What Is Legal Transcription?


Legal transcription is transforming audio and video recordings of legal proceedings, correspondence, and other types of recordings into the written word.

Here are just some of the reasons why legal transcription is needed:

  • Legal transcription is now recognized as an effective way to generate legal records.
  • Audio and video help document cases and the transcribed text becomes part of the evidence.
  • A transcript makes it easier and faster to search for information, key terms and speakers rather than playing back audio and video recordings multiple times.
  • The growing need of maintaining legal documents by business organizations, government and private and public sectors has increased the need for legal transcriptionists.
  • The large number of lawsuits and a high crime rate increases the need for transcription. And many legal transcriptionists now work from home.

Who needs legal transcription?

Legal transcription is needed and used by law firms, private practice attorneys, court administrators, police departments, government agencies, financial institutions, insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, corporations, large companies, other sectors and private individuals.

Types of legal transcription work

The wide variety of legal transcription work includes corporate law, family law, real estate, collections and foreclosures, personal injury, insurance defense, Workers’ Comp claims and defense, medical malpractice and criminal law.

Legal transcriptionists transcribe court hearings, trial recordings, recorded depositions, testimonies, pleadings, hearings, interviews, interrogations, statements and confessions, phone conversations. Police transcription includes inmate and jail calls, 911 & dispatch communications, wiretaps and surveillance, officer worn video, in-car recordings, dictated officer reports, dictated narratives and more.

Why is legal transcription oursourced?

Outsourcing legal transcription has many benefits vs doing the work in-house:

  • Faster turnaround: Turnaround is faster as work can be outsourced to several transcriptionists.
  • Reduced overhead: Outsourcing is less expensive than recruiting in-house staff.
  • Higher quality transcripts: The quality of work is higher when done by professional transcriptionists.

Not sure if legal transcription is right for you?

Find out what’s involved in working from home as a legal transcriptionist and how you can get started. Get answers to frequently asked questions. Subscribe to this free mini-course.


Read about the skills required to become a legal transcriptionist.

Find out how you can learn legal transcription and start a career in legal transcription.

Click here to get more information about a legal transcription course I recommend


Search Legal Terms and Definitions –

A Form and Style Manual for Paralegals is a classic reference book written by an experienced teacher and practitioner for paralegals at all levels of experience. It’s a must for legal transcriptionists and a great resource for people wanting to become a legal transcriptionist.

Legal Terminology (6th Edition) by Gordon Brown is the most popular legal terminology book but I mentioning others as well to fit everyone’s budget.

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