One of the scary things about the workforce is how change can seemingly happen overnight. Entire industries that were once viable career paths can become completely obsolete. Other jobs are eliminated by corporate cost-cutting. Still, there are fields that will always exist. This certainly holds true for the law. As long as there is a government, important legal work will need to be completed. One way to start a career in law is by becoming a legal transcriber. If you are not familiar with legal transcription, below is an explanation of what this job entails.
What Is Legal Transcription?
Being an attorney is a difficult job. Working on a case requires endless hours of work doing things like researching the law, combing over records, drafting legal documents, performing interviews, attending court, and much more. As such, many lawyers need a way to decrease and streamline their workload. Certain manual work needs to be completed by others so an attorney can focus more squarely on legal strategy. Legal transcription is one thing that can do just that.
Transcription is the process of transforming spoken words into a typed or written format. A legal transcriptionist performs this task for a lawyer or law firm. Without this transcription, an attorney would run into a lot of issues in regards to being able to examine and reproduce what was said between different parties. Law firm transcription helps to simplify the work of lawyers by transforming information into a more digestible and usable format.
What Does a Legal Transcriptionist Do?
The main duty of a legal transcriptionist is to transfer the content of audio recordings created during the work of a lawyer into written documentation. This can include audio recordings of depositions, court proceedings, police interrogations, and many other things. The recording in question may simply exist as audio or as part of a video recording. While listening, the transcriptionist should take great care to write down exactly what was said between the parties in question as exactly as possible. The accuracy of the transcription is extremely important for preserving evidence and formulating the correct legal arguments.
A legal transcriptionist may also perform other kinds of work as well. This can include creating an edited transcription of a letter or some other kind of written document. In this case, the transcriptionist’s job may be to correct grammar and syntax errors. The phrasing and wording may also be altered to the lawyer’s specific wishes. However, when creating transcriptions from audio, including things like grammatical errors and odd speech patterns will be required to create an accurate record.
What Are the Qualifications?
Not just anyone can become a legal transcriptionist. It takes certain skills and qualities. In regards to qualifications, many employers only choose applicants that have a certification for legal transcription. Even if not every law firm demands this certification, having one can certainly improve your chances in regards to competing against other applicants.
To enroll in a program to obtain a legal transcriptionist certification, you should have either a high school diploma or your GED. While you can take in-person classes, you should also consider the fact that many legal transcription courses are available online. You may be able to complete such courses and become certified in as little as five months. Things you should learn in these courses include the study of legal terms, the drafting of legal documents, legal ethics standards, and more.
What Are the Career Prospects?
Most people who become legal transcriptionists end up working for lawyers and law firms. However, there are other career opportunities you can pursue as well. Many industries have a large overlap with the legal field or at least have a strong need for transcription services.
There are many choices for employment. You could, for example, end up working for a government agency. Universities and colleges also often employ legal transcriptionists. You could even end up working for a large multinational corporation. The insurance, real estate or finance industries are also strong possibilities for employment.
Overall, there is a strong demand for legal transcription. If you want a career related to law with consistent demand in the labor market, becoming a legal transcriptionist is an excellent option. It doesn’t take too long to complete the required education, and there are many different industries where you can find work.