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How Do I Become a Court Transcriptionist?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

You will probably need to take some sort of transcription courses in order to become a court transcriptionist. Classes are often given at community colleges or through schools specializing in court transcribing. You may also be able to take transcription courses while obtaining a four-year degree in a field of your choosing. In some cases, you may be able to become a court transcriptionist without attending college if you have the skills necessary to perform the job satisfactorily.

The primary job of a court transcriptionist involves listening to legal proceedings and typing up written documents of everything that was said. This can include transcribing documents during a trial, or listening to tapes of interviews performed by attorneys or other personnel. They may also write or type other documents, depending on where they work. Skills needed for this position include the ability to type quickly without making mistakes. If you want to become a court transcriptionist, it will also be useful if you understand various accents and dialects, since you may have to transcribe audio featuring those with variations in speech.

A court transcriptionist is responsible for typing up written documents of everything that is said during legal proceedings.
A court transcriptionist is responsible for typing up written documents of everything that is said during legal proceedings.

There is no government-mandated educational requirements for becoming a court transcriptionist, but education is helpful. Classes teaching legal transcription are available, both in physical colleges and online. They are usually certification programs and classes may include those on typing, legal protocol, and similar areas of study. Those who do not attend such classes will have to learn the proper skills another way.

Various offices may have different criteria for hiring a court transcriptionist. Common things employers will look for include the number of words per minute one can type and the level of accuracy in one's documents. If you don't have a track record in the field, you may have a harder time finding work without taking classes. You can start your job search by checking the want ads, or online job boards, or by calling local attorneys or courthouses to ask about potential positions.

You may also be able to become a court transcriptionist by working with someone in the legal field in another position. It's possible that you could start off as a legal secretary or personal assistant and work your way over to doing transcription work. You may also start your own business and work for various professionals as a freelancer. This will require more marketing and up front investment, but the income potential and freedom may be much greater than it would be working with someone else.

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    • A court transcriptionist is responsible for typing up written documents of everything that is said during legal proceedings.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      A court transcriptionist is responsible for typing up written documents of everything that is said during legal proceedings.