What does a legal transcriber do?

A legal transcriber is responsible for accurately documenting testimony in court proceedings.

A legal transcriber, also known as a court reporter, documents depositions in court proceedings and meetings related to those proceedings. Its transcript is normally required to accurately reflect the testimony of all persons. His job may be an employee position at a courthouse or law firm, or he may contract his services with different courts and lawyers.

Copies of court cases transcribed by a legal transcriptionist are sent to each courthouse for filing.

Most legal proceedings generally require a written record of every word spoken, along with a record of non-verbal gestures and physical reactions that can affect the meaning and impact of spoken words. A legal transcriber provides this service. He usually records transcripts of trials, depositions, hearings and meetings related to legal proceedings.

For many years, a legal transcriber was only offered one tool to do their job. This stenographic engraving machine, called a stenotype, has a small keyboard with coded keys to engrave phrases instead of letters. The codes are immediately translated into words that are transmitted to a computer. This allows the reporter to record the deposition more quickly and accurately. Some stenotype templates allow the user to program specific words and phrases into them before each job for even greater speed and efficiency.

In recent years, voice recording equipment has been used by a number of legal transcribers. The reporter speaks into a recording device called a stenomask, inaudible to the courtroom, and the words are transcribed onto a computer screen using voice recognition software. This transcription method is accepted by fewer courts and lawyers than the stenotype.

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At the end of each process, a legal transcriptionist is normally required to edit the process record. In general, he is expected to correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as syntax and style. When the document is error-free, copies of it are normally distributed to all parties involved, with a copy sent to court files.

Success as a legal transcriber typically requires excellent hearing as well as a high level of manual dexterity. Your ability to distinguish voices that often overlap is important. Attention to detail is a common requirement for this position. Being well organized is a common attribute of successful transcribers.

Colleges and technical institutes often offer courses in legal transcription. Some court systems offer on-the-job training for the position. Online courses are also available. Jurisdictions in some regions require training certification before hiring a legal transcriber.

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