Legal Transcription Training: All The Things You Need To Know
Are you looking for the best legal transcription training on the market?
Whether you have started legal transcribing as a side hustle or it is your full-time work, training for the job can undeniably add value to the work that you produce.
More importantly, being a properly trained legal transcriptionist allows you to charge premium rates for your work.
There are plenty of courses available online and in this article, we have picked out some of the best legal transcription training courses to help you enhance your legal transcription skills.
Quick Summary of the Best Legal Transcription Training Courses:
Quick Summary of the Best Online General Transcription Courses:
- Transcribe Anywhere’s General Transcription Course
- How to Become A Transcriptionist
- Step-By-Step Transcription from Home
- Learn Online Transcription from Scratch
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
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- All You Need To Know About Legal Transcription Training
What Is Transcription?
The process of transcription or transcribing something is essentially that of taking spoken words and reducing them into a written, typed, or printed format.
Usually, this is done by listening to an audio recording of the subject matter, and typing out what is being said in as detailed a manner as possible.
At this point, you may be wondering about what circumstances one would need spoken words to be transcribed.
There can be many areas where transcription of a spoken word is required, namely:
- General transcription
- Medical transcription
- Legal transcription
What Is A Legal Transcriber?
A legal transcriber is one who transcribes:
- legal proceedings
- lawyer’s notes
- meetings with clients, and
- other relevant legal conversations
When it comes to legal transcription, especially transcription of trial proceedings, it is of paramount importance that everything is as accurate as possible.
This is because it is the transcribed version of events at a trial that is deemed to be the documentary version of what occurred in court during the trial.
The transcribed version of the trial is what is referred to when lawyers are preparing their submissions or when the matter is being appealed to a higher court.
As such, the role of a legal transcriptionist is undeniably vital.
Other than in these areas, legal transcribers are also sought after by insurance companies, academicians, and research institutions.
Fun Fact: According to CourtReporterEDU.org, Hillary Clinton, Amal Clooney, and John Grisham all used to be legal transcriptionists at the very beginning of their careers!
How Much Does A Legal Transcriber Make?
With legal transcription being a specialist area, you may be wondering how much does a legal transcriptionist make?
According to ZipRecruiter, a legal transcriptionist can make between $23,500 and $45,500 per year, with an average annual salary of $34,209.
This wide range suggests that there are many variables at play and this can include the level of skill, experience, and specialized training that the transcriptionist can bring to the table.
There are a few ways in which you can set out your charges as a legal transcriptionist:
- An hourly rate for every hour that you spend transcribing
- Lump-sum rates for the entire audio file
- A rate for every minute or hour of audio recording you are required to transcribe
- Based on the required turnaround time i.e. the more urgently the client requires it, the higher your rate can be
What Are The Skills Required To Be A Legal Transcriptionist?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not entirely necessary for you to have a law degree or to be legally qualified in any way for you to become a legal transcriptionist.
That being said, there are some core skills that you must have if you decide that the path of a legal transcriptionist is one that you want to embark on:
This might seem like an obvious requirement but we are not just talking about ordinary administrative typing skills here.
You need to be able to listen to the audio recording and ideally, type out the words as they are spoken.
As such, speed, dexterity, and efficiency are just some of the basic typing skills that you must have as a legal transcriptionist.
- Attention To Detail
A legal transcriptionist must be able to catch all the words that are being spoken.
Sometimes, during legal proceedings, the parties who are speaking may stutter, swallow their words, or become muffled for some reason.
A legal transcriptionist must have a keen ear to pick up these nuances as the primary goal of legal transcription is to reproduce the events of the proceedings exactly as they happened.
- Good Language
Again, this is an important skill for a legal transcriptionist to have to properly put into writing the spoken words that occur at legal proceedings.
Having good language skills will allow for a quicker pick-up of what is being said during the proceedings.
- Familiarity with Legal Terminology
Legal terminology can be tricky and complex.
Being familiar with the common terms that are used by lawyers, judges, court staff will make the legal transcription process more efficient as you would not need to stop to look up the meaning of the words or the context in which they were used.
This probably goes without saying!
But as a reminder, legal transcription does require time, effort, and patience. It is not one of those things that you can rush through.
This is because accuracy is essential to the role of a legal transcriptionist.
As you can see, if you are thinking of taking on the role of a legal transcriptionist, it is best to arm yourself with the necessary by taking a legal transcription course.
If you are not sure where to begin, read on to check out our guide to the best legal transcription training available.
Legal Transcription Training Online
Once you have mastered the art of transcription, it’s time to level up and take on some legal transcription training online.
Transcribe Anywhere’s Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice Course gives you all the resources and skills you need to become a legal transcriptionist and is one of the best legal transcription training courses online.
As with their general transcription course, there is a pay as you go option.
The best part is if you sign up for both their General and Legal Transcription Courses, you are entitled to an exclusive discount.
This is an all-encompassing online legal transcription course.
It is a paid course but it is well worth the money spent. With the skills that you learn throughout the course, you will make that money back in no time.
Among other things, this course teaches you:
- Legal terms
- The mechanics of the court system
- How to deal with clients
- How to increase the value of your work so that you can charge more
As you can see, this course is not just confined to the theoretical aspects of transcription.
It also equips you with the necessary business acumen to get your legal transcription career soaring from the ground up.
The online legal transcriptionist training course from Ed2Go also appears to be one of the best legal transcription training courses out there.
This is an 80-hour course that you will have access to over 6 months.
It also teaches you everything you need to know to sit for and pass the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) Certified Electronic Transcriber Exam.
Things that you will learn in this course include:
- Court transcription training
- Formalities of language required
- Proper formatting for legal transcription
- Duties of confidentiality that must be maintained by a legal transcriptionist.
