Following a career as a legal transcriptionist - What to know?

By Luke Worli posted 05-10-2021 12:58 AM


The legal field is a highly demanding environment, and it requires a great deal of discipline and being incredibly organized. For this reason, law firms and legal teams need to divide their time efficiently and prioritize their tasks well. This is where legal transcriptionists come in. Your role as a transcriptionist within this field of business is to have a basic knowledge of legal terms and be professionally trained to transcribe important recordings. This way, lawyers and prosecutors, and other professionals can rely on you to provide the highly essential information from important video or audio recordings. 

There are some things to take into consideration before you decide to follow a career as a legal transcriptionist. It is necessary to get yourself familiarized with the job requirements and your responsibilities. As a transcriptionist, you will be handling sensitive information, so working in the legal system might become stressful at times. 

So, what are the most important aspects to consider?


To become a legal transcriptionist, you don't need to attend a university course or invest a great deal of time and money to achieve certifications. Usually, you need to have finished high school, and if you don't have work experience in a legal office, as it might be harder to achieve, a short course could be of help. This way, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the legal system's technical terms, as it is a fundamental requirement.

More often than not, entry-level jobs as a legal transcriptionist with little to no actual work experience will provide in-house training. So, you don't need to get worried if you haven't gotten all the minor details down. It is essential you have done some research or studied legal concepts and the legal system's terms to get started, and it will be easier for you to learn the rest.

Needed skills

There are some skills and attributes any good transcriptionist must possess. The more experience you gather, the easier it will be for you to do the work efficiently as you will learn how to organize your time according to what is more urgent. However, if you wish to be part of a legal transcription company as a transcriptionist, you will need to have specific skills before jumping into this type of career. Some of the most important are as follows:

  • Typing: you will need to be able to type fast, more specifically around 85 words per minute at least. This will need to be done as clearly as possible.
  • Language: your grammar and vocabulary should be to the highest proficiency. This will allow you to spot any inconsistencies when needed. On top of that, you should have a basic understanding of technical, legal terms.
  • Computer: evidently, you need to be comfortable using a computer and its software applications or more specific tools.

Work from home

It is important to consider this aspect, as it could be necessary for you to work mostly from home. It isn't a general requirement, but most transcription service companies avoid investing in physical offices. Therefore, it is vital you make sure you have the proper environment where you can work without having any distractions. Transcribing legal materials could include statements and testimonies or depositions, so it is of the utmost importance you have privacy when working.