Legal Transcription: All you need to know
Sese Hang Limbu
If you work in the legal or justice sectors, whether as an attorney or a private investigator, you will need to document many verbal interactions.Legal transcription provides a written account of court hearings, depositions, witness interviews, interrogations, and other use cases.
What is Legal Transcription?
Legal transcription means converting media (audio or video) into text for legal purposes.
Why do it?
Because lawyers and attorneys have hours of recordings and no time to listen to all of it.
Having the transcripts handy makes it easier to review cases. After all, it is much easier to skim through text than listening to a full recording and searching for that exact moment when something important was said.
Not everyone can do it though. Only competent transcriptionists who are familiar with legal terms and processes can provide accurate legal transcription.
Is Legal Transcription Worth it?
Many attorneys and lawyers agree that legal transcription is worth the cost. A clear, easy-to-read text helps to search, organize, present and highlight information. Transcripts also have timestamps and speaker labeling which helps to form a timeline for the case.
The best part is that you don't have to do it yourself. You can outsource the transcription work to dedicated legal transcription services so that you can focus on your core work.
But why not just give this work to 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.
Legal transcription service is not just cheaper than hiring paralegals, but also faster and more reliable. Dedicated transcription companies have the technology, process, and experienced people on-hand to deliver timely transcripts and provide a quality guarantee.
Difference between Legal Transcription, Dictation, and Court Reporting
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 are familiar with legal terms and processes. There is no official certification required to be a legal transcriptionist.
Dictation, however, refers to speaking into a recording device. Dictation is faster than transcribing as it doesn't involve typing. Plus, everybody has a smartphone with a recorder app.
Court reporting is different from legal transcription as it is done by designated court reporters who do this in the courtroom. They are certified personnel who use stenographs to transcribe what is spoken in court or other legal settings in real-time.
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.
Should I outsource to a Transcription Company or a Freelance Transcriptionist?
If you're outsourcing your transcription needs, you can either contact a transcription service or hire a freelance transcriptionist from Upwork.
Outsourcing to a Freelance Transcriptionist
Hiring a freelance transcriptionist is a cheaper option than working with a transcription company. The service is more personalized as you can handpick who will be working on your transcripts.
You can find plenty of freelance transcriptionists on platforms like Upwork , Fiverr , and PeoplePerHour.
Choose one who best fits your criteria- someone who has proper transcribing skills, familiarity with legal terms, and experience. Always read reviews from previous customers before making a call.
But 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. But if you hire many freelancers for a larger volume of recordings, transcripts can be inconsistent.
Talk to the freelancer about how they handle the confidentiality of the data, and sign a contract and a Non-Disclosure Agreement before sending them any media.
Also, make sure that they delete all the media and transcripts after the work is delivered.
Outsourcing to a Transcription Company
Outsourcing to a transcription company has significant benefits over freelance transcriptionists. Depending on the transcription company, you can get fast, consistent and accurate transcripts with the added benefit of proper accountability and confidentiality.
When it comes to legal transcription or transcription in general, work with a company that has been in business for a long time. Such companies have the resources to complete your work on time and with reasonable quality.
Look for experience in legal transcription as well since you'll need the transcripts to have accurate technical terms.
Do not settle for anything less than a 99% accuracy rate of transcripts. Look for a company with well-trained transcriptionists who also have experience in the legal field.
The best course of action is to request samples before selecting a company.
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.
Choose a transcription company with a solid security system , data encryption, and backup/restore protocols.
4. Turnaround time
Go for a company that can deliver your transcripts overnight or within 24 hours, even if you don't need them instantly.
You don't want to have to tell your client that you don't have the transcripts at the last hour.
Look for a company that provides transparent pricing and charges on per minute basis rather than a flat rate. You should also be careful of the hidden charges and understand the total cost breakdown.
Reduct's Legal Transcription Service
Legal transcription services help you get accurate transcripts on time while keeping your data secure. It's a better choice than transcribing on your own or keeping your paralegals busy with work that you can outsource to specialists.
Our legal transcription service is handled by competent transcriptionists and we guarantee 99% accuracy. Get started with us today!