What is legal transcription

What is legal transcription? Legal Assisting?

A: Virtually everything that takes place in the civil and criminal court systems requires hard copy documentation. The information is either dictated or recorded in the courtroom or at deposition hearings, as well as in law offices in less official settings. It may include testimony, pleadings, interrogatories (questions and answers), reviews of administrative hearings and the like. Generally, the information is recorded either onto tape or digital voice processing systems. It includes the process of transferring information from recorded dictation to hard documentation using transcribers and computer word processors. Legal assistants, legal transcriptionists, and paralegals, prepare legal documents both from written and dictated information. In addition, other typical duties may include drafting and filing legal documents, calendaring and tracking important deadlines, assisting attorneys to prepare for trials, documenting relevant facts and information pertaining to a lawsuit, organizing and maintenance of client files, and using computers and related software as well as other reference materials to research and document law, and to prepare or transcribe the documents involved. Legal assistants, secretaries, and transcriptionists may become so proficient that they can actually undertake paralegal duties as well, and in some states, provide the same services as attorneys do.

Legal assistants often perform transcription duties, but also assume other office responsibilities, greeting-interviewing clients, setting up files, doing the billing, assisting in research, and a variety of other functions. Straight transcription jobs are available on in the Internet and you can do it at home.

Q: Who uses the services?

A: Attorneys do, and corporations, government agencies, insurance companies, banks, and lots of them work for themselves. The demand for government legal transcriptionists is growing at an enormous rate. Many work for the Federal government in administrative agencies. General categories are:

Freelance Legal Transcriptionists – operate their own business and provide services to attorneys on a contractual basis. A freelance legal transcriptionist works under the supervision of an attorney, who assumes responsibility for the legal transcriptionist’s work product. The attorney or another member of the staff dictates or edits previously prepared files, which the transcriptionist then transcribes or provides the edited work product.
Traditional Employment – work for lawfirms, agencies, or other companies as noted above, on a salaried or per hour basis, or on a per line or per page basis for Internet dictation clients.
Specialization – Many opportunities exist for the legal transcriptionist and assistants to specialize in various types of law, real estate, criminal, family, personal injury, business, etc. These specialties are defined and taught in the course material.

Q: And it requires training?

A: Absolutely. It’s a specialized field. You have to know about the law, various court systems and their venues (what kind of cases they hear/try), the formats for legal documents in your state, how to research case law and cite it.

Q: How does your program work?

A: It’s very simple. It is a home-based on-line distance learning program that is entirely self-paced. You do it in your own time frame at home. It is entirely platform learning based, so you are presented information, and then you are tested on it. You do not move forward until you fully grasp the topic you are working on. The coursework is divided into two modules, one dealing with the law and how it works, an overview of the profession, and the second is the transcription key for the dictation you will do while training.

Q: What does your program include?

A: This state-of-the-art home training program consists of 2 modules and 5 hours of dictation for your transcription practice. It is streamlined and comprehensive, more than you will need to find suitable work in or for a legal office. It is designed to teach the functions and processes of institutions in the U.S. legal system, roles and issues in the field, and selected specialties of law. It includes dozens of samples of dictation types and formats, terminology used in the law, complete with an abridged Latin dictionary. It reviews English grammar and provides all the typing rules, complete with the captions for different types of courts and actions.It discusses employment opportunities and provides dozens of websites for research purposes to enhance your educational skills on-line, in addition to opportunities to network for working possibilities and resources after you’re working.

Q: How long does it take to complete this program?

A: It takes anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks (depending how much time you have to devote to the program). Average is 8 to 12 weeks.

Q: Is this field for me?

A: If you have at least average keyboard skills, are a good speller, and can learn and retain what you learn, this could definitely be for you. Your earning potential is entirely in your hands, enabling you to take charge of your own financial present and future.

Q: What are the best reasons I should look into the legal field?

