What Does It Take To Become A Legal Transcriptionist?

Nowadays, there is a rising emergence of legal transcription companies. There are numerous job titles to consider if you want to pursue a legal career. A legal transcriptionist can succeed if they are detail-oriented and have good typing skills. 

This job is critical and ensures that everyone is aware of what was said during the crucial courtroom and legal recordings. We’ll go over what this job entails and how to get started as a legal transcriptionist in this article.

What Is The Job Description Of A Legal Transcriptionist?

A legal transcriptionist is a person who is in charge of writing down significant legal recordings. They produce written papers that legal professionals can consult as needed using their listening and typing skills. 

This person is entirely responsible for converting pre-recorded content into written copies. They are not accountable for creating written records of live conversations, unlike court reporters, thus they can take longer to generate well-written, error-free transcriptions.

What Are The Responsibilities Of Legal Transcriptionists?

The following are the responsibilities of a legal transcriptionist:

  • Listen to legal experts’ dictated recordings, such as paralegals as well as attorneys.
  • Transcribe audio recordings into motions, pleadings, interrogations, correspondence, time entries, agreements, legal memorandums, and discovery papers.
  • Create papers that are free of errors so that legal professionals can refer to them afterward.
  • To listen and make transcriptions, use headsets, and computer software.
  • Meet with legal specialists to obtain dictation for presentation in court.

How Much Does A Legal Transcriptionist Make On Average?

Many legal transcription companies consider hiring fresher and experienced candidates who are associated with this field.

A transcriptionist’s annual income averages $36,352 in the United States. The pay you can earn in this position varies depending on where you live, how much experience you have, who you work for, and what skills you have. 

Work-from-home options, health insurance, a flexible schedule, paid time off, as well as professional development support are all common perks for someone in this position discover more.

Skills That Should Be Essentially Present In A Legal Transcriptionist

To be successful in their job, a legal transcriptionist must possess the following abilities. Usually, the top legal transcription companies prefer the below-mentioned skills to have in their employees. 

Attention to detail: You have the essential task of writing legal documents, so you will need to pay close attention to every detail. Your attention to detail can assist you in ensuring that they are error-free.

Computer skills: You can expect to use a computer for the majority of your tasks as a legal transcriptionist. This position necessitates the use of word processors, spreadsheets as well as billing software. 

Legal terminology knowledge: This particular role entails converting the words of attorneys and paralegals into written documents. Also, this prior information ensures that you label your transcriptions accurately and use the relevant terminology.

Language skills: To succeed in this role, you must have a strong understanding of English spelling, syntax, and grammar. 

Listening: A large part of this job entails listening to recordings. You must be able to decipher every word said by the speaker in the recording. 

Time management: Working in this position necessitates the ability to meet crucial deadlines. Legal transcriptionists that are successful know how to prioritize their work so that legal practitioners can obtain documents in time for court.

Typing: Because you’ll be transcribing recordings for most of your day, you’ll need to be a quick and accurate typist. Those in this position should aim for 85 words per minute with no errors.

What Are The Steps To Becoming A Legal Transcriptionist?

 transcription companies

To become a legal transcriptionist, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain A Diploma

High school graduation and experience working in a legal or office setting are usually required when applying for an entry-level legal transcriptionist position

If you want to improve your chances of finding a job as a legal transcriptionist, you can go to a community college, a technical school, or a vocational school.

These programs can help you gain access to new work options while also teaching you the skills you’ll need to succeed in this position. 

You could study word processing, court reporting theory, transcription editing, as well as the creation of legal dictionaries. 

Those interested in pursuing a career as a legal transcriptionist can consider enrolling in one of these programs or acquiring an Associate Degree in Legal Transcription Technology.

  1. Improve Your Abilities 

You should improve your listening and typing skills as you prepare for this career. Listening to recordings and transcribing what you hear is a good way to start. Get in the habit of not staring at your keyboard while typing. 

The faster you can type without making any mistakes, the better equipped you are for this position. Determine how many words you can transcribe in one minute by timing yourself. This could be a useful skill to have on your resume.

  1. Obtain A Certification

You can distinguish yourself from other candidates by becoming a certified legal transcriptionist in addition to completing your degree. The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) offers the Certified Electronic Transcriber (CET) designation. 

You must pass a knowledge test with multiple-choice questions to receive this certification. Formatting, proofreading, court processes, and practices, as well as vocabulary, are all covered in these questions. 

Following that, you must pass a practical portion in which you must create a 10- to 15-page transcription of a recorded proceeding.

  1. Take Advantage Of On-The-Job Training

The majority of people in this field begin their careers as legal transcriptionists. This is where you will receive the majority of your job-related training. 

Your training is usually overseen by an office manager, attorney, or paralegal. Take careful notes and ask thoughtful questions to gain the knowledge and abilities you’ll need for this position.

  1. Keep Your Studies Going

You must renew your CET designation every three years if you wish to keep it valid. Maintaining your certification requires staying in good standing at AAERT and completing three hours of continuous education. 

Maintaining this certification can help you develop your career by allowing you to take on more advanced positions.


So, these are some of the most important information that you should know about a legal transcriptionist. Following all these steps will effectively increase your chances of getting hired by the top legal transcription companies