To no one’s surprise, the benefits of legal transcription services tied to the legal industry are significant.
Transcription serves many purposes, with benefits like easing documentation requirements, easy workflow integration, accuracy, cost-efficiency, and security.
So, let’s talk about the ins and outs of legal transcription and how it can help your legal practice.
In this article, you’ll learn how:
- Legal transcription services are essential in the legal industry, transforming audio and video recordings into written records for various legal proceedings, thereby improving documentation and workflow efficiency.
- Most legal professionals favor manual transcription due to higher accuracy rates, better service inclusions, and more accommodations.
- Legal transcription offers significant benefits such as enhanced accuracy, specialized expertise in legal terminology, cost savings compared to in-house transcription, and improved organization and documentation of legal materials.
What Is The Purpose Of Legal Transcription?
Legal transcription converts video or audio recordings into a written record or a digital text format. With this process, lawyers, paralegals, and other legal professionals are provided with various benefits like improved documentation and organization, among other things.
The legal transcription process is fairly straightforward and almost the same as other types of transcription. Here’s an example of the process:
Step 1: Getting Audio Or Video Files
It all starts with the client obtaining audio recordings of the legal proceedings they want transcribed. Anything in the legal context can be recorded, like hearings, depositions, client meetings, law firm conference calls, and court proceedings.
The type of recording device doesn’t matter, for the most part. However, high-quality equipment improves the chances of maintaining high accuracy when transcribing the recording.
Once the recording is done, the file can be sent to an in-house legal transcriptionist, run through an automatic transcription program, or sent to a manual transcription services company like Ditto Transcripts. (Note: Legal practitioners prefer manual transcription due to their benefits such as higher accuracy rates, better features, and enhanced flexibility).
Step 2: Transcribing Audio And Video Recordings
Once we receive the recording, it is assigned to one or several legal transcriptionists. Per client requirements, the transcriber turns the file into a digital or written document. Legal offices often request verbatim transcription, which includes everything like filler words, false starts, and grammatical errors to be included in their transcripts.
Step 3: Error And Quality Checks
This step is dependent on your choice of process or provider. If you choose automated transcription software like speech-to-text, you or another person must check the legal transcript for errors before it can be used.
If you use a transcription provider like Ditto, the proofreading and editing process is done before the transcripts are sent back to you. We run completed transcripts through several rounds of quality control, ensuring that each word is captured in a verbatim transcript, and that all words, including legal terminology, are correct.
Step 4: Transcripts Are Returned To the Client
Once we’re done with proofreading, we polish the transcript according to client specifications before sending it back to them. Once certified, these transcripts are then officially considered legal documents that can be used in court proceedings.
Types Of Legal Transcription Events
Audio can cover many events and circumstances, all of which can be recorded and transcribed. Here are some of the most common events for legal transcription:
|Court Hearings and Trials
|Transcribing courtroom proceedings for records.
|Transcribing witness testimonies outside court.
|Documenting law enforcement interviews.
|Recording attorney-client discussions.
|Transcribing dispute resolution meetings.
|Documenting governmental/regulatory proceedings.
|Transcribing emergency call recordings.
|Creating records of investigative interviews.
|Transcribing legal communications.
|Documenting guidelines given to juries by judges.
The Differences Between Transcription And Dictation
Legal professionals can spend an inordinate amount of time doing paperwork or legal research. Most of them have embraced modern technology’s conveniences and have taken to dictation and other digital recording options to make the process faster. That way, they don’t need to take down notes themselves.
However, that means the same lawyers or their paralegals need to, at some point, sit down and listen to these dictations and recordings—however long they are. Sure, they could jump back and forth across the entire recording, but anyone in their right mind knows that that is an extremely tedious process.
Transcription covers that inconvenience by turning audio files into text for you, making them easier to peruse. Additionally, they’re also digitally searchable, which can significantly cut down on research or other legal processes.
Here’s a quick guide to figure out when to use standalone dictation and when to have those dictations transcribed:
|When to Use
|• Ideal for professionals dictating memos, emails, letters, or reports.
• Useful for individuals who have difficulty typing or don’t have time to type and edit for themselves.
|• To create an accurate written record of audio or video files like interviews, lectures, or meetings.
• Used for legal records, medical notes, interviews, podcasts, lectures, business meetings, earnings calls, or anything that requires official or professional transcripts.
• Necessary when content involves multiple speakers or complex terminology.
• Used for making content accessible to those with hearing impairments or who prefer reading.
Overall, both processes provide several advantages for those working in the legal field. Still, the best way to do this is to utilize dictation and have an outsourced legal transcription company transcribe them.
