Transcription For Lawyers: How Legal Transcription Services Can Help

Lawyers are busy people. Their time is better spent doing legal research, meeting clients, and winning cases—not transcribing recordings and dictations. That’s why legal transcription services are in demand these days. They remove the documentation burden by producing precise, high-quality transcripts and allowing legal professionals to focus on important matters. 

However, there are nuances in choosing the right transcription partner, and that’s what we’re here to discuss.

In this article, you’ll learn how: 

  • Legal transcription services can help streamline documentation workflow and prepare different legal procedures. 
  • Legal professionals have different options for getting transcripts but outsourced, human-powered transcription is the most preferred method by far. 
  • Aside from the transcription process, accuracy, security, expertise, and affordability are important considerations. Ditto delivers on all fronts with no compromises. 

Observing proper procedure is paramount in law, and lawyers, law firms, and other legal professionals recognize this importance by following applicable procedural rules to the letter. However, nothing in the law states that lawyers can’t make it easy to follow the rules, so they can use modern technology to make their lives easier and less paperwork-centric. 

Things like automated billing solutions, virtual assistance, and other productivity software are making the rounds in the legal field. Two important examples are dication and recording, which involve recording audio and video files for future reference or use. Depositions and trials can be recorded, important facts about cases can be dictated, and so on, and these audio or video files will take time to peruse. 

Fortunately, these files can be transformed into a more convenient form: transcripts. 

Unlike video or audio files, transcripts are easily accessible and stored, can be saved in different file formats, and are digitally searchable. Speaker labels and timestamps can improve legal audio or video. Also, handwritten notes and other legal documents can be transcribed into a more professional form, perfect for use in court proceedings and other legal purposes. 

Here’s a quick list of some of the most common recorded legal proceedings that are transcribed: 

Legal ProcedureBenefits of Transcription Services for Lawyers
Deposition TranscriptionsProvides an accurate record of statements for trial preparation and use.
Trial ProceedingsEnsures a detailed record for appeals, testimony review, and case analysis.
Client InterviewsKeeps a detailed record of all discussions for future reference and strategy.
Witness StatementsAssists in cross-referencing testimonies and trial preparation.
Legal CorrespondenceHelps maintain organized records and ease information retrieval.
Arbitration and MediationOffers a clear, unbiased record of proceedings for review and agreements.
Administrative HearingsCrucial for appeals or future reference in administrative law cases.
Legal ResearchProvides an accessible textual resource for analysis and reference.
Strategy MeetingsRecords decision-making processes, legal theories, and tactics.
Police and Investigative ReportsAids in case preparation and forensic analysis, especially in criminal defense cases.

How To Get Audio And Video Transcripts

Transcription may be necessary; however, lawyers are too busy to do the transcription themselves. So, what are the options for getting accurate legal transcription? Choosing the right one can significantly impact attorneys and legal professionals. So, let’s discuss the options. 

Artificial intelligence is a useful piece of technology that is starting to conquer everything—if the state of technology and industry is any indication. Pretty much everyone uses AI, from businesses conducting multimillion-dollar research to a high-school kid writing a 2000-word essay the night before it’s due. Surely, legal transcription has a place between these two, right? 

Not exactly. Lawyers and other legal professionals require highly accurate legal transcription, at least for official transcription like those submitted for court hearings. While several transcription software packages are available for law practitioners, automated transcription isn’t one of them. 

Despite its novelty, AI transcription is unfit for final transcription results because its results are inaccurate, as even the best speech-to-text software can only reach 86% accuracy under the very best circumstances. 

Imagine having it work on audio or video recordings with complex legal terminology, four or more speakers like in focus groups, or interviews with poor audio quality. The accuracy rate drop-off in these situations is astronomical. 

To be fair, AI is perfectly fine for note-taking and reminders, but again, high-quality legal transcription is required for official procedures. Otherwise, they expose their legal practices to erroneous legal decisions, appeal complications, reduced credibility, additional costs, and ethical and professional issues.

Human transcription is more accurate than AI by 14% or more. That may not look much, but by legal standards, it’s the difference between computing with an abacus and using a modern calculator. Legal transcripts require precision, and what better way to ensure that than by getting a legal transcriptionist on your team, right?