A: The need for legal support staff increases with the litigation processes so prevalent now. Administrative law (local, state and federal government) requires massive record-keeping. Much of that information is related to recorded hearings, etc. The Department of Labor notes the requirement for staffing will grow exponentially in the next few years. Assistance from trained people is a welcome alternative to both attorneys. In addition, large national legal transcription companies now hire home-based transcriptionists. They eagerly await our graduates, often hiring them before they complete their training. According to the findings of NFPA the future of legal assistants is increasing rapidly with the projection being that by the year 2005 there will be a need for between 150,000 and 176,000 such people in the U.S., working in areas such as law firms, corporations and corporate legal departments, financial institutions, insurance companies, real estate and title agencies, state and federal governmental agencies, courts, public defenders’ and prosecutors’ offices, public utility companies, and community legal service programs. These are dynamic times for these professions.

Interesting that medical transcription students have also migrated into the legal work. One of our students posted: “You can usually get hired into legal transcription jobs if you have experience in MT. That’s what I am finding anyhow. Nobody has questioned me about being certified in legal. I’m sure if the work was full of legal terminology, it would be a different scenario but many of the cases seem to be more ’street language’ than legal terminology, and sometimes medical jargon. At any rate, I am making 6 cents a line and it is pretty easy work.” “I have found several companies that provide both legal and medical transcription, Ubiqus is one.”

Q: How much can I expect to earn?

A: Earnings are between $15 and $25 per hour. Contracting for Internet work is generally based on “piece work,” by the line or page. Let’s give an example: You could earn 6 to 10 cents per line or $1.50 to $3 per page. Once proficient, you should be typing about 300 lines per hour x 8 cents would be $24 per hour. If you work in an office, salary ranges are from $27,000 to $40,000 annually.

Q: What about expanding opportunities and horizons?

A: The opportunities for expanding roles in your career path are also furthered through continuing education, expanded experience, increased acceptance of responsibility and increased challenges, and as standards for this profession are established and recognized, roles and responsibilities will be expanded. Technologically speaking, supply and demand are what run the evolution and creation of new software, macros and research methods available, and currently the Internet is the a great way to build your Cybrary (and the course will teach you how).

Q: What will I need for software?

A: Most attorneys have their preference: Hotdocs, a WordPerfect program, and Legal Solutions, a program divided into modules depending on the field of practiceand MSWord. If you are good with MSWord or WordPerfect, you will learn whatever they use very easily. for the Internet work, you will need an upload/download protocol, such as FTP.

Q: Can I really make any money at home?

A: By developing the skills, yes, you certainly can. More and more people in these professions do some or all of their work at home (unless, of course, they are working in an office on a salaried position by choice).

Q: Is there home business information included? Such as setting one up?

A: The HomeBizBook is available to suggest how to do that. It provides concise . It is a Career Development for self-evaluation, and includes marketing and sales techniques and methods that assist in finding work and/or in setting up a home business.

Q: What equipment do I need?

A: For the training, a computer with a modem or DSL to access the Internet, a word processor WordPerfect or MSWord (many law offices use WordPerfect in its legal version), and some sort of cassette player or CD player (the CD player, Wavplayer, is an option in the course.

Q: What else do I need?

A: Helpful books include:

Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (latest edition)
Black’s Law Dictionary (pocketbook), Bryan A. Gardner, $24.95 (Amazon.com)
The Bluebook: (citations), $16.00 (Legalbluebook.com)
Handbook of Basic Law Terms (pocketbook), Bryan A. Gardner, $12.95 (Amazon.com)
Throughout the course, you will be provided websites for research purposes; this activity will facilitate your ability to use such sites in your training and your career. Some of the exercises may be based on the research you do, so take the time to familiarize yourself by reading what they offer, moving around to find other topics which may be of interest and looking at the links various sites will provide. You bookmark those you frequent most for a ready resource, your personal Cybrary.

Q: Do you provide placement?

A: Meditec does not guarantee job placement or employment. We do provide you the HomeBizBook, a good resource to network and find work. We will also refer you to major national clients who have hired a number of our students for home-based transcription.

Q: So how do I get started?

A: Call toll free at 877.335.4072 or enroll on-line.

Q: Anything else?

A: Only this: If you desire a relatively new and specialized career that is in great demand, one that is immune to recession and other economic and industry fluctuations, one that can be easily developed into a home business or which can land you the job you want, then look no further. If you’ve shopped the others, you know that it will much longer than traditional schools and cost a lot more. This is a very cost effective way to get on track for a new career!


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