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How Do I Choose the Best Legal Transcription Jobs?

Jodee Redmond
Jodee Redmond

When trying to find the best legal transcription jobs, a prospective employee needs to consider more than just salary. The work environment is also an important consideration. Transcriptionists can work for the courts, as well as for law firms of various sizes, as well as decide to become entrepreneurs and work from a home office. The legal transcriptionist will need to think about whether she is looking for full- or part-time work, office hours, and whether the employer offers benefits before making a decision.

Legal transcriptionists work with audio files generated in court and deposition proceedings, meetings and other events where an official record is required. A person working in this field must be able to use a keyboard in a fast and accurate manner. The legal transcriptionist must also be well-versed in the terminology used in this profession.

A legal transcriptionist is responsible for accurately documenting testimony at court proceedings.
A legal transcriptionist is responsible for accurately documenting testimony at court proceedings.

Legal transcription jobs working for the courts would involve sitting during trials, hearings and arbitrations and recording them using either an electronic shorthand machine or by speaking into a mask and repeating everything they hear. The person working in this capacity must be neat and well groomed, as well as highly skilled. The transcriptionist may be asked to read back a portion of the proceedings for the judge on request, and he or she will need to remain poised when providing this information.

Law firms also hire trained individuals for legal transcription jobs. This type of work would have regular hours in most cases. A person hired in this capacity may be asked to work on a variety of projects or specialize in proceedings which fall within a specific area of law, depending on whether the firm offers general legal services or the areas of practice are limited to certain ones only.

A person who has some experience and has developed contacts in the legal profession may want to move from looking for legal transcription jobs to starting a business offering these types of services. The person who chooses this option can offer services from home or a designated office. Another model for legal transcription services is to go to the client’s office to perform the work on a contract or freelance basis.

This alternative to legal transcription jobs offers more flexibility than working for an employer performing this type of work. A home-based transcriptionist can choose his or her working hours to accommodate family or other responsibilities. The downside to this work option is that there may be times when the transcriptionist’s income is lower due to lack of work.

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    • A legal transcriptionist is responsible for accurately documenting testimony at court proceedings.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      A legal transcriptionist is responsible for accurately documenting testimony at court proceedings.