Legal transcription is the process of transcribing legal voice recordings of the lawyers and paralegals into digitized texts. Usually, the legal transcription process used to be only about documenting the court proceedings but today, the job of a professional legal transcriptionist is not restricted to the transcription of court proceedings but it has expanded to encompass a variety of services.
The process of legal transcription is similar to any other transcription service – It requires the transcriptionist to astutely listen to the court proceedings or the voice recordings and then document each and every detail accurately into a text format. After the data has been documented, it is reviewed by a quality reviewer to ensure that the transcribed document is 100 % accurate and error-free. It goes without saying that the job of a professional legal transcriptionist is a high skill job because they need to be familiar with legal terminologies as well as they need to have a strong hold on the English language. Though these requirements are core requirements to carry out the process of legal transcription, they are not the only skill-set sought in a legal transcriptionist!
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There are more skill sets that sets a good transcriptionist apart from the average ones’ so let’s look into some of the key skills that are essential to ace the job of a professional legal transcriptionist:
• Familiarity with Law and Proficiency in Legal Terminologies: This is the first and the most important key skill to ace the job of a legal transcriptionist! To be a professional legal transcriptionist, you need to be familiar with legal terminologies so that you can transcribe the document efficiently. Though this job does not requires that the legal transcriptionist holds a specific degree, a background in law always adds value and the helps to transcribe the document better. Additionally, a legal transcriptionist can also undergo certifications to make themselves current as per the professional requirements.
• Proficiency in English Language and Grammar: In addition to being proficient in legal terminologies, a professional legal transcriptionist needs to be proficient in English language as well. They need to have a strong command on the English language. In addition, they need to know the grammar, punctuation and syntax styles of the English language. This is the next key skill required to carry out the legal transcription process. The reason is to do so is simple – Legal transcriptionists document details for lawyers and paralegals which is why these reports need to be not only technically accurate but they must be free of any grammatical error. Any grammatical error or an incorrect use of punctuation can significantly change the meaning of sentences transcribed in the document.
• Astute Listening Skills: A major chunk of legal transcription work is about listening to the voice recordings to document them which make listening skills a core competency of legal transcription process. Legal terminologies can often be complex which is why it is essential that a legal transcriptionist should have strong listening skills! If the legal transcriptionist can astutely listen, they can analyze the subject matter better which helps them to transcribe the reports with utmost accuracy.
• Optimal Typing Speed with 100% Accuracy: The next skill that is often required to ace the job of a legal transcriptionist is that they have an optimal typing speed with 100% accuracy! This basically means that the legal transcriptionist is not only fast in typing but they should also be able to type with utmost accuracy! To be a good legal transcriptionist, it is essential to intertwine speed with accuracy. This ensures productivity as well as quality of the services.
• Multi-tasking Skills & Attention to Detail: These skill sets are generally a core requirement for any process but how does it apply to the job of a legal transcriptionist?
o So why does a legal transcriptionist need to multi-task? Well, very often, the legal transcriptionist professional types while listening to the recordings or the proceedings. This is itself the ability to multi-task. In addition, the legal transcriptionist may need to research a particular subject matter to clarify details. All these activities require that the legal transcriptionist professional is able to multi-task to efficiently transcribe documents.
o A legal transcriptionist needs to be absolutely attentive to the details transcribed within the document. If they misinterpret a detail or incorrectly note a detail, they should be able to rectify the same while reviewing the document. Any incorrect entry can significantly alter the meaning of the transcribed report which is why they should be absolutely attentive towards the details. In addition, they should be able to proof-read the document and correct every detail so that the final transcribed document is 100% accurate and error-free.
• Familiarity to Transcription software’s and Computer Savvy: The daily job requirement of a legal transcriptionist is to use transcription software’s and the computer to listen and type which is why it is essential that they are familiar with various transcription software’s that the companies use! In addition to adapting to alternate transcription software’s, the transcriptionist needs to be computer savvy as well. The legal transcriptionist should be able to navigate themselves through the web so that they can conduct research. They should also be able to use the computer to spell check so that the final transcribed report is of the highest quality!
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These were to list some of the key skills that are required to ace the job of a legal transcriptionist! A legal transcriptionist needs to be not only adept with legal terminologies but they should also understand the correct usage of grammar and English language. In addition, they should be familiar with transcription software’s and computer applications. They should be also able to multi-task and develop excellent typing skills. These skills together are some of the core requirements to ace the job of a professional legal transcriptionist!