Today, lawyers are no longer tied down to their desks. Advanced technology and legal transcription service providers ensure that even lawyers in small firms get accurate and timely digital records of their dictated files which they can access anytime, from any location. Innovative speech-to-text dictation tools transform speech into text quickly, helping legal professionals improve productivity and efficiency. Here is a brief review of the recommendations from Above the Law along with some tips for success with voice dictation:
- Apple dictation: Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant lets you take notes from across the room or in the car. You can update and add to a note on iPhone and iPad with Siri as well as share notes with someone with the same software. Siri supports up to 21 languages. With mobile devices, only a limited amount of text can be inputted at a time, while there is no such limitation with Apple’s digital dictation capabilities on Mac computers. The Apple dictation tool sends the dictation to cloud servers to be converted into text. Enabling Enhanced Dictation allows users to dictate even when offline and speech processing on Macs takes place locally.
- Android dictation: Lawyers using an Android device can also enable speech-to-text transcription. This voice input feature of the phone is known as Google Voice Typing. Similar to iOS, voice data is sent to a cloud server to be converted into text. You should speak clearly to use Android’s voice-to-text feature successfully, or else Google will make mistakes in the transcription.
- Dragon Dictate: Unlike the free tools built into Apple and Android devices, Dragon Dictate is an expensive but robust system for Macs and Windows. This option will process your speech locally immediately on your own machine, rather than in the cloud.
It is also important to use the right microphone with all of these options. You can choose from a wired headset, wireless headset, and desktop microphone. With a wired headset, you don’t have to worry if you are in a noisy environment as the microphone is placed directly in front of your mouth. Though it is attached to a computer and limits your movement, a wired headset can provide accurate and reliable dictation. With a wireless headset, you have the freedom to move around, though you would need to check range if you use this option. The desktop microphone needs you to be in front of your computer and accuracy can suffer if you move your head.
The following techniques can help you ensure success with voice dictation:
- Dictate slowly and clearly
- Plan what you are going to say
- Speak in short sentences or phrases, but aim to dictate complete sentences and clauses
- Say letters slowly when spelling out words or abbreviations
- Speak all punctuation such as “comma,” “period,” “dollar sign,” “percent sign”, and so on
- iOS allows you to capitalize words by saying “cap” before the words you want to capitalize
Regardless of the speech-to-text option or microphone you choose, there are bound to be transcription errors. The best option would be to have the files transcribed by a reliable legal transcription company. Such companies have transcriptionists who are experts in legal terminology and jargon and will ensure secure, accurate, timely and cost-effective digital transcription of your legal records.