Legal transcription is about conversion of dictation/ audio recordings done at law firms and court houses into neat typewritten transcripts. Transcription technology has been evolving over the years and has gone digital today. Legal transcription is increasingly being outsourced to other global locations though not as much as medical transcription. Who are the court reporters and what do they do? Well as the name suggests the court reporters create verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings, speeches, meetings, and also conversations. They use several methods to ensure that the spoken word is accurately recorded. Court reporters have the expertise in transcription / proof reading and editing of all types of court reports and legal documents besides being trained to assist lawyers and judges.
when we talk of just legal transcription it means legal dictations of various types and this may include client letters, depositions, court hearings that are recorded and sent to legal transcription professionals who may be located either within the same city or even out of the country.
Many court reporters use stenotype machine and computer-aided transcription. Whether in the court room or in the law firms office most voice recordings today depend on digital dictation programs that enable convenient recording of voice often supported with automated typing. Dictation is done using either one of the different methods;
- Using a dictation device
- Dictation on to a computer or laptop
- PDA dictation and recording
- Dictation by telephone
- Dictation over the Internet
- Court recordings & meetings
Today with many court reporting software being available, recording of court proceeding has become a more efficient process. Here are some of the features we can find when using court reporting software;
- Simultaneous recording possibility (up to 32 channels)
- Digital audio recording with high quality signal processing.
- Transmission using FTP /email or computer network.
- Automatic file size management/ breaking
- Overlapped file breaks at preset intervals.
- Must be user friendly
- Possible time stamping of bookmarks with notes/ recording
- Audio listening possibility in real time
- Recording in formats like to wav, mp3, etc
- Sorting of recordings by name /date /size and search using keywords.
- Automatic error notification.
- Various types of password security.
- Free minor upgrades
Legal transcription work when outsourced to countries like India, is best done under the supervision of professional lawyers. There are many schools that offer certifications for just doing legal transcription. Specific certifications for court reporters are also much sought after. Here is the link to the official site of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) that offers certification opportunities : http://www.ncraonline.org/testing/
Other bodies that offer certifications are The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) which is the professional association of verbatim court reporters and The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers.
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