The demand for the services of a legal transcription company has increased recently across various industries, but there are still some people who are unsure about the importance of legal transcription for court hearings and do not fully understand exactly how it works. Proficiency is important with legal transcription, accuracy and speed are both crucial elements, and there are a few different tasks and projects that a legal transcription service undertakes within the legal sector. Let’s delve into things a little deeper. What does a legal transcriptionist do, and why is it important?
Is there a difference between dictation and legal transcription?
Quite often, you’ll hear the words transcription and dictation used to mean the same thing, people often interchange them within similar phrases. This is incorrect, however, as there is a difference between the two which makes an important distinction when discussing legal transcription services.
What is dictation?
This is the process of talking into a device that records what that person is saying with a view that it will be written down at a later date. Dictation can also be speaking to a person who writes down what you are saying. Once dictation is completed, the notes or recording can be reviewed.
What is transcription?
This is where the spoken word is converted into a written document. A transcriptionist is a professional role, where someone takes a recording and turns that into written form, verbatim. Everything that you see written down on the page has been said in the recording or video, including any gaps, pauses etc.
Is there a difference between legal transcription and court reporting?
The two roles are very similar but there are some differences that make each stand out. A court reporter’s role makes sense because of where the work takes place. The vast majority of work that a court reporter does takes place inside a courtroom. Their primary function is to transcribe all proceedings within the court. The big thing that you need to consider with a court reporter is that they use a stenograph, a machine that creates real-time transcription of all words spoken within the court during legal proceedings.
A legal transcriptionist, on the other hand, has a wider range of tasks and situations where their services are required, such as legal meetings, interviews with witnesses, 999 calls, depositions, hearings, jury instructions etc. Transcriptionists do not need to be present in the same way as a court reporter. Quite often they will be sent recordings and videos to transcribe at a later date, creating written documents out of the material.
What are the benefits of legal transcription as a service?
Solicitors and lawyers understand that there are a few benefits to hiring a professional legal transcription service to assist them with everyday materials. There is a genuine improvement in productivity levels throughout the company, boosting efficacy, and levels of detail, and creating more time for staff to focus on the tasks that they are trained to work well within.
Due to the nature of the sector, there is a real need to have 100% accuracy and transparency when it comes to case files, interview notes, and any pieces of evidence that legal professionals work on every single day. It could make the difference in settling a case or making sure that you have everything you need before a court date. Hiring a team that has the professionals to furnish you with this information, in a professional, easy-to-read and managed manner, helps to boost standards throughout a legal department.
Alongside the levels of accuracy, there are also additions that a legal transcription service provides such as speaker identification, timestamps, and other additions that elevate a piece of evidence in such a way that makes it much easier to analyse further when the legal team gets to it. Cases can be built in a much more efficient way with the help of legal transcription services.
Choosing the right UK-based legal transcription company
If you require the assistance of a legal transcription company to help with your law firm, there are a few things you need to consider. Outsourcing might be appealing to you in order to cut internal costs and allow your staff to focus on tasks that maximise their key competencies. You also need to choose a company that has experience with helping legal professionals, as they will understand what is required in terms of speed and accuracy to ensure that notes help to raise standards within a timely fashion. The worst case would be for a solicitor to come back to a stack of hand-written notes that they can make no sense of. Instead, a transcription of an audio file is ready for them to view, analyse, and fit within the case as they see fit. More importantly for accuracy reasons, we have built our legal transcription team specifically in the UK with English being their native language.