Again, not exactly. While hiring in-house to take care of transcription needs might make sense for the top law firms, this can be a bank-breaking decision for most practices. Transcriptionists make more than $40,000 a year, according to recent data. Paralegals can do transcription, but they make more yearly than transcriptionists do. 

If you factor in benefits, equipment, office space, training, and other employment expenses, you could be looking at a significant amount by the end of every year. Quality legal transcription is important, but it shouldn’t come at a hefty price. 

One of the best ways to save money as you’re getting the help of qualified, professional experts is by hiring transcription agencies. Quality and accuracy are assured since the service provider focuses solely on transcription. As long as you outsource to human transcribers, it should be fine, right? 

Well again…

Not exactly. Dozens of legal transcription companies online offer their services to legal teams. However, not all legal transcription companies are created equal. They might offer dirt-cheap legal transcription rates, but, as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” 

The right legal transcription service can act as your partner, an extension of your office, seamlessly integrating with your legal team as though they’ve been part of it the whole time. The wrong transcription company will give lawyers and other professionals headaches, unnecessary overtime hours, broken workflows, and probably ulcers. 

That’s why it’s important to take your time to find the right provider that employs the most effective transcription process. Furthermore, they must be able to meet the following criteria:

High Accuracy Rates

As we’ve discussed before, automated transcription is inaccurate. (Incidentally, that’s also why they’re mostly free and easy to use.)

Inaccurate transcripts have no place in the legal system. They have led to unfortunate, avoidable outcomes. Accurate service providers, like Ditto, can help you improve your workflow by providing high-quality verbatim transcripts ready to use the moment you receive them—as we guarantee 99% accuracy for all our transcripts. 

Speed And Affordability

Let’s face it: anybody can make a 100% accurate transcript if they don’t have a deadline. Similarly, having fifteen transcribers working on one regular-length audio file will lead to lightning-fast turnaround times—but they’re definitely not going to be cheap. 

Speed, accuracy, and affordability require a delicate balancing act, and that’s where Ditto shines.

Transcription costs and Rates

Here at Ditto, we offer a standard rate of $1.75 per audio minute for legal transcribing. We also offer rushed turnaround times of as short as 24 hours. For tighter budgets, we also have longer, more economical turnaround times of one to two weeks. This range of turnaround times ensures that everyone has options. 

Experience And Expertise

Transcribers need experience in the legal field to be effective and efficient. The good thing about Ditto is we only hire candidates of the highest quality. That’s why we can assure 99% accuracy for our services. Our transcribers are familiar with legalese, different legal procedures, and formatting guidelines. It’d be like having a trusted, experienced legal assistant who only handles transcription. 

Security And Privacy

The confidentiality of all legal information is an important part of the legal industry. That means anyone who falls within the scope of legal proceedings, from clerks to transcription services to lawyers, must make efforts to safeguard all legal data. 

Unfortunately, many legal transcription services neglect this requirement. They don’t want to spend money to update their security measures (if they even have one in the first place) or fail to secure transfer channels for audio and video files, exposing their clients to significant risks like:

RiskPotential Exposure

Compromised Client Confidentiality
Breaches can reveal sensitive client information, leading to loss of privacy and potential harm to clients’ interests.
Legal LiabilityLaw firms and transcription services may face legal action for failing to protect confidential information.
Damage to Professional ReputationSecurity leaks can tarnish the reputation of legal professionals, affecting trust and credibility in the industry.
Financial LossesBreaches often result in financial damages due to legal costs, penalties, and loss of business.
Ethical ViolationsSecurity failures can violate ethical standards in the legal profession, potentially leading to disciplinary actions.
Compromised Case IntegrityLeaks may lead to tampering or misuse of legal documents, affecting the integrity of legal cases.

With Ditto, you don’t have to worry about any of that. We’re a CJIS-compliant service provider, meaning all our security protocols—from encryption to how we give our employees their usernames and passwords—have passed some of the most rigorous protocol requirements in the industry. 

Get the accurate, quality transcription that you deserve. Ditto’s expert legal transcription team is ready to receive your recordings. Give us a call, or try our free trial to get a taste of the difference.

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

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