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What Is Legal Transcription: Everything Your Should Know

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Nov 8 · 10 Nov, 2021
What Is Legal Transcription: Everything Your Should Know

If you're reading this, you probably need a legal transcript of a document as soon as possible. However, you don't really know much about these kinds of transcripts! So what is legal transcription? We are here to answer this question for you in detail! 

Defining Legal Transcription

There's a question that's been occupying your mind lately: what is a legal transcription. The answer is very simple! Legal transcription is creating a text document by typing the words heard in audiovisual or audio recordings of legal proceedings. Court recordings, interviews, and more - all audio files can benefit from transcription! The transcripts are significantly easier to read and navigate. On top of that, they are carefully formated for you to quickly find all the information you need.

Because lawyers and their assistants are constantly busy, they have no time for transcribing legal audio materials. That's why you need transcriptionists! These professionals specialize in many industries, and they can definitely help you get more clients by streamlining your workflow. Since they're exceptionally skilled, the quality of their work is guaranteed! In other words, you can expect the transcribed documents to be properly formatted, accurate, and error-free. 

What Kind of Legal Transcription Services Are There?

Rapidly growing, the industry of legal transcription offers many services to clients. These include transcription of testimonies, interrogations, depositions, official court hearings, client letters, general legal correspondence, and legal briefs. This is a game-changer for lawyers with busy agendas! 

The Difference Between Legal Transcription and Court Reporters

In the past, lawyers thought that only court reporters or stenographers could provide them with fantastic transcriptions. However, there are many other options available! These licensed professionals work in the courtroom, where they type in shorthand what they hear during a session. Their job is really fast-paced!

Things are different for legal transcriptionists. While court reporters can certify the transcribed document and swear someone in, many transcriptionists can't do that. But court transcripts are not all there is, and transcriptionists know that! Most of them work remotely and help clients save tremendous amounts of money and precious time. 

Is Legal Transcription Worth Investing In?

Legal transcription will save you and your company valuable time and money! Finding bits of information in long and sometimes hard-to-understand audio files is not a task suitable for your lawyers. It can take them hours to complete! Instead, let them and their assistants focus on urgent tasks and hire a transcriptionist to help you! Hiring anyone other than a licensed professional can result in inaccurate documents.

Because transcriptionists are dedicated only to transcribing recordings, they have both the time and the skills to do this properly. Plus, they'll do it fast! You'll have your document soon after you ask for their help! Instead of replaying audio recordings for days, you'll be able to quickly locate the information you need in a transcript. Your company will thrive thanks to your smart strategy of splitting the workload!

Although specialized legal transcriptionists have a background in law and are highly skilled professionals, hiring them doesn't cost much. By entrusting your transcript to them, you'll avoid many costs! Legal secretaries usually earn $20-25 per hour for services like these, and paralegals earn around $25-32. Since they're your team members and work with you daily, it's no surprise their services cost this much!

Still, you can have everyone on your team prioritizing other tasks they're good at by hiring a specialized transcription service. This option is usually way cheaper than letting some of your employees transcribe the recordings. Transcriptionists are also outstandingly experienced when it comes to working with different audio materials, and they can format your document to your preferences! 

Specialized Agencies Should Be Your First Choice

When you need important documents transcribed, look for a reliable agency that specializes in legal transcriptions. People who are not skilled in this profession are not a good choice! A specialized agency will have employees who understand your industry and jargon. After all, you don't want a court transcript format that makes no sense!

More than this, these agencies will make sure to handle your audio recordings while using top-notch protective measures. Confidentiality is a big thing when it comes to legal materials! Because of that, agencies like these will let only trusted agents work on your transcript, eliminating different security risks. They should really be your first and only choice! 

The Process of Legal Transcription

There are three steps to follow when creating a legal transcript: 

1. Send Over Your Audio Materials

After you've finally selected which agency you want to do the work, you should send them your audio files. Don't forget to specify your preferred turnaround time! Most agencies work with all kinds of files. They ensure that you get a transcript that is appropriately formatted while also making the corrections you want. 

2. The Service Reviews the Transcribed Document

Once the transcript is finished, it has to be reviewed. Agencies have to check for any accidental grammatical mistakes and accuracy issues. Reliable transcriptionists will make sure that you get a document with a 99%+ accuracy and with the format you requested! That's how you get top-notch transcripts. 

3. You Get Your Transcribed Document Back

After your transcript is successfully reviewed, the agency will send it back to you. You can get it in a digital or printed version, depending on your preferences! The choice is yours, and transcription professionals are there to serve you the best way possible. 

How Long Will It Take for Your Document to Be Transcribed?

Your legal transcript will likely be ready in about 24 to 48 hours after you've requested the transcription services. However, some audio files come in bulk or require more effort. The turnaround time for these can be as long as one or two weeks. There are also rush options, in case you need your transcript as soon as possible. 

How Much Should You Pay for Legal Transcription?

Transcription costs vary depending on the type of transcript you want and the turnaround time you've asked for. For rush rates, you'll need to pay a bit more. However, your document will be ready in a business day or two, so it's definitely worth it! On the other hand, extended rates may earn you a discount! You can save some money by waiting for a few more business days.

The complexity and length of the audio files affect costs as well. Some agencies put single-person and one-on-one interviews in the same category and charge the same for these two file types. Consequentially, recordings with four, five, or more speakers are the most expensive ones! Audios with poor audio quality, thick accents, scientific terminology, panel discussions, and focus groups are usually the highest-priced. But legal transcriptionists still charge less than secretaries and paralegals! 

How to Choose a Fantastic Transcription Company

When looking for a great transcription company, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You want and deserve the best deal! We'd like to share our detailed guidelines for finding a fantastic transcription agency that'll meet your needs. 

  • Make sure they guarantee high accuracy. If the company you're checking out offers less than a 99% accuracy rate, look for a different one.        
  • Find an agency that works with convenient turnarounds. You may not want all your transcripts to be ready in a day or two. Still, it's good to always have those turnaround times as an option.        
  • Start with American-based companies. They'll have native English speakers who know the legal terminology and follow more precise protocols when working with legal transcription.         
  • See if the company has high security standards. CJS-compliant agencies are a great choice! The agency you choose should be willing to answer all your questions related to security.      
  • The agency should have insurance and clear contracts. They should protect both their company and the client! Unambiguous contracts, as well as general and cyber liability policies, are a must!          
  • Search for a reliable, licensed company. Reviews, testimonials, and the like will tell you how long an agency has been in the service of clients.  

Help Clients Trust You With Our Legal Transcriptions

Legal transcripts are fast, accurate, and cost-efficient. Inspire your clients to trust you more than the competition with GoTranscript's legal transcription services! We can help you find your way around the words of those long audio recordings - we're professional transcribers!