General Transcription Training Online
If you want to get started on a career as a legal transcriptionist but you have zero transcription experience, then there is only one place to start – at the beginning, with the basic foundations of transcription.
There are plenty of platforms that offer general transcription training courses online that are both paid and offered for free.
Transcribe Anywhere is an excellent transcription training platform.
They provide an incredibly detailed course that is bound to set you up for transcription success. They also have a pay as you go option so you don’t have to fork out a chunk of money at one go.
More importantly, Transcribe Anywhere is approved by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers. So you know for certain that this course is excellent value for money.
If you feel that you aren’t ready to pay for their general transcription training online, Transcribe Anywhere also gives you the option to enroll in their free transcription training that will give you the foundational aspects you need to become a transcriptionist.
From this mini-course alone you will see that there is so much you can learn from their legal transcription training online for free.
Udemy is well-known for offering affordable courses spanning across different subject matters, and their transcription courses are no exception. Here are just some of the transcription courses that the offer:
All of the above courses cater to those to have no experience in transcription at all.
The courses guide you in a detailed manner to more advanced modules, skills, and techniques to give you the best possible shot at launching your transcription career.
They are paid courses but you can get great discounts if you keep a regular lookout on the Udemy site.
Is a Certificate in Legal Transcription Necessary?
The short answer to this is no.
You are not required to be certified to become a legal transcriptionist.
You do not even need to have a diploma or a degree, although if you do, it allows you to charge higher legal transcription rates.
This is especially so if you are offering your legal transcription services remotely or via an online service.
There are some legal transcription training courses online (like the ones on Udemy and other similar platforms) that give you a certificate of completion.
These certificates are certainly useful to enhance your portfolio to show that you have been properly trained in the area of legal transcription and transcription in general.
That being said, the most important thing when you can do once you have decided to become a legal transcriptionist is to invest to train yourself and acquire all the necessary skills.
The best legal transcription training courses will give you the skills, techniques, and nuances that will become invaluable to your work as a legal transcriptionist.
Legal Transcription Equipment
Don’t let this throw you off! You truly do not need much to begin your legal transcription hustle. Some of the basic things you need are:
- A good computer that works quickly
In the world of legal transcription, time is of the essence.
The faster you can complete and return the transcript, the higher you can charge your client.
As such, you don’t want to have a computer that is slow and lagging every few minutes. A good computer is a worthwhile investment in the world of legal transcription.
- The latest version of Microsoft Word
It is important to ensure that you have the latest version of the word processing program so that you can have access to the latest features if your client has special requests.
It also makes the process of legal transcription more efficient and seamless.
- A pair of earphones or headphones
While you do not need the most expensive of these, if you can afford it, it is worth the money to purchase a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Remember, your role as a legal transcriptionist is to pick every little word that is said on the audio recordings.
A good pair of headphones can certainly help you with that and make listening to the audio recordings easier.
- A stable internet connection
This is important with any online or remote work.
You want to be available to receive and send out files as quickly as possible. Audio recordings that require transcription are usually large files and you should have an internet connection that can download them quickly.
Optional Legal Transcription Equipment
Legal transcription or any transcription for that matter requires you to listen to audio and type out what is being said. You will need your hands to move as quickly and as consistently as possible.
Having to use your hands to switch windows or to manually go to the audio file to pause the file and rewind to a particular point of the audio recording to confirm that you heard it correctly can be rather cumbersome.
That is where a foot pedal comes in handy.
A transcription foot pedal allows you to use your foot to pause, rewind, or fast forward the audio file without having to take your hands off the keyboard.
This is so that you can work seamlessly and continue to type as you listen.
Most foot pedals can be connected to your computer’s USB port and they are easy to install and to use.
You can find a list of some of the best foot pedals for legal transcription here. As you will see, they are not too expensive and will prove to be a worthy investment in your legal transcriptionist career.
2.Specialized Transcription Software such as Express Scribe
This is a great software for legal transcriptionists as it automates some of your tasks, thus resulting in better efficiency and quicker turnaround times in terms of work product.
There is a free version and a paid pro version.
Usually, the free version is sufficient and some legal transcription training courses even require that you have the free version at the very least to take the course.
It also comes with an option to purchase a foot pedal so that it is easy for you to get set up all in one place!
Where To Find Legal Transcription Jobs
So now that you are all set up for legal transcription success, you can start looking for legal transcription jobs!
There is no shortage of jobs for transcriptionists, especially for legal transcriptionists.
You can find plenty of legal transcription jobs in the links below:
- Best Transcription Jobs for Beginners
- 9 Best Online Transcription Jobs (And Secret Strategies to Succeed)
Do keep in mind that when you apply for legal transcription jobs, you will be required to be familiar with their internal transcription guidelines (each job may have its unique guidelines).
You may also be required to pass their transcription test before you can be considered for the job.
Some Tip To Succeed With Transcription Jobs
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Legal transcription is one of those jobs that you get better at with constant practice. As such, it is best to ensure that you do not get rusty in between jobs!
To keep you consistent, you can find plenty of practice transcription tests online.
Express Scribe gives you a great variety of practice transcription tests with some of them focusing on legal transcription
GoTranscript also has some great transcription practice tests available.
Their tests allow you to see exactly what mistakes you have made once you have completed the test.
Furthermore, they also guide you with the proofreading and editing of your transcription work to ensure that you deliver only the best quality transcription to your client.
Let’s Get Transcribing!
Now that you have everything you need to embark on your legal transcription career, go ahead and take the plunge.
As you can see, some of the best legal transcription training courses are available to you online.
Once you are trained and ready, there are tons of legal transcription opportunities for you out there together with all the online transcription resources you need to keep you going and to enhance your legal transcription career.