So, let’s talk about the benefits and importance of legal transcription.
What Are The Benefits Of Legal Transcription Services?
Transcription is essential in court proceedings, but its advantages are not limited to that. Here are some of the benefits of getting expert, reliable legal transcription:
Mike Ross from Suits once said, “The rules dictate that you must be precise, as the law is a precise endeavor.” This specific regard to accuracy is highly applicable in transcription.
Accurate, reliable transcription services provide high-quality transcripts that capture every conversation detail, benefiting the law firm by seamlessly integrating them into their procedures. There’s no need to comb through transcripts looking for errors to correct; download the file from the provider’s servers and use it for anything you need. However, the importance of accuracy is not limited to convenience.
The consequences of legal transcription inaccuracies go beyond embarrassed laughter and the promise of correction as soon as possible. Legal transcripts are frequently used in court hearings and other legal proceedings; that means errors can have a commensurately heavier impact than normal transcription errors in any other circumstances. Crucial evidence can be thrown out, cases derailed, and the justice system compromised.
Expertise And Focus
The legal industry is notorious for legalese, a specialized form of writing employed by lawyers and other legal industry members to write and discuss laws, legal definitions, applicable terms, and other legal subjects. This writing style uses formal archaic terms, overcomplicated sentences, unfamiliar abbreviations, redundant clauses, and other uncommon language structures.
Now, lawyers, paralegals, and other legal professionals typically don’t have problems dealing with complex legal terms; legal knowledge is their bread and butter. However, their time and energy are better spent on actual legal workloads, like preparing cases and meeting clients, than transcribing audio recordings.
It’s more than knowing how to type without looking at your keyboard. Legal audio transcription requires experience on top of listening and typing skills. This is why legal transcription companies like Ditto are in high demand.
We know our way around a legal conversation, and our transcribers have extensive knowledge of legal procedures. We can transcribe recordings according to your specifications, ensuring efficiency and accuracy while offering fast turnaround times. High-quality legal transcription services like ours understand how various legal formatting guidelines work.
We also take the burden of transcription off the firm’s workload, allowing them to focus on core tasks for the business.
Aside from assigning important but non-core business tasks to proven experts, outsourcing legal transcription can benefit legal institutions by saving them money.
For example, paralegals make an average of $58,386 a year. They usually have a lot on their plate, and law firms might need one or more so that the operation runs smoothly. Assigning them to transcription might seem like a great idea, but that would be a waste of their talents.
Court reporters are even more expensive, earning $63,560 a year. Court reporting and legal transcription are very similar. Still, qualifications from regulatory bodies like the National Court Reporters Association can make getting hired as a court reporter more difficult.
Similarly, hiring a skilled legal transcriptionist in-house might not be the best option. Unlike court reporters and paralegals, they earn an average of $45,501 annually but have significantly lower requirements, making it easier to become a legal transcriptionist. However, the more skilled they are, the more they make.
All of these positions can produce a variety of legal transcripts, but not all of them are cost-effective for legal firms.
Outsourcing to professional legal transcription companies will get you the same transcription results with arguably better quality, faster turnaround times, and higher accuracy—all at a fraction of the cost.
Legal experts have a lot of paperwork to complete, making it difficult to keep everything organized. This can be fixed with transcription. Instead of organizing thousands of dictations and recorded audio from potentially different recording devices, transcripts can easily be downloaded from our servers and saved in their folders.
Digitizing most of the paperwork also means there’s less need for filing cabinets and document space; simply print out the transcript when required and submit it as is. Aside from that, you can rest assured that your documents are less likely to suffer damages while in storage.
Ditto Transcripts offers the highest-quality, accurate transcripts in the industry today. However, our fees are very reasonable for our services. Our standard rate is $1.75 per audio minute, with turnaround times between three to five business days. We also offer rush services and longer delivery times for more economical rates.
Highest Levels Of Security
I can’t speak for other providers, but here at Ditto, security is one of our most important considerations. That’s why we’ve taken steps to achieve CJIS-compliant security—something that not all transcription services can claim.
Additionally, all files are protected by the following protocols:
- 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
- Encrypting All Data With SSL 256-bit Encryption
- Employee Background Checks*
- Willing To Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements
Enhance Your Legal Process With Ditto Transcripts
Stuck trying to find reliable legal transcription online? Don’t worry; you’re already with the best. Call Ditto now and experience the benefits of our legal transcription services with a free trial.
Ditto Transcripts is a HIPAA-compliant and CJIS-compliant Denver, Colorado-based legal transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.