts can prove to be costly. For the same reason, do not settle for anything less than a company that guarantees you a 99% accuracy rate or higher. Look for a company with well-trained transcriptionists at hand who also have some kind of expertise in the legal field. The best course of action is to request samples before selecting a company.
  5. Security

  6. Imagine someone accessing your legal files without your consent. Not only is this a breach of your sensitive information, but in a legal setting, it can also jeopardize your case. Your data should be encrypted at the highest level. It’s best if you choose a transcription company with a sound security system and proper protocol for backup in case of breach or crash.
  7. Turnaround time

  8. In the legal industry, working under pressure is typical. It is a safe bet to choose a company that can deliver your transcripts overnight or in a day, even if you don’t need them instantly. An experienced company can efficiently use its time and resources to deliver your transcripts quickly without compromising quality.
  9. Pricing

  10. Nobody likes hidden charges. If a company claims its price is $1 per minute of transcription, then it should not expect you to pay a higher total cost, rigged with hidden charges. Look for a company that provides transparent pricing and charges per minute rather than a flat rate.
Try Transcribe by Reduct →


Legal transcription services help outsource your time-consuming tasks. It is certainly a smarter choice to outsource your transcription needs as it is fast, reliable, and cost-efficient. Our legal transcription service is handled by competent human transcriptionists, with a guarantee of 99% accuracy. Get started with us today!

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