How To Choose The Right Legal Transcription Service

Legal transcription can offer a lot of benefits for lawyers, law firms, and other legal professionals, so they need to consider their choice of transcription partner very carefully. Now, it may look easy, but finding the provider for your transcription needs can be tricky. 

Accuracy, experience, security, reliability, transcription process, and quality of service are the primary considerations when choosing the right transcription service. 

In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • Choosing a legal transcription service provider that is accurate, affordable, experienced, flexible, confidential, and has the ability to certify transcripts is essential.
  • Ditto Transcripts is a CJIS-compliant, Denver, Colorado-based transcription company that provides fast, accurate, and reliable legal transcription services for individuals and companies of all sizes.
  • Our legal transcripts are admissible in court and are often submitted as evidence.

Whether inside or outside a courtroom, most legal proceedings are recorded with audio and video equipment. Sometimes, a court reporter or stenographer records what the parties say and do live and in person. 

Regardless of the method used to capture legal conversations, they require transcription into the correct file formats so others can also read the transcripts. That is the primary role of a transcription company: to convert legal recordings into transcripts or other relevant legal documents. 

However, this answer poses more questions. Like, how accurate should the transcripts be? How much experience should a company have? And what level of security should you look for? 

To understand how to find the best service provider, we must first cover the major benefits of legal transcription. 

  • Cost Savings: Outsourced transcription companies offer several ways for legal professionals to save money. Accurate transcription can help avoid costly legal mistakes. Transcription services also minimize employee hours spent by manually transcribing audio. Furthermore, it eliminates the necessity to hire in-house transcribers, saving legal professionals thousands of dollars on training, equipment, office space, salaries, and benefits. 
  • Time Savings: The legal profession relies heavily on documentation. Digital, searchable transcripts allow legal professionals to quickly and efficiently identify key points, arguments, and pieces of evidence presented during legal proceedings. 
  • Well-Organized Records: Transcription services facilitate the organization and storage of legal records according to legal practice needs, enabling easy search and retrieval. Outsourcing transcriptions also frees up employee bandwidth for operations, thereby raising overall productivity. 
  • Accessibility and Portability: Unlike playing recordings, lawyers can pinpoint needed transcript sections thanks to speaker timestamps and note-taking abilities. You can store transcriptions and legal documentation and access it easily from any device. Transcripts also move between physical filing cabinets and digital databases with ease.
  • Smoother Appeals: Without solid transcripts, appeals can face delays or stonewalling. However, thorough documentation of initial proceedings supplies attorneys with the resources to strategize arguments for appeals and boost their chances of success.
  • Optimal for Law Students: Authentic digital transcription and legal files give law students raw courtroom interactions to study. Active engagement with authentic material via legal transcriptions helps law students learn better about legal processes, case preparation, and question-phrasing practice. 
  • Effective Information Dissemination: Courtrooms often exclude friends and family members, which can be a grueling experience for some. Professional transcriptions can relay trials’ events and dialog to those unable to attend due to constraints, language barriers, or disabilities, keeping them in the loop.

Now that we know what transcription companies offer, we must discuss the important factors to consider when choosing a legal transcription provider.

Accuracy

The repercussions of legal transcription inaccuracies can be heavy and far-reaching. 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- transcription, meanwhile, reaches up to more than 99%. That means human-completed legal transcripts won’t have too many glaring errors, if at all. Verbatim transcription, even with complex legal jargon, is cleanly done. You can reliably use them for any court case with confidence that everything is accurate. 

Never settle for the cheap, fastest transcriber with the lowest accuracy rates. Choose a transcription service provider who can produce high-quality legal transcription every time. 

Affordability

Lawyers and legal professionals 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. Choosing a legal transcription service that employs sneaky tactics like hidden fees and discretionary charges is a quick way to rack up expenses. 

Reliable transcription companies meet their clients’ transcription needs quickly and accurately without charging exorbitant prices. They provide costs upfront and are willing to contact clients if the current pricing models don’t match the required work. Additionally, reliable legal transcription services often allow clients to pay for service as is without committing to long-term contracts. 

Ditto’s pricing starts at $1.50 per audio minute, and we offer different turnaround time options for different budgets. 

Experience

Some companies may offer low prices that reflect their lack of experience, and legal professionals can sometimes unknowingly fall for this trap. Transcripts from such providers are inaccurate and low-quality, as they’re not well-versed in legalese and jargon. 

They often offer limited file formats, don’t provide timestamps, or 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. Ultimately, dealing with low-quality legal transcription companies will cost you more time, money, and effort. 

Remember, a reputable transcription company with over a decade of legal experience, like Ditto Transcripts, will never compromise on the quality of your legal transcripts. We offer accurate services with fast turnaround times and can handle any type of legal document or audio file. You can request a sample transcription to assess the quality of our service at any time. 

Flexibility And Expanded Services

Customization and flexibility are essential considerations when selecting a legal transcription service, as different legal professions have different transcription requirements. 

This can include the ability to scale and meet changing demands, transcribe different types of audio files from different sources, convert transcripts to specific file formats, add digital signatures, speaker labels, and time stamps, and accommodate rush or bulk jobs. The service provider can also offer expansions like translation services to improve client convenience. 

Confidentiality And Security Measures

Reviewing the quality of security and privacy measures is one of the best ways to ensure the company you want to work with is on the up and up. Typical security measures include secure servers, top-of-the-line encryption, well-managed user access channels, individual passwords for every user, and sophisticated recording and tracking measures. 

Corporate legal departments, law firms, and other institutions in the legal sector handle criminal cases, so it’s better to choose a CJIS-compliant legal transcription services company. 

CJIS compliance is a mark of a reputable and secure transcription 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 typical security requirements.

Ability To Certify Transcripts

Use of legal transcriptions from depositions, custody hearings, conference calls, client meetings, witness statements, even interrogations, and other law enforcement transcription documents are popular in legal proceedings. Furthermore, transcripts are admissible in court and are often submitted as evidence. 

However, transcriptions submitted to the court require proper certification—meaning your transcriptionist must be able to certify their transcripts. Transcript certification has strict requirements, including the transcriber’s capacity to appear in open court and testify under oath. Offshore and automated transcription services, therefore, cannot certify transcripts. 

Top-of-the-line Customer Service

Transcription work doesn’t end with accurate transcripts or being well-versed in legal terminology. Clients may have follow-up questions or request additions or corrections if necessary. 

This is why looking for a transcription provider with great customer service is crucial. Look for providers that can guarantee prompt response times via multiple communication channels so you don’t get left on hold or your calls don’t stay unanswered. You can check online reviews from past customers or ask if the company can provide references. 

The Right Transcription Company is Right Here

Don’t waste time looking for acceptable legal transcription providers when you already have the best in the game.

Ditto Transcripts has extensive knowledge of legal processes and terminology, can work within any timeline, and provides the highest levels of quality. Our transcription process ensures that we deliver 99% accuracy all the time. We don’t do automated transcription, and everyone on our staff— transcribers,  transcription editors, and customer service managers—is an expert in the legal field. 

Ditto Transcripts is a CJIS-compliant, Denver, Colorado-based transcription company that provides fast, accurate, and reliable legal transcription services for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

Looking For A Transcription Service?

Ditto Transcripts is a U.S.-based HIPAA and CJIS compliant company with experienced U.S. transcriptionists. Learn how we can help with your next project!