Legal Transcription vs. Court Reporting - What's The Difference?

Transcription is now arguably one of the more accessible career paths to take even without that lengthy education or diploma. In fact, becoming a transcriptionist would require some skills that are easier to attain in comparison to other skills out there. Basically, transcriptionists would need good English and a key ear for detail.

Transcription is known as the main process of recording a set of certain spoken words and turning it into a written word file. While it might seem like a pretty straightforward skill, transcription is known to be a versatile ability that can be applied to a number of different career paths as well. This would include secretarial work or medical transcription. Court reporting or even legal transcription are also two possible career paths with transcription involved.

However, there is quite a confusion around the difference between the last two professions, namely legal transcriptionists and court reporters. These particular titles seem quite identical. However, a court reporter and a legal transcriptionist are very different in a number of duties and their educational requirements.

What is a court reporter?

A court reporter actually types in verbatim while reporting all of the proceedings in the court of law. This would mean that the court reporter is literally creating a transcription live of everything that happens in real-time. The person usually uses a stenotype or a particular voice writing equipment in order to record everything being said by everyone as they essay it.

This line of work would include the judge, the jurors, the clerks, the bailiffs, the defendants, the plaintiffs, the attorneys, as well as every single witness that is involved in the courtroom. Additionally, in a number of states, court reporters are officially required to be notary publics in order for them to administer oaths to certain witnesses and even certify their own transcripts of the proceedings.

Unlike what happens with general transcription, court reports will have to transcribe live in real-time instead of working off of a previous recording. Because of this, the court reporters won’t be able to stop, rewind, and play the speech again in order to get a clearer grasp of what is being said. Basically, the court reporters do not have the luxury of time for them to go back and forth with what needs to be transcribed.

Court reporters are said to demand a specific as well as an impressive skill set and along with it, equivalent training and certification are also needed. There are different states that go on with different types of requirements for their court reporters. Generally, however, court reporters would need a 2 to 4-year degree at a certain institution that is approved by the official National Court Reporters Association.

This particular education emphasizes strongly on the legal terminology and procedures, English grammar, business law, legal research, and even medical vocabulary. Court reporters will also need to pass certain competencies and even complete continued education courses in order and also maintain that certification. The much greater educational and professional demands of official court reporting are typically reflected within the court reporters’ salary which compensates them

What is a legal transcriptionist?

A certain legal transcriptionist would take the previously recorded legal information and would have to type a verbatim report from those particular recordings. The transcriptionist might use a transcription tool in order to work along with a number of wide and heavy digital files. Legal transcriptionists technically do not work within the courtroom. They might even freelance easily or work in-house for a particular transcription company, government agency, law firm, or even a corporation. They also typically transcribe certain previously recorded depositions, witness interviews, hearings, 911 calls, dictation, and even legal documents.

Legal transcriptionists usually work from the previously recorded documentation. This makes their work easier in a lot of ways in comparison to certain court reporters. They can easily stop and rewind certain unclear recordings that need to be reworked over and over once again in order to get a clear verbatim transcription. They also do not transcribe in real-time during certain courtroom proceedings.

Because the main act of legal transcription is mostly less demanding, the type of educational requirements in order to become a full-fledged or even part-time transcriptionist is also not that demanding. In a number of states, there isn’t even a formal degree or even a formal certification requirement when it comes to legal transcription.

A number of states even call for a simple one-year certification course and that is it. The individuals that are planning to pursue a career in transcription might even pursue a degree in either legal, criminal justice, or even paralegal studies. However, getting the certification, education, or even a degree, is not required but still favorable.

While both of them still fall under the wide scope of transcription, both court reporting and legal transcription are still considered widely different. It is also very important to understand the main differences between these two. The difference is especially important when trying to consider a specific career to follow.

While court reporting is a much more specialized work and could require a more demanding education, legal transcription, however, requires lesser pressure and is easier to get into. Both court reporters and legal transcriptionists are considered to be really important careers. A legal transcriptionist can become a court reporter and vice versa, depending on the opportunities that fall ahead.

Transcription tool for both Court reporters and legal transcriptionists

While court reporters do not have the luxury of going over a particular transcription again and again, legal transcriptionists do have this luxury. Thus, for both professions, it is important to have an audio-to-text transcription tool that can not only help transcriptionists turn audio into text but also provide an easier editing tool as only the rough edges need to be fixed.

Do you need any help with legal transcription projects? You can simplify the transcription process with Transcription is made even easier with Izitext's editor feature.

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