A Comprehensive Guide to Legal Transcription Services

Lawyers, paralegals, and other legal professionals are no strangers to paperwork. Their industry’s precise and sensitive nature requires a lot of legal documents and recordings, which then need to be converted to text format for research, preparing for a depostion, storage reasons, or court use. This is where legal transcription services step in. Legal transcriptionists convert those video and audio recordings to digital text files. Law offices worldwide use transcription services to save valuable time better spent on paperwork to focus on more important things like depositions and court proceedings. That’s why finding cost-effective outsourced transcription for law firms is well worth the effort. 

There are a variety of reasons why law firms should get transcription services. Let’s talk about them here. 

Like all outsourced business processes, outsourcing your transcription can save law firms money in business expenses and more importantly in human resources. First, you don’t have to hire people to transcribe your audio and video files. Transcription is important, but in-house transcription might not be the most cost-effective solution, as outsourcing transcription work can save you $50 – $100k annually for every person you don’t hire. 

No need to worry about job postings, training, background checks, salaries, and benefits. Second, you don’t need to pull paralegals and other clerical staff from their primary tasks to do your transcriptions in a pinch. It lets them focus on what they’re doing to ensure a smooth workflow in your offices.

Transcripts Make It Easy To Identify Key Points For Cases

Watching video or listening to audio files for cases is all good, but time is money in the legal field. Attorneys and legal professionals already have enough on their plate, so to sit and watch recordings on repeat to get vital details for their cases is a waste of time. 

Transcripts—digital, searchable text files in various formats—allow legal professionals to quickly identify key points, arguments, and pieces of evidence presented during legal proceedings without all that fuss. Professional transcription saves time and improves efficiency by enabling lawyers and support staff to quickly locate specific information using any device with word processing capabilities without having to re-listen to the audio or re-watch the video recordings. This, in turn, helps with the flow of information to assist in building cases, formulating arguments, and preparing for depositions and cross-examinations. 

The legal industry has many branches, but they all converge to a single point: the court system. Legal transcription from depositions, custody hearings, conference calls, client meetings, witness statements, even interrogations, and other law enforcement transcription documents are heavily used in legal proceedings. Furthermore, transcription for law firms is admissible in court and is often submitted as evidence.

However, transcriptions submitted to the court require proper certification—meaning your chosen transcription service provider must be able to certify their transcripts and be called to testify under oath if necessary. 

Visit any law firm, and you’ll quickly see how much space they need to store their legal documents. Bigger entities even have storerooms dedicated to housing hundreds and thousands of pages gathered from their years of operation. Despite the best preservation and storage efforts, the paper will eventually deteriorate past the point of usability and legibility. They can also burn, get wet, or otherwise suffer from damage that can affect their usefulness. 

Transcribing your legal audio files can help save storage space and preserve your important legal documents. You can store them on your computer, phone, on a portal hard drive, or even offsite indefinitely. Your transcription service provider can also store them on their secure platforms, giving you peace of mind and unprecedented access from anywhere.

We’ve established why you need legal transcription services. Now, let’s talk about what to look for when choosing a company to meet your transcription needs. 

Experienced Transcription Provider

The transcription industry is lucrative, and the remote nature of the work has caused many companies to pop up left and right from almost everywhere. They might have little experience in the legal and law enforcement field, but not enough to matter. Often, they offer dirt-cheap prices that reflect this lack of experience, which predictably comes with commensurately poor results. Their transcripts are inaccurate, they offer limited file formats, they don’t provide timestamps, or they use free speech recognition tools and platforms to get the job done and conveniently (at least for them) neglect the editing and proofreading process altogether.

These kinds of legal transcription companies will cost your firm money and time, two of the most important resources in the legal field. Nobody wants that kind of headache.

On the other hand, experienced transcription service providers act more like partners to your law firm than liabilities. They’ll assign your workload to a transcriptionist who understands legal terminology. Furthermore, the company would have previously dealt with other law firms and similar entities, so its people know relevant legal documentation and certification requirements. This can help the process go infinitely smoother, adding more value to the cost- and time-saving benefits of outsourced transcription. 

Accuracy Guarantees

Automated transcription solutions are a dime a dozen now; even some word-processing programs and platforms include them free, which means anybody can provide legal transcription. With this, some providers can offer ridiculously fast turnaround times—but it often comes at the cost of accuracy. 

The consequences of legal transcription inaccuracies go beyond embarrassed laughter and the promise of correction as soon as possible. Legal transcripts, especially verbatim ones, are frequently used in court hearings and other legal proceedings. This means that errors could lead to misinterpretations and have the potential to significantly—and negatively—impact an ongoing court case. 

Typical accuracy guarantees for automated solutions reach up to 86%. Human-made transcription, meanwhile, reaches up to 99%, almost 100% sometimes. That means human completed legal transcripts won’t have too many glaring errors, if at all, and you can reliably use them for any court case with confidence that everything was accurately done. Never settle for the fastest transcriber with the lowest accuracy rates. Look for a provider that understands the gravity of the task given to them and who would produce high-quality legal transcription every time. 


Being cheap doesn’t quite cut it these days. Law firms understand that quality legal transcription comes at a price, but a cost-effective provider knows how to balance their pricing structures with the quality of their work. Despite lawyers being negotiation experts, they know precision is non-negotiable. Reliable transcription companies for law firms need to provide transcripts quickly and accurately without charging an arm and a leg for their services. 

Quality transcription service providers will also be upfront with their prices, often speaking to clients to set expectations if their projects differ from the usual pricing models. You get bonus points if you can find companies with no hidden fees and no commitment requirements. 

Flexibility And Expanded Services

A reliable provider offering legal transcribing services shouldn’t have rigid operational parameters either client needs are ever-changing, and they must be flexible to accommodate such needs. It might sound simple, but being able to provide extra services like transcribing different types of audio files from different sources (even cassette tapes), converting transcripts to specific file formats, or adding digital signatures, speaker labels, and time stamps should be available upon customer request. Additionally, the service provider can offer expansions like translation services to improve client convenience; there’s no need to pass finished transcripts to other translators and potentially screw up deadlines when one company can do both. 

Security and Confidentiality

Law firms handle sensitive and confidential information that can alter many lives if misused. That’s why companies that transcribe legal work must be able to guarantee the security of any data that passes through their platforms. Trusted service providers must be able to provide these security protocols at a minimum:

  • Detailed Reporting and Tracking Features
  • Individually Defined User Access Levels
  • Individual User Names, Passwords, and PINs (immediate deactivation upon request)
  • Scaled Network Redundancy
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) Integration
  • Dedicated Data Centers
  • SSL 256-bit Secure Encryption

Corporate legal departments, law firms, and other institutions in the legal sector might also handle criminal cases, so it’s better to choose a CJIS-compliant legal transcription services company. Not every official transcription provider can attain compliance with the Criminal Justice Information Services, as the division requires passing security guidelines above and beyond your typical requirements. CJIS compliance is a mark of a reputable and secure transcription company. 

Ditto Transcripts prides itself on having the best legal transcription team in the industry. Our transcribers have extensive knowledge of legal processes and terminology, can work within any timeline, and can still provide high levels of quality. Our transcription process ensures that we deliver 99% accuracy all the time. We can also work with various industries, so we can easily take any transcription work you throw at us, be it deposition transcription or corporate legal meetings. We also offer competitive legal transcription rates that start at $1.50 per audio minute and don’t require contracts. Contact us at (720) 287-3710 for a free quote.

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